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I am experiencing hives and swollen lips...

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Old 09-20-2008, 03:15 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Scottsdale, AZ USA
Posts: 3
Katy1000 HB User
I am experiencing hives and swollen lips...

Hello. I just joined this site and hope I am following the correct procedure here. I am amazed at the number of people who are also experiencing hives and swollen lips. I first experienced this suddenly in April 2008. Quite a scary experience. Saw the dermatologist, then an allergist for allergy testing. He found I am "borderline" for glutin sensitivity and definitely allergic to p-phenylenediane (found in permanent hair color). From reading the posts, it sounds like fluctuating hormones can also be a cause (I am peri menopausel and have been taking hormones since May 2008).

I take a Singulair at bedtime and it helps to keep the hives down, though not completely. If I don't take it, I break out within a few days and also my lips swell. I also use hydrocortisone cream on the hives (face, neck, chest and arms), although I know that is not good to use for more than a couple of weeks.

I have seen a gastro doctor who will soon do an upper intestinal biopsy to see if I have celiac disease. I have stopped using hair color.

Does anyone know of anything else I should be right doing now? Thank you.

Last edited by moderator2; 09-20-2008 at 03:36 PM. Reason: to make this into a new thread - please always start your own new thread instead of asking on someone else's thread

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Old 09-20-2008, 06:16 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Birmingham, AL
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Titchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB User
Re: I am experiencing hives and swollen lips...

I'd try Zyrtec instead. It's usually much better for hives.

Old 09-21-2008, 05:57 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 189
Mandarra HB UserMandarra HB User
Re: I am experiencing hives and swollen lips...

Hello Kati,
A couple of years ago this very thing happened to me, out of the blue. I am not allergic to anything so the allergist diagnosed me with idiopathic hives, which means that my body is doing it to itself I guess. In my case it was almost certainly the hormone fluctuations as it happened at 48 and I was experiencing all the peri menopause symptoms. I took antihistamines which worked very well, eventually the hives got less and less and now I'm not on any medication, only occasionally when the hives pop up. I'm glad to hear I'm not alone in this, it is scary, especially when the lips swell, I carry an epi pen, thank goodness I never had to use it. Good luck and I hope you feel better soon.


Old 09-21-2008, 03:27 PM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Scottsdale, AZ USA
Posts: 3
Katy1000 HB User
Re: I am experiencing hives and swollen lips...

Thank you to both who replied.

Mandarra, what you said about the hormone fluctuations makes sense to me. I will hope that as my hormones become more stable, this will get better. My doctor also prescribed an epi pen to carry, though I haven't needed it.

Titchou, I have to confess that my doctor's original directions to me were to take 1 Singulair PLUS 1 Xyzal at night. I tried this but when I took both the Singulair and a Xyzal, I was so drowsy the next day I couldn't function.

Isn't Zyrtec the over-the-counter version of Xyzal? Do you know, what is the difference between Singulair and Zyrtec? I will sure give it a try.

Old 03-23-2010, 05:24 AM   #5
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 3
Meleiseya HB User
Smile Re: I am experiencing hives and swollen lips...

Zyrtec is awesome! I have the worst allergies! I am allergic to everything besides cat, dog, lambs quarters and alternara. My doctor gave me zyrtec a couple years ago and it worked awesome!

Old 03-29-2010, 10:39 AM   #6
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2
ShawnMcG HB User
Re: I am experiencing hives and swollen lips...

hello- I am new to this site, and I have to say it's a big relief to know that I am not alone. I experience 'giant' hives first when I was 14, and then again 18. They came back a few weeks ago (I am now 41). When I was younger I went through every test and medication possible.

Prednisone is very helpful, but of course the doctor doesn't want me on it long-term due to side effects. I have also been taking Zyrtec twice a day. That helps some. If I don't taken anything i get giant hives all over my body, and my lips and tongue will swell at times. No one has ever been able to identify a cause. Very frustrating.

If you can take prednisone an ween yourself off, great!! I've read that the thyroid could be an issue as well. The Cortisone cream I don't use because it doesn't help much.

I've experienced acid reflux along with this as well, and will also take Zycam, which is very helpful. If past history tells me anything, this will go on for me for about 6-8 months before it goes away.

Old 03-30-2010, 09:30 AM   #7
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 3
Meleiseya HB User
Re: I am experiencing hives and swollen lips...

My husband has been experiencing Hives and swollen lips for the past week! (First time in his life for hives ...he is 26) Went to the doctors and they said that it doesn't happen to many people but that it was because he was sick. (he had a cold) He got them really bad last night and I think it is because we have been really stressed out this last week. We moved 300 miles away from all our friends and family and his job is slowing down so we don't have enough money coming in! He also has been having acid reflux.

Old 04-10-2010, 12:33 PM   #8
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2
WheezyMe HB User
Re: I am experiencing hives and swollen lips...

