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Delayed Pressure Urticaria

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Old 08-02-2002, 01:39 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 6
pelican HB User
Question Delayed Pressure Urticaria

After seeing several doctors and giving up vials of blood, I have finally been diagnosed with Delayed Pressure Urticaria. I get huge hives, mainly on my midrift, extremely itchy blisters on my hands and severe muscle ache approx. 6 hrs. after exercise or muscle strain. I had never heard of this disease, nor had any of my doctors until an allergist came across an article. This disease is not associated with any allergy. I have had it for approx. 9 months, it does seem to be getting better. The doctor does not know what causes it or what cures it, she just hopes it will burn itself out. I read a couple of articles regarding Jane Pauley's mysterious illness and they called it Delayed Pressure Urticaria. Anyone else out there with this disease? If so, do you have any information, i.e., does it go away entirely? what triggers it? I would be grateful for any information.

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Old 09-21-2002, 07:08 AM   #2
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Phillipsburg, NJ, USA
Posts: 32
pburgbeanie HB User

Hi Pelican. I wonder. I had something similar almost 2 years ago. I am diabetic, so everyone blamed it on that. However, I switched to mostly organic cleansers, Dove liquid soap in the shower and dove bar soap as a hand cleanser by the sinks. That actually seemed to help.

I was tested for every allergy under the sun and came up negative to all of them. This even cleared up a previously diagnosed allergy to eggs! It took about 6 months to really go away. But I've been fine for a long time now. I do find that I get some mild symptoms of it if I stay in hotels or even sleep at my in-laws home.

Hope this helps you.

Old 11-04-2002, 06:12 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2002
Location: wellesley, mass usa
Posts: 14
snowanne HB User

Hi..I am suffering from this strange skin rash as well-mine is quite acute--every day I have many areas that flare up. I've had it for 6 months..hoping someday it will go away...I went to a specialist (allergist) and he said its pretty rare..but it may be caused by some trigger if you have been taking penicillin or tetraycline--sure enough mine started after strepth throat last winter! I read from one woman that she was allergic to Yellow Dye 5 & 6. I'm not sure about this....The best thing is to use Benadryl (liquid works in minutes) to stop the intense itching--as you well know its a vicious circle. I used to have long scratches on my hands--it was horrendus! I now take Zytec, a prescription antihistamine daily. Apparently this is the drug of choice for hives. It does make it better, but instead of having the huge welts my skin will just appear red--so at least it looks better!
I also found that an oatmeal based body lotion (got at health food store) also worked pretty well--at least to get rid of the intense itching quickly--but the bottom line is that it is not topical--its systemic which is why Benadryl creams don't help---I'm still looking optimistically for this to end--please keep me updated! GOod Luck

Old 11-07-2002, 05:17 AM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 6
pelican HB User

Junior Member, thank you for your reply. Your affliction sounds exactly like mine. Good news though, I have been suffering with this for nearly a year and while it's not gone, it is much, much better. The hives are much smaller than they were and they don't itch with the same intensity. The worst itching is on my hands, particularly if I have done yard work or a lot of housework. I believe my hives are related to stress. I have been caring for my father and obviously there can be a lot of stressed involved. After getting a live-in caregiver for him, my hives improved greatly. I have found that Zyrtec works the best for me. Sometimes I only have to take one a week. Benedryl cream helps some, but I find that taking a cool shower relieves most of the itching. I have been told that this is a virus and my Applied Kinesiologist recommended taking L-Lysine and avoiding sugars and alcohol. So far I can't say this is really working for me, but I'm still taking the pills. You can get these over the counter at any health food store. Good luck to you.

Old 01-19-2003, 12:10 PM   #5
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Whitehall, PA, USA
Posts: 285
silverwill HB User

I've read about this. I came across it while researching b/f's condition. He has Solar Urticaria. His is actually more similar to an allergy than the delayed pressure type. He was on Zyrtec, but it made him too tired. He was switched to something else that works awesome, but he can't pronounce it. (I haven't seen the stuff) He said it's like all consonants & very few vowels or something. Does anyone know of a medication like that?

