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 allergic to reeds?
Author: mike ansberry 
Date:   2006-08-22 16:39

I am a middle school band director in Clarksville, TN. One of my best clar. players has started having really nasty outbreaks of sores on her lower lip. When she takes time off the horn it gets better. I suggested she try reeds made from different cane. Maybe Oliveri or something. Isn't there a reed made from Brazilian cane?

Any ideas that could help this poor girl out?

thanks
Mike

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 Re: allergic to reeds?
Author: David Peacham 
Date:   2006-08-22 17:06

Not Brazilian, so far as I know, but certainly Argentinian - Gonzalez make their own reeds and also sell cane to other manufacturers.

A synthetic reed is another possibility.

Sadly, I wonder whether this is just general sensitivity rather than a specific allergy, in which case she might do better to switch to a different instrument.

Worth trying applying lip-salve regularly, though she'll need to remove it thoroughly before playing a cane reed. Using synthetic reeds she could probably wear it even while playing.

I assume she is looking after her reeds adequately, not letting them grow mould?

-----------

If there are so many people on this board unwilling or unable to have a civil and balanced discussion about important issues, then I shan't bother to post here any more.

To the great relief of many of you, no doubt.


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 Re: allergic to reeds?
Author: D 
Date:   2006-08-22 17:09

If it is an allergy then maybe a mild antihistamine cream applied after playing would be the answer. That would be a question for a doctor though, as medication is nothing to mess about with.

What do brass players use for their sore mouths?

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 Re: allergic to reeds?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-08-22 17:20

I know it's probably viewed with contempt by many players, but see if she gets on with Rico Plasticover reeds - if these stop the reaction and work for her as normal cane reeds would do, then at least try them.

Chris.

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 Re: allergic to reeds?
Author: joannew 
Date:   2006-08-22 17:27

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=15090069

Yes, allergies to reeds have been reported - here is a review of common types of contact dermatitis experienced by musicans. The author reccommends synthetic reeds, but doesn't suggest any particular treatment.

I would imagine that, since allergic reactions can be amplified from repeated exposure (or minimised - it can happen both ways), and medical treatments tend to mask symptoms rather than treat the cause, staying away from cane is the best solution. Even south American cane is the same Arundo donax species imported from France (perhaps hybridized to local varieties?), so one would expect similar problems.

Perhaps The Doctor will step in with further comments - I think he has some genetically engineered reeds under development!

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 Re: allergic to reeds?
Author: David Peacham 
Date:   2006-08-22 17:32

Gonzalez claim their reeds to be "free of pesticides and chemical products", which might make a difference. Worth a try, but it might be better to let the condition clear first.

-----------

If there are so many people on this board unwilling or unable to have a civil and balanced discussion about important issues, then I shan't bother to post here any more.

To the great relief of many of you, no doubt.


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 Re: allergic to reeds?
Author: chumbucket804 
Date:   2006-08-23 01:47

I've had the same thing happen. My doctor never found out for sure what it was, but he thought it was due to the moisture on the reed staying in contact with my lip for long periods of time. He gave me medicine that cleared it up after a few days, but after more practice it then came back. This was a couple of years ago and every now and then I get it but it goes away after a few days and skipping a day or so of practicing.

I would suggest seeing a doctor.



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 Re: allergic to reeds?
Author: Mike Clarinet 
Date:   2006-08-23 08:10

D said:

What do brass players use for their sore mouths?

In my experience, alcohol :-)

Usually fermented barley flavoured with hops, supplied by local hostelry rather than any pharmacist!

(Sorry guys, I know this doesn't address the topic under discussion, but I couldn't resist).



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 Re: allergic to reeds?
Author: pewd 
Date:   2006-08-23 14:58

have your student try a legere reed

make sure they dry the mouthpiece when they finish playing,wipe it out with a cloth. rinse the mpc and reed with tap water (room temp) once a week.

if it persists, the student should consult with an allergist

and what daivd said about mold.... some types of cases and reed guards seem to be more prone to mold growth

- Paul
private teacher - Dallas, Texas


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 Re: allergic to reeds?
Author: Bruno 
Date:   2006-08-23 16:02

It's possible that the original poster's case is herpes simplex, a simple "fever blister" or so-called "cold sore".
The herpes virus is a life-long resident in the vermillion border of the lip and is activated by trauma (fever, mechanical trauma, excessive UV exposure, etc).
Strangely, many of us get fever blisters, but not from trauma. Strange virus. Not completely predictable. I've had experiences when I've picked up a horn after laying off for a while and immediayely gotten herpes labialis (the medical moniker), which after continued playing over the days disappears and doesn't recur.
Go figure.

b/



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