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Old 16.02.2012, 23:46
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I think I'm allergic to Switzerland

A little late night rant.

I have been here for three days now (long story - this is my second attempt to drive my new car back to Malta, having been delayed due to the weather conditions).

However, since being here I have felt the same general sense of malaise and lethargy that I felt when I lived here full-time. The physical manifestations are dry skin (yes, I know it's cold but I use a very good moisturiser), limp, lacklustre hair and serious fluid retention. I am very intrigued as to why this should be in a country that I had always considered to be a very healthy place to live. Spending a lot of my time in a sunnier climate I know that this has nothing to do with SAD or lack of vitamin D since I have been here for such a short time.

I can only surmise that it is the water that is affecting my skin and hair and possibly the liberal use of Aromat that is causing my fluid retention ... can anyone else shed any light on this?
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Old 16.02.2012, 23:57
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Re: I think I'm allergic to Switzerland

I wish I could! My skin has been dry and the psoriasis on my scalp has gone mad ever since I moved here

My former flatmate (from Brazil) also had similar problems and we put it down to the water (in our non-expert, non-medical opinions).

It's amazing how quickly the body reacts really!
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Old 17.02.2012, 08:47
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Re: I think I'm allergic to Switzerland

Yes, I forgot to mention that my husband has a touch of psoriasis on his elbows, which is always much worse here. And you are right, Louisa, it is astonishing how quickly these conditions manifest themselves.
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Old 17.02.2012, 08:51
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Re: I think I'm allergic to Switzerland

Just the title made me have a good laugh, thanks honey!

I used to have very dry hair and skin in CH, which I don't have anymore (well a bit now but because of the dry heating) I never had hand eczema before!!!

Now my hair have much more volume and texture, thanks to the humidity. The sea wind and air do a wonderful thing on my skin.

The calc in the water in Switzerland is very high. The water is good but not so much on the hair and skin.

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Old 17.02.2012, 09:12
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Re: I think I'm allergic to Switzerland

he he - it would seem that neither of us was destined to live here!
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Old 17.02.2012, 09:29
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Re: I think I'm allergic to Switzerland

I don't know about "destined" and such, but my skin is extremely dry, so dry to the point that I have wounds on my hands, and I tried different "best" moisturisers. This phenomenon happened only this winter though.
Usually, during the summers I could notice some improvement in my skin's and hair's condition, but not much, not really. So I say it must be the water mainly.
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Old 17.02.2012, 09:34
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I just got back from a week in the Netherlands, and I've noticed dryer skin...so it could be the minerals in the water, although I like drinking the water here. But my skin just has a different quality to it, so I use some different stuff here, more moisturizer. I also have to be really good about exfoliating.

As for the fluid retention, aromat could be the cause or more salt in general if you are eating out. I don't have aromat in the house, and i try not to use a lot of salt in cooking (holdover from steroid bloat). My nutritionist suggested stinging nettle tea, which I know you can buy in almost any apothek here...it's something like brennessel. It seems innocuous. Also perhaps drink more water than you are used to.

I wonder if a spray bottle with distilled water would help after face washing. I might try this...
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Old 17.02.2012, 10:14
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Re: I think I'm allergic to Switzerland

Quote:
I just got back from a week in the Netherlands, and I've noticed dryer skin...so it could be the minerals in the water, although I like drinking the water here. But my skin just has a different quality to it, so I use some different stuff here, more moisturizer. I also have to be really good about exfoliating.

As for the fluid retention, aromat could be the cause or more salt in general if you are eating out. I don't have aromat in the house, and i try not to use a lot of salt in cooking (holdover from steroid bloat). My nutritionist suggested stinging nettle tea, which I know you can buy in almost any apothek here...it's something like brennessel. It seems innocuous. Also perhaps drink more water than you are used to.

I wonder if a spray bottle with distilled water would help after face washing. I might try this...
Agreed. I do think that the food here is heavily salted (and Aromated!)

Spritzing with distilled water is a good idea and I have just been speaking to a friend who recommends pure rosewater (triple distilled) as a very gentle, soothing toner.
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Old 17.02.2012, 10:22
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Also, I was thinking....Malta, Barcelona and the Netherlands are largely maritime climates. Is the water softened by some sort of salt? We put salt in our dishwashers to soften the water here. Oddly, the food is heavily salted, but perhaps that has something to do with the water too. Crazy perhaps.... Just thinking tho.

Rose water is a great idea... Might take a look for that today too.
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Old 17.02.2012, 10:39
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Re: I think I'm allergic to Switzerland

The water is a problem and there is no easy solution to solve it. Also the dry air. Use a humidifier at home, especially in the bedroom. Most of the cremes with a Norwegian flag on it will do a good job.
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Old 17.02.2012, 10:51
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Re: I think I'm allergic to Switzerland

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The water is a problem and there is no easy solution to solve it. Also the dry air. Use a humidifier at home, especially in the bedroom. Most of the cremes with a Norwegian flag on it will do a good job.
Swiss air is dry. At the moment most of the moisture is locked up in the white stuff. As the prof states, you need a humidifier (to be used in conjunction with short sharp periods or airing with windows open).

