"The skin has immune system soldiers... white blood cells lined up and ready for attack against any harmful germ or chemical that might try to break through. That's great for battling bacteria in a cut or a scrape, but in the case of poison ivy, it does more harm than good."
"There's something about urushiol... that tricks the immune system into thinking, 'Boy, this is something really dangerous. And we have to remember this, and the next time we see it, we're going to attack it." That "immune memory" is remarkably stubborn, he says. "It can't be turned off."
"Immune tolerance," he says, "is the holy grail of immunology."
if you've been following my posts, i have lots of chemical allergies. i also have chronic inflammation & have just been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called sjogren's syndrome. (this diagnosis came after a battery of tests, which ultimately show i'm a super-healthy barstard from top to bottom with a hyperactive immune system.) my immune system's favorite organ to attack is my skin. and my lips suffer; there's dryness, peeling, cracking, oozing -- really fabulous stuff!
i've asked my doctor if there's any way i can revert back to my old normal-skin self. no known cure. just manage it.
anyway, i was on prednisone (a steroid & immunosuppresant) for 3 weeks for a severe allergic reaction i had over a month ago. my skin is still healing, but my lips have stopped peeling. i think it's looking normal now! pretty crazy stuff...