I'm all broken out in hives and I don't know why!!!

MoochNNoodles

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I could absolutely pull out my hair right now! Yesterday at work I noticed my arm pits kept itching. I figured it was because it was kind of hot in the office or something. By last night I'd broken out in hives so I put on some calamine lotion and took a bendryl before bed. I woke up feeling much better but I still had a few hives so I took some generic claratin. I broke out in hives once when I was allergic to an antibiotic my doctor gave me and she just had me take my Allegra for it then; so I thought that would work.

Well I felt pretty good most of the day, any itching was bearable. But at the moment I am MISERABLE!! My face, ears, neck, arms, torso, and legs have hives on them. Concentrated wherever something rubs; like the waistband of my pj's and behind my knees and the inside of my elbows. Oh and the back of my neck!

I know I can't take another of the generic claratin tablets and I don't know if it's safe to take any Benadryl. I hate taking it during the day because it absolutely knocks me out. I can't figure out what I'm allergic to. I'm taking nothing new and I've not changed anything. I already use dye and perfume free laundry detergent, deodorant, etc. DH is fine; but I look like I've been attacked by a swarm of mosquito's. And feel like it too. I just don't know what else to do. So I guess I'm throwing myself a pity party!
Does anyone know what I can do? Cold shower?
 

strange_wings

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The problem with the meds you're taking is that they're histamine blockers, once they wear off the histamine is still there if whatever you're allergic to is still in contact with you. As far as I know, there's nothing to actually lower the production of histamine and to top it off - histamine is a neurotransmitter. Block it and you have side effects, block too much and who knows what happens....but that's probably why people get sleepy.

Sounds like you're going to have to make lists of everything you've came in contact with, use, and eat - and strongly consider making an appointment with an allergist.
Maybe you became allergic to something, it happens, or even more likely some product's formula changed.... Cheaper ingredients to save money, for example.
I've also noticed that a lot of brands are making their laundry detergents 2-3x more concentrated (or claim to be). Could this be a possible problem?
 
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MoochNNoodles

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We do use a concentrated laundry detergent, and DH did the laundry last, but I'm honestly not sure if the things I've been wearing were in the last weeks laundry. I'm going to sit down and write out everything like you suggested. Maybe it will make me think of something I haven't so far.
 

catlover19

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I broke out in hives twice over the summer and I had no idea why. I have never had hives before but I had them all over my back. I took benadryl (well actually the cheap knock off) and kept putting calamine lotion on them. I tried to figure out what mine were from and the only connection I made was both times I had footlong hot dogs. Once was from Canadas Wonderland and the other from a fair.
 

strange_wings

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^ Hotdogs have all sorts of nasty stuff in them.


Probably not likely, but others should remember this. Some people can actually get a sun allergy. It tends to happen if they're taking a med that makes them more sensitive or if they're visiting a different region. Say someone from a northern state went to Florida and was out in the sun a bit much. Being closer to the Equator they'd get more UV rays then they were used to and could get an almost allergic type reaction, more severe is "sun poisoning".
 

GoldyCat

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You said you started itching in your armpits first. It could be that your deodorant has changed formulas. That happened to me a few years ago, although it didn't spread to generalized hives. I felt like a chimpanzee for a couple of weeks, scratching under my arms all the time, until I figured out I had to switch to a hypoallergenic deodorant.

It could also be a different formula in your laundry detergent. That's when it gets so frustrating. You think you haven't made any changes and somebody else goes and changes things for you.
 

whisky'sdad

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Oh boy, I hate hives!! Thank God I haven't broken out in them in a long time. I could never pinpoint what set them off. But after the 2nd one, I kept antihistamines close by. Mine typically started out on my head.

Cold showers worked for me also...

I haven't had a break out for about 4 years now...(knock on wood)...

The last 2 that almost happened, I caught. I didn't itch and I put my mind on something else and they went away.
 

theimp98

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ouch, i am really sorry, i only had them once, had them from head to toe, and some spots bests left unsaid.

could you have come in contact with anything new?
 

nanner

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Ooh. I sympathize. All these comments from people are really good. The times I've had it, it was basically under my arm - a couple times from my deoderant, and a few times it was contact dermatitis and it went away on its own in a couple of weeks.

Something that might help with the itching is a paste made from baking soda and water. It doesn't cure it, but it eases the itching. (My mother's old trick.) The only thing is, you don't want to go out with that on, because you look funny and pasty.


Good luck with this.
 

mrblanche

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My first suspicion was deodorant or something used in doing the laundry, too.

The only thing that's ever bothered me was some ingredient in Hamburger Helper.
 

natalie_ca

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It started with your under arms. I would suggest changing your deodorant. I recently had to change to an unscented one because the one I used to use is no longer available here, and the same brand with a different scent had me raking at my under arms with stiff bristle brushes!

