How a Simple Solution Changed Everything for One Family
There are two main types of illness: acute and chronic. An acute illness doesn’t last very long. It goes away either on its own or in response to treatment, such as taking medicine or having surgery. A chronic illness or condition is ongoing. It affects your health over a long period of time, possibly your entire life. That’s the kind of situation EC reader Gina’s family was dealing with. Then lo and behold…
Dear Mary: My husband and both of my children have chronic skin problems. One doctor diagnosed them with eczema, but curiously nothing, including prescription medications, has brought lasting relief. We have spent a small fortune going from one dermatologist to another and buying all of lotions, potions and other medications prescribed. Not once did any of these professionals suggest they might be allergic to laundry softeners. When I read your column “Laundry Softeners are the Problem, Not the Solution,” a lightbulb went on.
I’m a serial softener user. For years, I’ve used liquid softener and dryer sheets. How could I have not thought about this? It made a lot of sense that they could be allergic to this stuff. I wasted no time getting the wool dryer balls you recommend on your website. I gave up softener products cold turkey and began using the dryer balls instead. I was like a crazy woman washing and rewashing clothes and bedding. I got 3 gallons of white vinegar to make sure I had enough to add to every rinse cycle.
Within two weeks we began to see a change. The horrible skin issues began to calm down. After the third week the change was amazing. As I write, I would say my kids and husband are finally free of this awful situation. As embarrassed as I am that I never considered this might be the problem, I am more grateful and happier than you can imagine. Thank you so much for all you do to improve our lives. That column changed our lives, and we are forever grateful.
Dear Gina: What a wonderful story. I am so thankful we connected and that you’ve hit on the solution to the problem! I love my wool dryer balls because they really work to soften without any chemicals, scents, perfumes or other stuff we used to think we couldn’t live without. And just think how much money you won’t be spending on softener products! And all those lotions, potions and other medications, too.
Mary invites questions, comments and tips at firstname.lastname@example.org, or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740.