Old 02-07-2003, 10:10 AM   #6
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 424
Anonymity HB User

My fiance has exercise-induced urticaria. It just stinks, doesn't it?? The follow steps are in the order that my fiance went through them. I don't know if you'll want to do the same things but...
1. If you go to a specialist for this, the doctors will probably do some allergy skin-tests on you (where they apply common allergens, like cat dander, to tiny pricks in your skin and wait to see if your skin reacts). These tests itch and may mildly burn, but they're not actually painful. This may give your doctors a better idea of your overall allergy profile.
2. I would guess that they will then prescribe a bunch of different allergy medicines. You may have to try a whole list, one at a time, before you find one that works.
3. If you try every allergy medicine, and none of them work, then the doctors might try prescribing a medley of non-traditional allergy medicines. Medicines that are often prescribed for something else (say Amitriptyline, a mild anti-depressant) sometimes also have anti-histamine or anti-allergy effects. My fiance was on a whole bunch of drugs that, combined, stopped his hives. Hopefully, however, you won't have to take such strong medicines. If you do, be very careful to learn of all the side effects, etc. of each medicine before you agree to take the medley. Doctors sometimes forget to explain all the side effects of each individual drug.

In the meantime, or in addition, I have some hives-tips for you. These are things that I have learned about and my fiance has tried for his hives. Apparently, some of these ideas work for some people some of the time.
1. My fiance swears by cold showers when he's feeling itchy.
2. Try anti-itch creams, like hydrocortisones, commonly found at Walmart, etc.
3. Also, try anti-fungal creams, often used for athlete's foot.
4. Try dabbing cotton balls soaked in red vinegar onto itchy skin (be sure the red vinegar has "mother" in it- it will say so on the bottle- the "mother" is the ingredient that helps the itching- red vinegar that you buy in the grocery store doesn't have the "mother" in it and is purified, so don't use it- you may have to go to a health food store or GNC to find red vinegar with "mother").
5. Try taking Quercetin, an herbal remedy often used for hives.
6. Try soaking in lukewarm bath water with baking soda in it or oatmeal. You can try the oatmeal bath mixes available at Walmart (ask the pharmacist where they are- they're often used for chicken pox, etc.).
One more thing: Like someone else mentioned, the good news is that there is a strong possibility that you will grow out of and/or suddenly stop having the hives. From what I've read, it's very common for people to start having them all of a sudden, and then, after a while (maybe a year or two, even), the hives stop. My fiance has had his over five years, so we don't think he'll outgrow them. We won't lose hope, though!!
If I think of other tips for you, I'll let you know! Good luck. Let us know how things go!!

P.S. I hope this post made sense. If you want more information, search this site for hives and/or urticaria, and a bunch of stuff will come up!

Old 02-20-2003, 01:40 PM   #7
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Wausau, WI usa
Posts: 1
catlvr HB User

Hi everyone! I am so happy to find this site!!! I've had dpu for six years now, and I'm just now getting with an allergist and starting a whole regimine of pills. I'm on Doxepin, Singular and now starting on Sulfasalazine. I read somewhere that this is a drug used for dpu, and so far, it's looking good! I've been on two per day for a few days now, and getting ready to slowly work up to six pills a day. I hate having to take all this medication, but I'll do anything to not swell up in pain! Any words of support are appreciated! Sounds like some of you have been lucky and only needed one or two medications to find relief. That's wonderful! I've done the cold showers too, and I always have a tube of cortizone in my purse. Well, thanks for being here!

Old 03-15-2003, 09:47 PM   #8
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Brookhaven, MS USA
Posts: 3
sapphirefair1 HB User

It is good to know that there are other people out there that are suffering with the same condition. I was told that I had this disorder by a dermatologist. He suggested Benadryl tablets, but they only worked for a couple of hours and made me drowsy, too. My regular doctor prescribed Zyrtec and it works well to relieve the itching and hives. I too, only have to take one every three or four days. However, if I do any significant physical labor, it does not help. I will swell up and have itching feet, hands, elbows, knees, waistline, inner thigh, etc . . .

I would like to ask if any of you who have posted have ever heard of these hives attacking your respiratory tract or heart muscle the way it does the rest of the body? The reason I ask is that every now and then I become short of breath with a mild cough. One cough leads to another and before I know it I have to cough to be able to breathe well. After an hour or so of this the coughing subsides and I can breathe just fine again. Also, I have had an episode when my heart seemed to skip beats over a period of several hours, again, this too subsided as quickly as it began. I have contributed this to the hives. By the time I went to see the doctor, it was over and he could not help me much. I would appreciate any insight into this aggravating illness. I tell people that I am "Literally Allergic To Work." That's no lie!
Thanks for your time . . .


Old 03-17-2003, 04:03 PM   #9
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 1
pleides HB User

In reply to pelican I started itching about 3 months ago. Mostly palms and feet. Then raised welts appeared on my skin after pressure or using my hands. One episode I clipped bushes and that night my hands ached so much I had to sit with ice packs for hours. Cant carry shopping bags or wear tight clothes. The itch seems worse on hot days. Also get hive like lumps anywhere on my body as well. Worst areas though are my hands and feet.Three doctors later and after a full range of blood tests found this site. All tests were negative and told to take prednisolone. I wont. Does anyone have more info about this condition please?