A hydrometer (humidity measurer) is also an essential part of Swiss household equipment...
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Old 17.02.2012, 16:49
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Re: I think I'm allergic to Switzerland

I think it's the elevation and being in the middle of a land mass that makes it so dry. Here in Geneva, which must be one of the lower places, we're at three hundred and something metres which is about a thousand feet in old money. Much higher that most habitation in the UK.

My uncouth London-based brother remarked the last time he was over "Do you notice how hard your bogies get here?"
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Old 17.02.2012, 16:55
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Re: I think I'm allergic to Switzerland

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I think it's the elevation and being in the middle of a land mass that makes it so dry. Here in Geneva, which must be one of the lower places, we're at three hundred and something metres which is about a thousand feet in old money. Much higher that most habitation in the UK.

My uncouth London-based brother remarked the last time he was over "Do you notice how hard your bogies get here?"
You may have something there, though I don't recall noticing any change in the consistency of my bogies

That aside, Edot mentioned earlier that the symptoms we suffer here may be less prevalent in maritime locations, which I think is a valid point, and if I were to stay here for any length of time I would definitely invest in a humidifier.
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Old 17.02.2012, 22:34
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Re: I think I'm allergic to Switzerland

Another thing to do is to change from using shower gels to olive oil soap bars. Gels are basically detergents and they strip the oils for your skin and dry it out. Real soap is much gentler on your skin.

Also get a hair treatment with oil. I used one from Keratase.
http://kerastase.fr/produits/nutriti...leo-relax.aspx

Go easy though. One whole pump could be too much. I sort of half press it down and use it just on the ends as my roots tend to go flat.
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Old 17.02.2012, 22:57
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Re: I think I'm allergic to Switzerland

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Another thing to do is to change from using shower gels to olive oil soap bars. Gels are basically detergents and they strip the oils for your skin and dry it out. Real soap is much gentler on your skin.

Also get a hair treatment with oil. I used one from Keratase.
http://kerastase.fr/produits/nutriti...leo-relax.aspx

Go easy though. One whole pump could be too much. I sort of half press it down and use it just on the ends as my roots tend to go flat.
@ miniMia: can you tell me where to buy the olive oil soap bars you are talking about? I'll try anything that stops my skin from itching after a shower. Most of the times, mousturizer is not enough.
Can you find it in a supermarket or you need to go to the chemist's?
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Old 17.02.2012, 23:09
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Re: I think I'm allergic to Switzerland

Thanks for the tips miniMia - I will try and get hold of some olive soap and I love the look of the Kerastase product.
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Old 17.02.2012, 23:10
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Re: I think I'm allergic to Switzerland

Shouldn't this topic belong into daily life, family and health or even off topic section instead of general off topic? I mean, the topic is in Switzerland and in the title, can't be clearer than that...
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Old 17.02.2012, 23:13
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Re: I think I'm allergic to Switzerland

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Shouldn't this topic belong into daily life, family and health or even off topic section instead of general off topic? I mean, the topic is in Switzerland and in the title, can't be clearer than that...
he he - you have got a point!! Maybe the rules only work in reverse
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Old 18.02.2012, 15:27
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Re: I think I'm allergic to Switzerland

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@ miniMia: can you tell me where to buy the olive oil soap bars you are talking about? I'll try anything that stops my skin from itching after a shower. Most of the times, mousturizer is not enough.
Can you find it in a supermarket or you need to go to the chemist's?
I just buy them at the regular pharmacy. I bought the last bars at the Sun Pharmacy. They had them on sale not long ago for 2.90 a bar.

Some of them can be quite expensive if they are sold as speciality soaps. I think even Occitan probably has them which might fall in the afore mentioned expensive category. It's been a while since I been to that store. You can also buy them online.

Don't let them sit in water or they will melt very quickly.


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Thanks for the tips miniMia - I will try and get hold of some olive soap and I love the look of the Kerastase product.
Yes. It's very good. But heed my warning! Go easy. Add a little at a time. Your hair can easily go too oily. I love this product and one bottle lasts a long long time. Oh, and it smells really good.
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Old 18.02.2012, 16:11
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Re: I think I'm allergic to Switzerland

Have to agree with you guys about the lethargic feeling... dry, everything... I've also made the comment to my husband that the people in Chur look really old. His reply is usually... they look a lot older than they are. Funny, I lived in Germany around Darmstadt from 2007-2010 and I felt healthier and better there than I did in my homeland of Canada. Maybe take a trip up there? I miss it!
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