Does anyone else break out when picking greenbeans?? My arms are broke out so bad. I can eat them fine so not allergic to them, but if I wear shorts when picking my legs break out. My arms break out also. They itch so bad I had them bleeding from scratching. I told hubby I think next year I will just buy my beans at the farmers market & let someone else pick them. I have spoken with several other people that have the same problem. My mom has the same thing happen to her. Never did years ago when she gardened when I was a kid. Maybe something new in the seeds? Here's a picture. If I didn't wear jeans, my legs would look just as bad.
I think of the Ohio River valley as allergy central. If you don't have an allergy, move here and you'll adopt a few. I do the exact same as you with green beans, lima beans, and straw/hay. I used to take allergy shots weekly but that got too expensive. I'm lucky that I've never had asthma symptoms with it.
You could get an allergy profile done. There may be something your doctor could recommend.
There are also millions of tiny hairs on the beans themselves as my friend found out one year when she decided to put the beans on the grass to rinse them off with the hose. They had two white very hairy dogs and the beans picked up the hair that was on the grass but unseen!
Told my allergist that I get blisters on my hands when cutting up onions. He tested for onion allergy...guess what, I'm allergic to them! You just never know what causes a reaction even if you have never had a problem before. I vote for covering up when in the garden or handling them in the kitchen or have someone else do it!
~~~~The best time to do something is between yesterday and tomorrow~~~~
That's my top priority when I get in from the garden, too, TnMtngirl. I wash my hands and arms really well, then go change my clothes to keep the rest of the baby hairs off me. That itch/burn is killer! The peppers and carrots are the only veggies I've got that don't make me itchy.