A bizarre trigger

Hey All,

I am almost certain now that I have discovered the root cause of over 6 weeks of chronic painful headaches which has really knocked the wind out of my sails. It’s not certain but I think it’s about 90% it. I will be experimenting again next week to see if the effect returns. So what was it?

Hand cream. No joke. And it is NOT the scent of the stuff either because there really is no scent. In fact, right after it goes on my hands it sort of smells like honey but then nothing. Anyway, I first tried this stuff at a friend’s place back in January and liked it because there was no greasy after feeling. All “natural” ingredients of course so must be safe right? :lol: I never thought that something I was putting on my hands and half way up my forearm could cause head pain like that. The things that have caused me guaranteed pain are chemicals (skin cleansers) I have put on my face or shampoo. I cannot tolerate ANY commercial grade shampoos. The only one I can use is this ultra sensitive brand with NOTHING in it apart from some sort of pH balanced nothing soap.

Since suspecting it was the culprit and stopping it (now use a plain sorbolene cream as before) the head pain stopped completely within 48 hours and I am still free of it now days later despite job interview stress and a blown out back (man, I’m getting old). Seeing this pain cycle end is just incredible.

The thing is I thought maybe the migraine had morphed and I was stuck in some new permanent pain thing. It’s so easy to overlook stuff and think “Naaaa” can’t be that. So for me the moral of the story is that ANYTHING can be a potential trigger.

So next week I’m going to hit that cream again and watch for the same result to confirm. Got to replicate this. More later.

Scott 8)

VERY interested in seeing what happens please keep us posted! I think your right it could be ANYTHING! I think if you have MAV then your just sensitive anyhow to other things…

wow that’s interesting. It’ll be interesting to know for sure huh? i’m super sensitive also. I use the lubriderm sensitive skin no scent stuff - now you got me wondering. I don’t use much though. i cant stand scented stuff at all. I do use regular shampoo and stuff but never noticed anything.

good luck finding out for sure. it’ll be something you can avoid though so that’s good.

i wish i could do away with all the crap in the air right now - the pollen and stuff - can’t avoid those triggers - bad time of year - wanna scream!!!



If you would stop being such a metrosexual with all your ‘product’ and moisturisers and lotions and stuff you would be less migrainey and more rugged. It’s un-Australian for God’s sake. :lol:



Vic, you are too funny

Wow. This is interesting. I have always been sensitive to fragrant lotions, etc.

I am curious, Scott. What made you suspect the hand cream might be a trigger?


— Begin quote from “Victoria”


If you would stop being such a metrosexual with all your ‘product’ and moisturisers and lotions and stuff you would be less migrainey and more rugged. It’s un-Australian for God’s sake. :lol:


— End quote

LOL. I KNEW that one was gonna come from you. My hands have been so baked by the Aussie sun I have to put something on them or I feel like a reptile all day. :lol:

You got there just before me Vic, I was just thinking men… hand cream … :shock:

Scott have you any other little secrets you would like to tell us :smiley: Oh go on …

You guys crack me up. :lol:

I’ll have you know young Victoria that the sorbolene idea came from a rough as guts, lion wrestling, crocodile killing, gladiator-type, South African guy we were all hiking with outside of Durban in 2005. We all had cold dried out hands and he whipped out the sorbolene cream. Said put this on and it was instant warm hands again and no more crocodile skin. I’m converted.

SarahAnne – the hand cream was the only different variable that I could think of when I was racking my brain for what was causing all the pain. It seemed ridiculous so I just stopped thinking it will have no effect and BOOM, no more miserable headaches now for days after about 3-4 solid weeks of them. The reason I bought it was because a mate had it at her house and it wasn’t greasy sludge.


— Begin quote from “scott”

now that the cat’s out of the bag I should mention I wear a bra and panty hose under my jeans and occasionally dress in drag.