I live on Benadryl. I have Dermatographism. I talked about it in this post:

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...84&postcount=3
 

Ms. Freya

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I can sympathize, and I hope it goes away soon.
I've had allergies since I was about 4 and we have an entire list of detergents that do not get used in our house. Like most of he other posters, my first guess was deoderant or laundry detergent. One other guess...do you used fabric softener? My DH breaks out in hives if we use certain ones. One other thing - I had a pair of cords that used to casue me to break out because of the dye in the fabric...have you been wearing any new clothes?
 

emrldsky

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Nuh uh...might give me away!
Originally Posted by strange_wings

^ Hotdogs have all sorts of nasty stuff in them.


Probably not likely, but others should remember this. Some people can actually get a sun allergy. It tends to happen if they're taking a med that makes them more sensitive or if they're visiting a different region. Say someone from a northern state went to Florida and was out in the sun a bit much. Being closer to the Equator they'd get more UV rays then they were used to and could get an almost allergic type reaction, more severe is "sun poisoning".
I realized I had a mild sun allergy when I went to the Indy 500 one year and it was 90+ degrees and SUNNY! My legs, actually, had hives, though they were not exposed to the sun. I chalked it up to new pants, that I hadn't washed before wearing.

Fast forward to two years later, I'm in Disney World, and BAM! Hives on my legs again (legs still not exposed to sun) and it dawns on me...must be the sun! It can happen that the hives appear where the sun hasn't even touched. I'm very careful now,


But, since the OP noticed it at her arm pits first, I would suspect the deodorant. My body builds up intolerance and allergies to products over time. I can be fine for months, then the next thing I know, I have a nasty rash.

Either way, good luck!!
 

lsanders

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I'm allergic to the fragrances in a lot of toiletries and household chemicals- certain deodorants, laundry and dish detergents, lotions, body washes, hand sanitizers, cleaning products, etc.

Fragrance-free versions of most of those are pretty easy to find- lots of laundry detergents, fabric softeners and dryer sheet choices; Method makes a whole line of household products that are fragrance- and dye-free. I use Dr. Bronner's for body wash (and it can be used in just about everything- body wash, shampoo, facials, household cleanser, fruit & veggie wash!)

For deodorant, the trick is finding one that's both a deodorant and anti-perspirant. I'd been using fragrance-free deodorant for a long time and never thought I was much of a sweater. Until I found Almay's Hypo-Allergenic deodorant/anti-pespirant! It comes in both gel and roll-on and you can get it online from drugstore.com or Walgreen's also sells it (I don't know where you're located, Mooch). It's been a godsend!
 

cdubbie

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when I got hives it was due to a sudden and dangerous food allergy.
As soon as I limited my exposure to the substance the hives went away.

Hives are a v. strong indication of a food allergy. I suggest you research that immediately. I almost died from one of my food allergies that were unknown to me at the time.
 

foxy~phoebe

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Wow, I'm sorry.. I know how awful that is. I'd never had hives in my life up until last winter. I'm not allergic to any of the typical or everyday stuff (soaps, detergents,etc.). So at first I had no idea what was causing them.. all I knew was I wanted to crawl out of my skin or scratch it off. I finally did end up figuring out that it was because I was sick. Some sort of cold virus and apparently I was allergic to it and that's why I broke out in hives. The same thing happened to my daughter shortly after I got hives. The two of us were itching nonstop. But the benadryl (sp?) really helped and now I know to keep some on hand for 'emergencies' like that. I wish I knew of something else to suggest, because I know how it does make you drowsy in the daytime.
 
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MoochNNoodles

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Well I'm doing worse here. I was looking better this morning, but not 100%. I told my boss (I work for a neurologist) this morning about it all. Shortly after lunch my forehead felt funny so I looked, it was all read and covered with hives. I went into my co-workers office and told her and I kid you not, she said in about 3 seconds flat the rest of my face was covered. I could feel them come on, almost like crawing over my face.

Our boss was with a patient then but when he came out he took one look at me and told me I need to get to my doctor. So I called and they had me come right in (probably helped that I said who i work for and that he said I needed to get in).

So I saw one of the other drs in the group my primary is in. He gave me a generic steroid, generic for Medrol. He said sometimes you need something a bit stronger to kick it out of my system. DH went with me to Walmart to fill it and let me tell you, I look so bad people were staring at me!! I kid you not! I look like an absolute freak! It had spread by the time the doctor got a look at me and right now I have welts that have joined together and are covering large areas of my skin. DH just pretty much coated me from head to toe with calamine lotion (a clear version). I can feel the heat coming off them I'm so puffed up. I think it's because laying on the couch in a big t-shirt is making me itch more. I'm going to try a pair of cotton pants and one of dh's big cotton t-shirts.

I haven't started the steroids yet because it gives really specific directions on taking them. I just took 2 benadryl about 20 minutes ago. DH wants me to start the sterroids because I look so bad. I'm not sure what to do. I'd call the pharmacy but i'm sure it's closed. I may have to call my doctor's emergency night line or something.
 
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MoochNNoodles

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Ok, I got ahold of a pharmacist and they said to start is ASAP.

And as far as the deoderant, it's the same stick I've had for a while now and it's a fragrance free type one already. I even took a clean tissue and wiped a few layers off before using it today.
 
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