Old 03-28-2003, 01:50 PM   #10
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 1
eastclif HB User

I was very interested to find this forum. I was diagnosed with dermographism and chronic urticaria about 4 years ago. Until I found this site today, I had never heard of DPU, but it certainly describes what I have. Mine started as severe itching, mainly in my hands and feet, with no redness or hives. Then I started noticing welts and itching, which I eventually figured out were appearing about 15 minutes after pressure. Carrying grocery bags, carrying boxes, kneeling on a carpet or on the sand bottom of a river were the first things I noticed. I started taking Zyrtec (Cetirizine) on my own, just for the itching, and when I saw an allergist, he told me that was the best medication. He tested me for allergies, and although I showed no severe reaction to any of the substances, I had a mild reaction to all of them. He told me the immune reaction in my skin was out of kilter, and that this sometimes occurred after a viral infection. I had recently had a severe viral bronchitis. To confuse the picture, I was living in Australia at the time, and was having severe skin reactions to some kind of insect or spider bite. Anyway the doc told me to keep taking the Zyrtec, and try to stop it every once in awhile to see what happened. He said he had no idea how long the condition would last. A few months after I saw the doc, I went for a facial, which involved "blackhead extractions", and I ended up with huge welts on my face, lasting for about 18 hours. This was when I realised that it was pressure rather than just contact that was causing the problem. Basically, my problems are very mild compared to some people who have written to this forum. I am basically symptom free, except in cases of extreme pressure like a facial. I have tried several times over the last few years to stop the medication, but the longest I lasted was about 36 hours. Then my hands and feet start itching really badly. It's interesting that one person here said they take a Zyrtec every 3 or 4 days, maybe I'll try that, rather than taking one every day like I have been. I'm glad that I have found this forum though, and that I have a more definite idea of what I have. I also now realise the mild reaction I had to all the substances in the allergy testing was likely due to the actual pressure of the skin pricks applying the substances.

Old 04-13-2003, 12:29 PM   #11
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Ada OH USA
Posts: 1
KellO HB User

The first time I got my hives were during cheerleading practice 2 years ago. We didnt think anything of it since it was my first time and it wasnt that bad. Then I went to an Amusement park that summer and my whole thigh was swollen, and it hurt to walk, I had to literally have someone carry me. We went to the doctor and he didnt know what it was so, he told us to take benadryl. Benadryl seemed to work fine so when I went to cheerleading camp that summer, it seemed to work ok. That football season I would continuously get hives but not too bad. I would just take benadryl and it helped. It went away that winter and then the following spring while at a cheerleading clinic I got the bumps on my stomach and legs and feet, it was never taht extreme. My Mom was away so I had to call my grandma to take me to the ER. My Dad met us there and the doctor gave me a shot in the butt, to help reduce the swelling. It seemed to help a lot and it made me drowsy so I just slept it off. The next morning my foot was still swollen, so when my Mom came and picked me up we called doctors that specialized in feet, my StepMom is a nurse and she said that we should look into that. We had to drive 2 hours and it took 2 weeks to get into the doctor and when I got there he tested for Lyme disease and Juvenile Arthritis and something similar to that which I cant remember. Those tests came back negative so we still had no idea to what it was. Last summer it seemed to not happen as bad even when I was cheering outside. I had an away game one nite and I didnt feel too good, so I took some tylenol. I woke up the next morning and my ears, neck, legs, feet were swollen and my lips were swollen and my head had a few bumps on them. My Mom had to work that day so I had to wait until she got off work. Throughout the day, it kept getting worse and my face kept getting more and more hives. I looked like one of those Animorphs books, when a person turns into an animal. My Mom got off a lil early and she took me to the ER ((at a different hospital)) and that doctor there said that it looked as if I was allergic to something outside since I seemed to get hives when I was outside for cheerleading. He told us to go to an allergist and perscribed us some Zyrtec. Just about 2 weeks after, I had my appointment with the Allergist they had to take blood my first time and told me to come back in a week so they could start the Allergy tests. After about 3 weeks all of the test were done and I was told that I was allergic to Oak trees, dust, pollen and grass. It stunk because we have Oak Tress all over here. So they gave me shots when I could come in so during the summer I would be more immune to it. I havent been able to go since December because of cheerleading. But I still take the Zyrtec and it seems to help but sometimes (ie Today) it seems to get worse than better. I woke up today and my ears were swollen, my neck and half of my lip was also. I took my Zyrtec last nite around 12 and I took another at 10:30 am. I also took some benadryl at 3.
Does it affect anything when I take both meds? It also is taking what seems FOREVER for the meds to kick in. Thanks in advance