— End quote

Well that’s not new. I got the photos to prove it. Anyone can pm me their email address and I will send the pics, well hell, maybe I’ll just post them here. :smiley:

Seriously though, this doesn’t surprise me, I have found triggers from the strangest of places. Do you have any idea what it is in the handcream that is the culprit? These ingredients for body care are shared in others and you may be exposed to it using something else sometime. I am so excited for you to be feeling better! Awesome. :slight_smile:

Oh, and in support of men using moisturizer, the touch of soft skin feels soooooo much nicer from a partner than rough dry skin. I’m sure your partner is very pleased with the results. :wink:

Another approach for the overly sensitive is to buy pure oil extracts to apply lightly to the skin then rinse very lightly and pat dry. Not mineral oils, they are heavy and won’t absorb and you’ll end up with an oil slick on your skin, but light oils like jojoba, almond, safflower, or even a very light olive oil. A little goes a long way, and it is best when your skin is already moist from a shower.

You guys are hilarious - i needed a good laugh!


I’m a lumberjack and I’m okay
I sleep all night and I work all day
He’s a lumberjack and he’s okay
He sleeps all night and he works all day

I cut down trees, I eat my lunch
I go to the lavat’ry
On Wednesdays I go shopping
And have buttered scones for tea
He cuts down trees…
He’s a lumberjack…

I cut down trees, I skip and jump
I like to press wild flow’rs
I put on women’s clothing
And hang around in bars
He cuts down trees…
He’s a lumberjack…

I cut down trees, I wear high heels
Suspendies and a bra
I wish I’d been a girlie
Just like my dear papa
He cuts down trees…
He’s a lumberjack…

WAHH! And I thought you were so RUGGED!

I think they may still be auditioning for stand-ins for Priscilla here in London :slight_smile:

— Begin quote from “scott”

You guys crack me up. :lol:

— End quote


I hope Gabrielle is reading this. Will make it much easier for her to recognise you :lol:

Sorbolene is good stuff - you know you can use it in lieu of soap too right?

This whole thread is hilarious by the way. Thanks for the laughs everyone! Looks like a good sense of humour is co-morbid with migraine along with everything else :smiley:

Yeh, poor Scott, we are all taking the mick and theres you suffering with back pain as well. You had better ditch the heels :lol:



I don’t find it real surprising that a hand cream could trigger a bad reaction in you. My hands are terribly dry and I find it so hard to find a hand cream that doesn’t have a zillion weird ingredients. For the most part I use plain old vaseline. Just about anything you put on your body can be absorbed through your skin and I want as few potenetial vertigo triggers in me.

Have you been able to track down which ingredient (or ingredients) is causing problems for you?


Two-three thoughts. I should say up front, though, that I don’t seem to react to hand creams.

First, washing probably dries my hands more than anything else–washing hands, washign my bod, washing dishes, washing a vehicle, whatev. Wearing gloves for a bunch of this helps loads.

When I can’t, I try to use a greasy soap. My dermatologist recommended Eucerin Calming Body Wash.

Last, I find lanolin quite effective, and since I don’t mind the smell, I rather prefer it to vaseline.

wow Burd never thought of using oil like Safflower on my body. it doesn’t have any smell to it does it? I need to find something for my really dry skin to use. Lubriderm isnt’ bad though - the unscented one.

I am so sensitive to stuff that i cannot have an officemate that wears anything except for non scented lotion. they have been cool about it at work but it makes it hard - most people wear lotion or perfume - i have to steer clear of some of these women cuz they wear really strong perfume. I love talking to them but can’t be around them much :frowning:


I have a hard time being around people who have used certain dryer sheets on their clothes - some of them have such strong perfumes in them!

And I know I’ve posted this before, but I’m able to detect cigarette smoke at very few parts per million - I wish I didn’t have this extreme sensitivity, but I do. I visit a lady in her home on a regular basis who has COPD (lung condition), and she has a friend who smokes. She doesn’t allow the friend to smoke in her apartment, but I can simply visit a few hours after the friend has been there, and just sit on the same sofa the friend sat on, and I can tell that the friend has been there because the sofa smells of her smoky clothes. The lady thinks I have special powers, because I can say “Oh Gladys was here today” and I’ll be right every time.

I may or may not get a “mini-migraine” headache when I’m exposed to these things. I guess it depends on how many triggers I’ve got going at the time.

So I don’t think it’s really bizarre to have something you rub into your own skin turn out to be a culprit. We have migraine brains - Scott, you used the “thoroughbred” comparison, which I think is great: our brains need things to be “just so” and don’t react well if things aren’t perfect (and we usually don’t know exactly what we need in order for things to BE perfect, which adds to the challenge of being a migraineur!).