Saturday, November 07, 2009

Beware the Squash Hand!

Were you aware of the possible allergic effects for butternut and acorn squash? Admittedly, I stumbled across a mention of possible allergic reaction on a food site a while back. Didn't think much of it, and assumed I was impervious, since I am not allergic to poison ivy. In my mind that makes you invincible. Alas... this is not so.

Within about 3 minutes of cutting the skin off of a raw butternut squash, the skin on my left hand started tightening itself closed. I immediately washed the hand with soap, to remove any irritant, and sent J onto the internet to figure out why my hand was morphing into an aged monkey claw.

The culprit was the droplets oozing from the edges of the squash. Earlier, the goo adhered the top half of the squash to my cutting board like superglue. I never expected an allergic reaction.

After 30 minutes, the skin was cracked and tight. I added water and moisturizer, which helped temporarily, but soon was absorbed.

The skin turned orange as well. As you can see below. I applied something akin to cortisone cream, and slept with a cotton glove on to keep in moisture.

After the next full day wearing the glove, I woke up to find the first layer of skin peeling off. It was what Elmer's glue used to look like if you let it dry on your hand in elementary school. Within the next few hours, my hand looked perfectly normal again. A quick recovery for an unexpected case of dermatitis. Be careful making your butternut squash soup this winter, everyone!

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