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Hello all,<br><br><br><br>
I thought that since there are some health gurus among us that I would come here with my problem and see if anyone can be of help.<br><br><br><br>
About 2 weeks ago my skin randomly started breaking out in very small, <b>very</b> itchy hives. They started on my arms and chest and very slowly spread to the rest of my body. Every time I scratch them they just swell up more, and they hurt like heck! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("><br><br><br><br>
The thing is, I had this happen once before about 2 years ago. At the time I was <b>extremely</b> depressed and stressed out, so I suspect that's what caused it. The dermatologist I went to said it was because of stomach problems I was having (which I don't believe, because I went to a internal specialist and he said that was BS, and all the tests he did came back negative) and put me on Prednisone (a strong steroid) to get rid of the hives. I was on the Prednisone for a week, the hives went away, and then once I went off of it, they started coming back, so the dermatologist put me on another course of Prednisone!!! After that they went away.<br><br><br><br>
THIS time, I can't think of anything that could cause this! I'm pretty sure it's <b>not</b> allergies, because I have not changed anything in my diet or environment, and the rash does not respond to Benadryl or Hydracortisone cream. Also I have no allergy-like symptoms- I am perfectly fine and healthy other than the rash. My house is pretty much cleaner than it's ever been, and I am eating really healthfully and drinking lots of water. I did have some minor stress at the end of August- I helped my old roommate move out, my new roommate move in, and I was going on job interviews. But I wasn't really upset or worrying about any of it!! I also just started school and a new job, and my car broke down, but those things happened <b>after</b> the rash started. I was exposed to paint and bug killer, but all of that was at least 4 days before the rash even started, and I don't think it would last this long if that's what it was. I can't for the life of me figure out what's going on, besides either some kind of stress/nerve thing, or some kind of virus maybe?? I have no idea.<br><br><br><br>
I had some of the Prednisone left over and (BAD idea, I know) I started taking it, and the rash went away. Then I ran out of it, and the rash came bacK!!!! It's still there, but lessening a bit. I've been taking oatmeal baths and using aloe vera lotion, and I got some other lotion with oatmeal, calamine and something else in it today. I tried cutting out soaps and household cleaners that I thought could cause it, nope, it's still there! I already use hypoallergenic laundry detergent, I washed all my clothes and sheets, vaccuumed my upholstery, put a new HEPA filter in the air purifier... still there. ARGH!!!!<br><br><br><br>
So basically I would like any suggestions as to (A) what it could possibly be! and (B) if anyone knows some remedy to help soothe it. I have a doctor's appointment on Monday but that is a long time to suffer!!<br><br><br><br>
Thanks!<br><br><br><br>
Julie
 

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I wrote earlier in another thread that I had a terribly itchy rash-like hives. They started as red bumps then became almost like little blisters. There was no other allergy-like symtom. It started on my legs, went to my stomach and then the insides of my arms, and back of neck. It took several months to build up. I stopped eating soy, and it went away. That was gradual too, over a few weeks time. I did not use any doctor perscribed medicine. I just used a moisturiser and wrapped my arms at night so I would not scratch them, and also wore long sleves for the same reason. I haven't had any tofu or soy milk or veggiburgers since, and it has not re-occured. Wish you luck! Itching can be hell.
 

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Gita: I'm not so sure if it wasn't an allergy as you removed the possible allergene out of your diet.<br><br>
Julie: there are some chances that you react to an allergene, meaning it is an allergy as prednisolone is working. Another idea is a histamin-realted problem. Did you eat lots of berries that are in season now and that you didn't have in the months before?
 

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I had the same problem but it started on my hands. Probably some type of dermatitis BUT I believe it has something to do with stress as well. I believe this is a stress reaction and now certain irritants ie: raw tomatoes (acidic), dish soap, etc. bothers the affected parts of my skin. It started under my rings and then spread. I have had soap and moistured trapped under my rings before but the skin would heal quickly. The signs and symptoms this time was much different. My skin is still not 100% so I am having to be very careful with soaps. Our immune systems must be breaking down. I hope you find relief fast!
 

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I've also had a mysterious skin rash for the past couple of days. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 

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It could also just be unexplained urticaria. My husband gets that from time to time, on top of a seafood allergy. Sometimes he'll just wake up in the middle of the night covered in hives, for no reason. It goes away with benedryl. Its more common than you think. Often its stress related, for others, it could be temperature, pressure, etc. See if benedryl will help it. If that makes you too sleepy, try claritin, but I find that with him, the benedryl is much more effective. He's been getting it for years, but its been much less frequent in the years we've been vegetarian (not sure why that is, though.) Good luck, I know how stressful rashes/hives can be.
 

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This is a tough one. 'Rashes' come in so many forms, with so many causes.<br><br>
Allergy medications have been known to help. Steroids have been known to help, but they are not recommended for long-term use, because they cause thinning of the skin, which just makes the skin itchiness worse in the long run. (Also, since the skin gets thinner, scratching can lead to broken skin, which increases risk for skin infections, etc. So it's not a good idea to use steroids for this. Typically, if one goes to a doctor for this, steroids are only used for a short term, to get one through a particularly bad episode - but they're not preferred for long-term use.)<br><br>
If you experience any swelling in the throat or difficulty breathing with your hives, seek medical attention immediately.<br><br>
If you get a chance, go to a dermatologist. There are so many things that look like a 'rash', but can be something specific that can be treated. For instance, an infection (bacterial or viral) can be treated in specific ways. Allergy tests might reveal an allergen that one can avoid, or maybe allergy meds can help. What looks like 'a rash' to you and me might look like something very particular and treatable to a dermatologist.<br><br>
In the meantime, avoid soaps and lotions that are heavily scented - they cause skin reactions quite frequently, and might only make your skin feel worse. I go for 'unscented' lotions, especially, since I don't rinse them off, like I do with soap.<br><br>
Good luck with this. If you're not having trouble breathing, and you want to try treating this yourself before seeking medical attention, I would recommend taking an over-the-counter allergy medication for a bit to see if it helps. (If they make you sleepy, try taking a dose only at bedtime.) See if that helps improve your condition. If not, then I'd definitely go for medical help.
 
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