I had an extremely similar experience to yours beginning about two years ago. Anything and everything could set me off. I had hives, asthmatic reactions and angioedema (this is kind of like a painful hive deep in the skin and inside the body instead of on the surface, that stays for a long time and can get infected.) My allergist put me on prednisone to start and then on Allegra, among other things. Allegra actually prevents the hives from even starting, and it made my life bearable for quite a long time. I eventually became allergic to the Allegra (I have that problem often), and had to stop, but a lot of people use it very successfully. It is a prescription drug, but even though I had no insurance there was help from the manufacturer to pay for it. At the time it saved my life.
After Allegra and Singulair (this drug helps with the itching, but does not prevent hives) were no longer an option, I turned in desperation to acupuncture. It took a long time, but the hives are gone, with no drugs! I still occasionally get a very mild form of the angioedema, but the swellings are tiny (pea sized or smaller) and only last a couple of weeks as opposed to the huge swellings and the months they stayed before. Many insurance companies cover acupuncture. If you don't have insurance it can be expensive. For me, it evened out with the former cost of the many drugs I could no longer take. If you decide to try it, be ready to commit several sessions of treatment, and find a doctor of oriental medicine (DOM), not just a chiropractor who went to a workshop.
Another thing that worked for more immediate relief from the hives was extra strength Benadryl cream or spray. It is an over the counter medicine. Just be careful not to overdose and follow the directions! I keep a tube of the cream in my bag at all times, right next to my inhaler.
I wish you the best of luck in finding what is causing your symptoms. It sounds a lot like a food or food additive, but it could be something else, too! Our bodies can be so strange sometimes!

Old 04-01-2011, 03:22 PM   #9
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Costa Mesa, CA USA
Posts: 5
hollieg53 HB User
Re: I am experiencing hives and swollen lips...

To Kimberlass: Thanks so much. I am so glad to hear someone else has the same problems. I can be quietly sitting watching TV and I feel my lip start to swell....I look like Marge Simpson!! It lasts a day or maybe 2 and then just goes away. Hives come and go....had a bad bout a couple of weeks ago that were ALL OVER MY BODY! and so itchy. Took an antihistimine and they were ALL gone in a couple of hours. I have an appt with my DR and it may be hormonal, as you said. I am having menopause symptoms now and it just makes sense.

Old 04-02-2011, 12:25 PM   #10
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Scottsdale, AZ USA
Posts: 3
Katy1000 HB User
Re: I am experiencing hives and swollen lips...

I am sorry to have taken so long to post this. I posted the original message on this subject and wanted to let anyone who is interested know what happened in my case. I went through more than a year of never knowing whether I was suddenly going to break out in hives and have my lips swell. Various doctors tested me for various maladies including hormone fluctuations, skin patch tests for allergies, gluten intolerance...

I ended up at the (local) Mayo Clinic after my allergist suspected my allergy was due to sunscreen. YES, that was it. The doctor at the Mayo Clinic had me rub a small amount on my stomach for 5 days and on the 5th day, my stomach broke out in little bumps. My allergy is to "Oxybenzone," commonly found in sunscreen. I now use a Titanium Dioxide-based sunscreen. I also now avoid anything with chemicals that begin with "Benz", as I had that "familiar" burning feeling on my neck (like I was going to break out) after I used a cleanser that contained Benzyl Alcohol.

I hope that this may help someone who is experiencing the same symptoms as I was. Thanks you to all who share their experiences in the hopes it will help someone else.

Old 04-05-2011, 04:29 PM   #11
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Virginia Beach, BA
Posts: 2
callep HB User
Re: I am experiencing hives and swollen lips...

Have you been checked for vitamin D deficiency?

Old 07-20-2011, 05:51 AM   #12
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 366
golfhat HB Usergolfhat HB Usergolfhat HB User
Re: I am experiencing hives and swollen lips...

I have had this problem once before several years ago. My lips may swell, or I get hives on my mid section and my legs or arms. Could it be related to detergent, but then why would my lips swell?

Last time I stopped using all kinds of detergents, I stopped chewing Cinnamon gum which is how it started back then. And finally after 6 weeks or so it stopped.
This was about 5 years ago!

I am very allergic to preservatives in general and strawberries and raw spinach.

My instinct tells me it is a preservative, tho. I ate some of those chips called Stackers. They were very salty!
And after that the underside of my top lip became sensitive and swollen. Eventually the top lip swelled up too.
Then I had a hive around my bra strap. I took benadryl before bed and the hives went down but the underside of my lip is still sensitive and I look like I did lip enhancement!

But this time around I have been getting hives and swollen lips for about a month.

I can't take benadryl every night, because I feel drowsy the next day. I am going to try taking zyrtec each night for awhile.
Thanks yall for that suggestion!

Last edited by golfhat; 07-20-2011 at 05:52 AM.

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