Lifelong Urticaria that flares up really bad whenever it feels like it.

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I've been an itchy kid since I can remember. I couldn't walk a block without having to stop and scratch. I didn't think anything of it until I was 10. Every day at the exact same time I would breakout in hives all over my arms. I had dermatographic urticaria and was popping benadryl and falling asleep in class like it was a bad habit. My mom took me to the doctor and they gave me this medicine in 30 vials and I was to drink one each day for a month and then the hives stopped happening everyday.

Between the ages of 11-13 I would randomly break out in hives, but they were so few and far between that it never really became a problem. When I was a freshman in high school, I became more aware of the fact that everytime I walked to school in the morning (about a mile), that I would start to itch about 2 blocks down from my house. The more I scratched, the more I itched. The more I ignored the itching, the more it began to burn. The itching would stop after I would go somewhere cold and go to town scratching my legs until the small hives, turned into long welts that covered my legs, but no longer itched or burned. This is still something that I struggle with to this day.

After I graduated I began to get more afraid to leave the house, because walking was just not an option for me. It was so random to me. I could run and be fine, but walking was a problem. Even doing air guitar can cause my arms to itch uncontrollably.

I am now 22 and recently I've been getting hives on random parts of my body, but mostly on my upper right arm. They'll start out as just itching, then they'll turn into hives, then the arm will be swollen under the hive area, then the hive will calm down, scab up, and turn into a bruise. It's a process that takes about a week or two, to fully go away be for the other ones start to form. This has been happening for the past 2 months. It happened on my left hip and on my ankle as well. I'm unaware of what to do about this because for the past 8 years, my hives have been contained to mostly my legs and are only caused by me walking (outside specifically) somewhere.

I didn't even know urticaria was a word that existed until I was 17. I just figured that it was a weird thing that happened to me and that no one needed to know. I have not been professionally diagnosed and my current doctor just believes it's caused by sweat and that zyrtect (which i'm not covered for btw) is the solution to all my problems.

I don't know what to do anymore, and my anxiety is just telling me that it's never going to get better and that I'll never be a fully functioning adult that will be able to go for a calm stroll without the fear of hives ruining my day.

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  • Posted

    Hi, it sounds to me like you live in the US and considering what a large country it is there are few and far between specialists in urticaria. Where do you live in the US? If you are near Virginia there is a specialist who deals with this condition at John Hopkins. I don't know about elsewhere and this also depends on health insurance doesn't it? Whatever you do try not to scratch the itch. I got alot of relief by bathing itchy areas, bumps and wheals with very, very salty water, leaving it on to dry. Magic. Do you get itching and wheals were seams of clothing rub against your skin? Chafing can trigger hives quite badly, as does stress, cold, heat and numerous other things, hence you need a specialist!! Try googling for your area of the country.  Good luck.

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    • Posted

      I live in Northern California. I have broken out while wearing sweaters and long pants and while wearing shorts and a tank top. And the hives don't always correlate to where the chafing occurs. And as said before, not scratiching the itch, just causes the itching to get worse and start to burn. I can't take baths because it causes rashes, and when I'm walking to work from the bus stop there aren't always baths available (that was sarcasm, I'm being sarcastic, and just kidding, and whatnot) I've looked for some specialists, but I haven't gone too far in depth with it. It's hard to want to look for a doctor because most of the doctors I've talked to have either never heard of this happening before, or they believe me and downplay my symptoms.

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    • Posted

      Sounds like you may have urticaria angioedema which is quite a severe occurrence of hives. You need to see a really good immunologist that would consider giving you a drug called cycloporine which is an immune suppressant, you may also need prednisone. If you do go on these very strong drugs they l'll help but once in remission you will need a long slow taper to get off them. Other suggestions on the blog could also help but you have a very severe urticaria that's need specialist help.

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  • Posted

    Hi V,

    In my situation it was exposure to chemicals and pollutants. Some are toxic. I keep telling everybody on here the same thing as this is all I can do. Do you use bleach etc or other harmful cleaning products? I don't use chemicals to clean my house now. I use essential oils. Tee tree etc. And now I've not had any problems for two years. Not even one itch. I used to be suicidal. Constant itching and my eyes used to swell (angioedema). It has all gone away and it was all down to me using bleach all the time. This could be you.

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    • Posted

      Yeah, I made a similar change a while back. Still breaking out in hives. No bleach, still hives. No perfumes, still hives. No harsh chemicals, still hives. But I am happy that solution worked for you. I just have to find one that works for me as well.
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