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Old 12-25-2012, 08:05 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Hives, meds, lotions, ointments and creams... oh my!

Hello, just read interesting posts regarding hives and felt relieved that I am not the only one suffering from this. I started having the "out of the blue" hives about 3 years ago and my symptoms seem to get worse. I have taken allergy blood tests (negative to most allergens, and I was tested for quite a lot)...yeah, did the Prednisone routine (never take before a meeting - I got really hyper and borderlined between aggressive/assertive side as the discussion got heated up ...another story...lol)...yup did the Zyrtec, Benadryl combination (total opposite Prednisone effect as expected, loss of interest at work, slept a lot). I jotted down inflammatory foods and foods that help decrease inflammation. I think that avoiding coffee helped - very difficult to do. I read that there are certain protein-like substances in coffee the body confuses as allergens/toxins - so I learned to take Oolong Tea. I limit my alcohol intake as well, yes even during the holiday season. I have a highly stressful job so I meditate by praying every morning and psyching myself with positive thoughts during the day. Lotions, creams and ointments (over-the- counter hydrocortisone, Aveeno oatmeal bath, Eucerin, light Neutrogena oil after showers, Gold Bond dimethicone) been there, done that and still doing! I learned a new trick from a friend- Selsun blue (selenium sulfide) on dry itchy, flaky areas helped - even tried Head and Shoulders (pyrithzione zinc) - I tested on one area just to be sure and the shampoos helped. Believe me , there are days when I tell myself "just take this skin off of me and give me a new one". So...while the cause of chronic hives remain a mystery - it taught me discipline: with the foods I eat, modify my behavior: from stress and chronic scratching and appreciate new discoveries such as this message board. Kinda weird to say but knowing I am not alone itching in the middle of the night or at work is a RELIEF! Thanks for this message board! And for all of us finding new ways to Stop-The-Itch - please keep posting!

 
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:13 AM   #2
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Re: Hives, meds, lotions, ointments and creams..oh my!

Chronic hives such as yours are often associated with autoimmune disorders. You didn't mention any other symptoms but notably Hashimoto's thyroiditis and lupus can present as hives that last for years. There are lots of threads and sticky notes on lupus and lots of threads about autoimmune thyroiditis you can check out. It wouldn't hurt to just get the blood tests for those 2 conditions. If a cause can be found, maybe it can be treated more specifically.

 
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:11 AM   #3
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Re: Hives, meds, lotions, ointments and creams..oh my!

Thanks ladybud. Yes I looked up both autoimmune disorders and have run tests for lupus. Though I am not sexually active nor an IV drug user, I also tested for STDs (syphillis, HIV) - all tests, including lupus were negative. I've learned last night that my older brother had the same condition so there is some genetic factor here, plus aging. I am turning 48 and have noticed that my skin has gone through a dramatic transition from oily to dry. I will check the Hashimoto's thyroiditis though my TSH levels are normal - you never know, right? Yes, a lot of threads on chronic rash and hives. Thanks again.

 
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:57 AM   #4
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Re: Hives, meds, lotions, ointments and creams..oh my!

You can definitely have antithyroid antibodies present with a normal TSH. It can take a few years for the antibodies to destroy enough thyroid tissue to cause your hormone levels to change. Most people just get hypothyroid over time, but a few go thru a hyperthyroid phase first, then get hypo. Nodules are common with this too, and there is a high incidence of urticaria with it. One thing you might try if you haven't: a histamine 1 blocker, like your normal antihistamines (I like fexofenadine OTC) PLUS a histamine 2 blocker, normally used for excess gastric acid, like Zantac (ranitidine-OTC). The combo works better for some people than the H1 blockers alone.

 
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:46 PM   #5
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Re: Hives, meds, lotions, ointments and creams..oh my!

Hi ladybud, yes... I also use the OTC famotidine and also tried the stronger Rx strength and they do assist blocking the histamines. I just have to remind myself to hydrate because all of these medications are so drying - causing a vicious cycle, i.e/ blocking the histamines causing the hives but also dries the integumentary system which causes itching especially during the winter months. It can get really frustrating when one looks in the mirror early in the morning before going to work. I mentioned earlier that it really affects one's quality of life. Seeing brownish scars from the hives is depressing but I am hopeful that what you suggested is the cause. THANKS.

 
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