This week, we are happy to interview Barbara, from the blog Nickely Challenged. Barbara suffers from Nickel allergy, and her blog Nickely Challenged is a great source of information for those suffering from the same skin condition. She gives advice on what products to use, food to eat, and tips to manage this allergy in your everyday life.
Barbara, you’re the author of a blog about Nickel allergy and how to deal with this problem that has a great impact on daily life. Your blog includes tips about the low Nickel diet, recipes, skin care and make-up products. It is a very interesting mix between practical tips and shared experiences of what difficulties you deal with when you’re suffering from severe Nickel allergy. We would like to know a little bit more about what is Nickely Challenged:
I would think I am behind Nickely Challenged, but there is a greater scope of things. I believe this blog is for everyone dealing with a Nickel allergy. Most of what I discovered wasn’t all my findings. A lot of my challenged family chime in, in what I use, and eat or whatever that would be doomed as a danger to us with a Nickel allergy. So I can be the face of it but in all, there is a lot of people who influence my decisions.
What made you decide to open a blog?
When I was in college I had to deal with developing (SNAS) Systemic Nickel Allergy Syndrome meaning it wasn’t just about rashes. That is when I struggled with the meal plan, going to spring break, socializing or even just dealing with normal everyday things. I always wanted to find solutions to make my life easier and dedicated my honors capstone to my Nickel allergy just so I could learn about it. But after graduating going to San Francisco for an internship my secluded apartment at school didn’t make me aware of how alone you’d feel when you are always the different one. So one day, in a very emotional talk with my sister about grocery shopping I ended up pressing publish by mistake. On a blog post that laid dormant for 6 months. The Spring Break Fail.
When did you start writing it?
I started writing on my blog August 2nd 2014, well 6 months before I mistakenly pressed publish.
What relationship do you have with your readers?
I would think an intimate relationship. Well on and off because I know how hard it can be to hear that what you are doing is wrong. But for even a closer connection, I created a Facebook group so we could debate different things and help each other out. Because I definitely don’t know all the answers. So our relationship is mutual because I am very candid and I don’t ever sugarcoat my experiences.
What are you trying to achieve with your blog and your interaction with people thanks to it?
For my own sole reward nothing really. But for the benefits of others, I hope to achieve a platform that can help you figure out what is happening to your health, even though you don’t have a Nickel allergy. As a psychology major, I see the importance of mental health and just socially aligning yourself in “normal” situations when you have severe allergies. I hope to bring awareness of the sensitivity that needs to be understood when you are around with people with allergies. I also hope to create or bring awareness to products that would help people with Nickel allergies and whatever allergy you have that can be included in a Nickel allergy. I hope that I and my viewers live a less fearful, less segregated, fulfilled life.
What is the most vivid encounter/anecdote you have experienced with your blog?
I think tap water. Weird to say this but I thought most people eliminated tap water because it was water coming from pipes. But I found out that most people didn’t think of this. I think I might be the only Nickel allergy blogger who does this but I am also the only one who has it so severe she cannot eat out as well. So, I definitely encourage people who live in the U.S. to drink bottled water or anywhere there isn’t a European Union directive controlling how much Nickel is in the pipes.
What are your future projects?
Oh! I am so excited about my future projects. Well, more nerves than excitement. I am actually coming out with a planner soon, just working out the legal work. But the planner is catered to people with allergies and as you manage your life, you need to manage your body too. As for that, I think more Youtube video’s that are more mainstream. I want people not to be afraid to talk about allergies so they can be able to deal with it.
What would be your main advice for someone discovering he/she has to deal with Nickel allergy?
Don’t panic. I swear I started researching and almost passed out one night. But listen to your body. One Nickel allergy is not the same and you don’t need to do what everyone else is doing. When you know what makes your body react to things then eliminate it. Just be prepared to be a science experiment. But in all of the research find other blogs because I have learned more about my Nickel allergy through other blogs rather than research because someone going through it can give you advice rather than throw facts at you.