Old 05-20-2003, 11:24 AM   #12
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Troy, NY USA
Posts: 1
morganrj HB User

I can't explain how happy I am to find a name for what I've been dealing with for 15 years. My DPU affects mostly my hands and feet - if my shoes don't fit *exactly* right my feet'll swell... and it's so bad in my hands that I can't leave my arms hanging down (like when you're walking around the mall or something) because my fingers'll swell up. Lately it seems like the attacks are coming more and more often - does anyone else feel like it comes in "waves?" Like I'll be fine for two years but now I'm swelling up every other month. It's also affecting my stomach - when it's really bad I can't even stand up because I'm so nauseous. It's nice to know that there are others out there with this problem... thank you to the host for providing us with a place to share our experiences.

Old 06-05-2003, 11:59 AM   #13
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1
paulie HB User

hi all,

like all you unfortunate people, I to have dermogrpahism (aka DPU.) I have had the condition all of my life and refuse to accept that all we can do as sufferers is to supress this condition by taking anthistamnines, which can cause long term problems when taken to excess. This is the solution in Western medicine and believe it or not this type of urticaria is not taken seriously by GP's. It is treated and classed with the same name and procedure as Ideopathic Urticaria (using anthihistamines). This is thought to be a physcologically induced disorder, in other words people us dermographic sufferers are creating in out little heads I can honestly say that i think doctors have no idea about this condition and they use anthihistmanines to solve a problem they or us sufferes know little about.

My hives I'm sure are caused by food intolerance/allergies, but because I have the condition all of the time, I have no idea what the allergens are, but my condition becomes a lot more severe if i have had consumed preservatives such as Sunset Yellow and Sodium Benzoate. It is for this I have decided to see a NEAT practioner recently. I have only had one appointment, but i will keep you posted on the results, if you wish. I am apparently allergic to a few things, such as Vitamin B complex (in fruit and veg). My only concern is that this treatment is needed for about 40 sessions, as people like us are ellergic to a lot of things. This may cost $500 or £1000 depending where the practioner is from. That would be great if people like me could afford it. Oh well, i'm willing to give it a go for a few.

There are also so many other special practioners that we can see, such as herbalists, hypnotherapists, accupuncrists etc but do these people have any idea about this condition, even thought they claim that they can cure it, however so few of us sufferers seem to be have been cured. Interestingly, GPs say that the condition 'burns' itself out eventually, once the body stabilises. Well........23 years and still counting

I thought i'd post this message, so that I could contact other sufferers such as yourselves. Even though I wish none of you had the condition, it helps to know that i'm not alone.

Ciao for now.

[edited to remove link. Please never post commercial websites.
Only the name of a product or service may be posted. Thank you!]

[This message has been edited by moderator2 (edited 06-19-2003).]

Old 06-18-2003, 04:49 PM   #14
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1
slsowe HB User


I have been suffering from Delayed pressure urticaria for 9 years. (I was 16 when it began). If I bump my lip, it swells. If I carry a backpack, my shoulders swell. If I cry, my eyes swell shut. If I wear a pair of new shoes, I can't walk the next day. It took a long time for my allergist to determine the cause. He finally figured it out after taking blood and my arm swelled. The urticaria has seemed to get so much better over the years. When it began I was on 3 different drugs, 3 times a day. The only thing that seemed to make it disappear was Prednisone. Unfortunately, that drug is bad for you. I switched doctors after 3 years and I give him the credit for my symptom free life. I take Zyrtec once a day ... But the drug that made me symptom free is Accolate. Accolate is an asthma drug, but works wonders on patients with Delayed pressure urticaria (so my allergist says). If I go two days without either drug my hives start up. I am posting this ad b/c I know the pain of living with this allergy. When I first got it, I searched endlessly with no results. I hope this helps someone.

Old 06-18-2003, 10:19 PM   #15
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Denver, CO, USA
Posts: 1
sheilameehan HB User

Wow. Hives for only 6 months. I have had them for 5 years. Chronic pressure urticaria. Started with zytrec - 4 a day - didn't completely resolve it, but almost (though my friends thought I was suicidal because I needed to sleep so much). I had some good luck after that working with a homeopathist for about a year in DC, but then I moved and had to find new treaters. I have just started with Dr. Schocket at National Jewish in Denver - he actually specializes in hives (who knew anyone did that!). Apparently some chronic hive sufferers test for certain thyroid issues. If you haven't been checked for that - try it. For those of us who turn up positive on that one, thyroid medicine can help/cure it.

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