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I have itchy hives all over my body (mainly in my arms). The problem (seemingly) started as contact dermatitis on my right hand (it was three specific spots that itched). I tried different things; nothing worked. Not even hydrocortisone or triamcinolone (which the dermatologist gave to me). Steroids did not work either (tablets or shots). It seems to me stress makes it much worse. Even when I first got the bumps on my right arm (the problem was just my hand for weeks, then this started as something separate, or not; I don't know). When I went to the dermatologist he said I had a hyperactive immune system, and that is why I had developed those bumps (because my body was fighting whatever caused the problem in my right hand). One night I was home wondering why I did not have them on my left arm as well, and immediately after I started developing them on my left arm too; and soon enough I had them also on my legs, etc.. The unbearable itching lead to scratching, and the bumps turned into weals. Now I have hives, eczema, or whatever this may be. The itching is not as unbearable anymore (I guess because of the two steroid shots), but it still itches in parts, and it looks bad, and my skin even looks dry and feels rough on some parts of my body (but it is mainly the arms). I am not sure of what else to try, or what could be causing this. Any hints or help of any kind will be greatly appreciated.

Note: Only once before I had hives (about a year ago), and they went away with steroids. I have never been allergic to any foods.

 

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  • Melissa G

    Hi Alex2375! Welcome to AAFA! 

    I am so sorry you are going through this! Have you been to a board certified allergist to figure out what is going on? Did the dermatologist do any testing? Do you take any antihistamines to help with the itching? Do you use a moisturizer like cetaphil or vanicream?

    Have you ever heard about ? My oldest daughter has CIU, unexplained hives, it was very frustrating in the beginning. Now at least we know what is going on. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Welcome, Alex! Hives can be frustrating and bewildering. I agree with Melissa … seeing a board-certified allergist might help figure out your triggers.

    To find an allergist near you, you can use the following two links:

    Could you reach out to your insurance company as well and ask for suggestions?

    Hives can be triggered by a number of things — including stress. But there can be other triggers, too. The that Melissa linked to above also has a symptom tracker that you can download … it can help you figure out if there is any pattern between things you're doing in your daily life and your hives.

    I know for me, I have one particular exercise-induced food allergy, to celery. I am usually fine if I eat a small amount of celery and don't exercise, but if I eat celery and exercise or do any sort of strenuous activity, then I can develop hives and other symptoms.

    Until I started tracking my symptoms with what I was doing and eating, I could never figure out what triggered my hives. 

  • Alex2375
    Melissa G posted:

    Hi Alex2375! Welcome to AAFA! 

    I am so sorry you are going through this! Have you been to a board certified allergist to figure out what is going on? Did the dermatologist do any testing? Do you take any antihistamines to help with the itching? Do you use a moisturizer like cetaphil or vanicream?

    Have you ever heard about ? My oldest daughter has CIU, unexplained hives, it was very frustrating in the beginning. Now at least we know what is going on. 

    Hi Melissa-

    Thanks for the tips, and sorry your daughter has that problem. I hadn't heard about Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria until this happened to me, and I started doing research on what the cause could possibly be. I have been taking Benadryl at night, and overtime I think it helped. Or maybe it was just trying not to keep obsessing over my problem (stress seemed to be making it worse. Who knows? Maybe it was the cause of it). I don't normally like using creams, but I have been using Hydrocortisone cream with Aloe and vitamins, and I think it helped. I still have weals on my body, but I am hoping that eventually they will all go away. At least I am glad it is getting better; when it was bad it was all I could think about. I am going to the dermatologist in a week. Let's see what happens…

     

  • Alex2375
    K8sMom2002 posted:

    Welcome, Alex! Hives can be frustrating and bewildering. I agree with Melissa … seeing a board-certified allergist might help figure out your triggers.

    To find an allergist near you, you can use the following two links:

    Could you reach out to your insurance company as well and ask for suggestions?

    Hives can be triggered by a number of things — including stress. But there can be other triggers, too. The that Melissa linked to above also has a symptom tracker that you can download … it can help you figure out if there is any pattern between things you're doing in your daily life and your hives.

    I know for me, I have one particular exercise-induced food allergy, to celery. I am usually fine if I eat a small amount of celery and don't exercise, but if I eat celery and exercise or do any sort of strenuous activity, then I can develop hives and other symptoms.

    Until I started tracking my symptoms with what I was doing and eating, I could never figure out what triggered my hives. 

    Hey K8sMom2002-

    Thank you so much for your input. I agree with you in that stress can be the cause of hives; to be honest, I think in my case it was. I feel that since I have relaxed more and put my attention elsewhere it has gotten better. Like I told Melissa, next week I am seeing the dermatologist again (but I hope that won't be necessary). He said he could test me for allergies. My primary care physician had offered to do that last year, which was the first time this ever happened to me. I was busy with work and other things and didn't do it. But now I know that it is crucial that I take the time to do that. I have become very observant of my habits and how they could potentially affect me lately, to see if I find any connections between them that could be affecting me (like you said happens to you when you eat celery and exercise). I have never been allergic to food, but as we get older, that can change.

    Thanks a lot for the links you shared. I will definitely check them out!

  • K8sMom2002

    So glad that you are figuring out ways to manage the stress … it can be super hard to deal with hives that are stress-related. You get stressed, then you have hives, then you get MORE stressed because hives are very stressful!  

    I hope you get some good info from your dermatologist! Let us know what you find out … hoping it's a good plan forward.

  • Melissa G

    Stress can cause a lot of issues with the body. I hope you are enjoying a stress free Thanksgiving! Good luck at your appt next week and update us when you can. 

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma

    Hi @Alex2375, Just wanted to welcome you to AAFA!  How have you been over the past few days? Are the hives getting better?  

    Brenda

  • Britt421

    Hi @Alex2375, I just came across your post. I am sorry you are going through this, have the hives gone away? I have Chronic Uritcaria/Hives for just over a year now, I have been seeing an allergist for that time. How have you been doing? Have you seen your doctor?