Let’s do eye products, face products. It’s been a two year road getting here for Bonnie Langlois. Armed with a bagful of her hair and beauty products, she’s hoping to find out what caused this: an irritating skin reaction around her eyes that would come and go. I was constantly wanting to rip my eyes out of my head. It was so bad the reaction. It was raised welts that were scaly. Bonnie was left guessing the cause, and spent a lot of time and money trying to eliminate and replace various foods and skin products, all to no avail. Then a friend told her about a different approach with Dr. Neil Shear. These are external exposures that people have become allergic to something and we can find out in many cases what it is. And if we do, the even better part is people can start to learn waht to get rid of. I always say, who is the enemy? Identifying the enemy comes through this process: patch testing. Tiny amounts of products, customized to each patient, are dabbed onto small discs and taped to the body. Bonnie returns after two days for examination. The red or raised areas are noted and scored next to the chemical or products. She’s back again a few days later for a last look and finally, some answers. And when you think of all the medical conditions you can have, we can actually get to the root cause. And you say, OK, now it’s in your hands, literally. After learning about the offending chemicals, Bonnie is given an information sheet on each one. It’s such a relief first of all to know that they did find some things. But it’s also a relief to know it wasn’t a lot of the products so that I can go back to using some of those products. Sunnybrook is part of a North American screening group that provides updates on emerging contact allergens. This new information is always considered for the patch testing done here. Reactions can come from anything, including organic products and even medications. But these reactions usually resolve quickly once patients know what to avoid. Bonnie says, she’s just glad her mystery has been solved. I feel it was worth just digging, digging, digging, so that I could get back to normal. With Sunnyview, I’m Monica Matys.