Feb 2011: I live in the UK. Since childhood I have suffered from sporadic, mild eczema, but for the past 8 months I have had a severe rash, starting on my arms and legs and then spreading to my scalp and stomach. It has been unbearably itchy. In this time I have been prescribed Betnovate ointment and anti-histamines and been treated twice for scabies! The rash has eased several times and then come back again.

After reading about "ribo rash" I realised that I had been using instant gravy granules regularly during the past year and that these contain E635. I am also allergic to (British) chocolate and have to be careful not to eat too much, too often. I can, for some reason, tolerate Belgian chocolate though.

Thank you for the information on your site, it could be a turning point for me.

May 2011: I've cut additives out of my diet altogether but wine seems to be the culprit. Since I stopped drinking it the rash is very slowly clearing. I'm also mainly dairy free at the moment. When I'm clear I'll start to introduce these things back slowly and see what happens. Now that I've narrowed it down I need to pinpoint exactly what the cause is. It has made me realise though that a lot of the time we really don't know what we're eating!

June 2011: I'm able to let you know that sulphites would seem to be the problem. I'm managing to cut them out of my diet, although it's difficult as they masquerade under different names and are in most manufactured foods.

Unfortunately they're in most wines too in fairly large amounts and so I've also had to give up my favourite tipple. My rash has virtually disappeared, with just a few stubborn patches remaining, and it has left red marks which I'm sure will fade in time. A year of hell, really.

I hope my story might encourage other sufferers to 'turn detective'. It certainly hasn't been easy because my symptoms don't show straight away but it pays to be persistent – Lynn, UK

(There's no need to give up your favourite drink, SO2GO removes sulphites from wine - Sue)