Mouthpiece Allergy

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Teenibeen, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. Teenibeen

    Teenibeen Member

    Can anybody help please
    We have a 10 year old girl who's not long started playing cornet. After about 2 weeks playing she broke out with an allergy to the nickel mouthpiece. We got her a new Kelly plastic one and for the past month things have been great but this week she has again broken out with an allergy this time to the plastic 1 ! Does anyone have any suggestions ?

  2. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Are you sure that it's an allergy to the mouthpiece, and not some other factor (like back pressure on the lip from playing, etc)?
  3. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    ... get the mouthpiece Silver Plated. I did this with a Wick 4B once and though I didn't use that particular mouthpiece for long, it certainly stopped the allergy.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2005
  4. I used to have an allergy to mouthpieces until i got my normal silver one gold plated and that seems to have done the trick!
  5. Teenibeen

    Teenibeen Member

    At the moment we have no musical tuition from a brass player in the schools here so we are coaching the kids ourselves so dont know if it could be back pressure or not. It looks like eczema/ dry sore skin, many moons ago my best pal euph player used to coat her mouthpiece in clear nail varnish to sort her allergy problem ( no plastic mouthpieces in those days ! )
    I was sure swapping the wee girl onto a plastic one would do the trick but obviously not.
  6. Di

    Di Active Member

    Nail varnish?
  7. Teenibeen

    Teenibeen Member

    Yeh I know but when we were 13/14 my friend had tons of the stuff so she used mostly clear and when that would wear off after a couple of weeks and the allergy would start again she would know to re-apply

    It was funny when she ran out of clear and would have to resort to pink or red !

  8. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Try to use a color that compliments the band jackets, please ;)
  9. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    lol omg i could use coloured nail varnish insted of getting one of the plastic ones!
  10. Keppler

    Keppler Moderator Staff Member

    and in fact, gold (being further down the activity series) is possibly even better.
    A well known mouthpiece refurbishment chap (whose name escapes me off that top of my head) does a nice setup where the inside and rim are gold plated over a full silver plate. very pretty.
  11. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member


    TIMBONE Active Member

    As far as I am aware, the allergic reaction is to the actual metal compound underneath the plating. This reaction can occur even when the base metal has not actually been exposed, but when the plating has worn thin, (which can be seen by it becoming dull). This is why SILVER PLATING is recommended, simply because it lasts longer.
  13. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    ... the thing is, .... the girl has developed an allergy to the Kelly mouthpiece as well :frown:

    TIMBONE Active Member

    My son was allergic to everything. My daughter wanted a kitten. If you put a feline creature in the same building as my son, he reacted like a person with accute hayfever. A medical person suggested that the only way for him to overcome this allergy was to be exposed to it, (rather like having a vaccination), so my daughter got her kitten, and before it had even stopped using the litter tray, my son was cured. Is there a moral to this story? Well, just that if someone can put up with the discomfort and rather unpleasant visual effects for a few weeks, the immune system will eventually kick in.

  15. HANNAH

    HANNAH Member

    I'd recommend getting one with a gold plated rim, or all gold plated, (or silver plated as someone else said).
  16. Big Fella

    Big Fella Member

    If you decide you want to get the mouthpiece re-plated..The person I would suggest, is..

    Alaric Knight..

    He lives near Sheffield I think, BUT, I know that his contact details are on the IBEW Web Site...

    I also have an allergy to metal mouthpieces, and for the last 6 years I have been playing on a Joseph Klier Plexiglass mouthpiece. Do not have any trouble..

    Good Luck...
  17. Spanky Rear

    Spanky Rear Member

    Mouthpiece allergy??

    It worries me sometimes that people are ready to advise on such sparse information. They may be right in their conclusions.But what if they're not?
    Get professionals to assess the problem,it could be something they need to look at.
    Remember we have a duty of care and protection ,to the young especially.
    For example I note that valve lubricants should not contain harmful substances when used in schools!!
  18. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    But your son was exposed to the cat for a far larger percentage of time than this girl will have a mouthpiece on her skin. I used to find that when I played normally, I'd sometimes get a red ring around the mouth, but when I went away on an NYBB course, with its attendant 8 hour playing days, the skin around my mouth would explode horribly (details too disgusting to post on a public forum!). I never did properly acclimatise to this, because I never played anything like this much during the rest of the year. Learning to play with minimal pressure certainly helped, as did getting my mouthpieces coated with some non-toxic nylon-based material (as used on bumper guards in supermarkets) by John Chesterman, former Principal of Aldbourne band. Teenibeen, I can give you his number, if you like - he lives in Wiltshire, but I'm sure you could post the offending item to him.

    It sounds like the girl has exceptionally sensitive skin, if even the plastic ones are giving her trouble. Is she dead set on playing brass? Maybe an instrument with less facial contact (e.g. strings) would suit her better, though it would be a great pity to send away someone who is keen. It is tricky to know what to suggest - BrassNeck's suggestion of a wooden one may well be worth following up. The only metal that appears between Silver and Gold in the activity series (as far as a quick Google around shows, anyway) is Platinum. I think I'd try Gold first, though... First things first, though - after quickly following up Spanky's suggestion of sending her along to her GP (with you present?) to make sure that nothing dangerous is going on, I'd be making sure that she was playing with the least possible pressure of mouthpiece on face.
  19. IckleSop

    IckleSop Active Member

  20. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    dont knock it till youve tried it. as a temp method it works very well!
    i use it and ive not struggled half as much

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