Discussions that mention hydrocortisone

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Hello, I am a healthy 22 yr old with a history of medical and food allergies. Fortunately, I outgrew most of my allergies in my teens, but when I was afflicted I would often get hives from ingesting something I was sensitive to. Two days ago, hives began forming on my left forearm. They were typical, puffy red spots, itchy and familiar to the hives I got in childhood. They remained for most the day, but I didn't treat them, assuming they would fade as soon as the allergen was out of my system. Yesterday they were still there, so I took some benadryl. The puffiness went away as a result, but small red bumps took their place. I saw a pharamacist who did believe they were hives and advised a course of action. I have been on claritin for 3 hrs and have been rubbing hydrocortisone on the afflicted area (left forearm) but they don't seem to be curing the ailment. The bumps are not raised, and not even particularly itchy anymore. I researched pictures of "hives" and turned up only a few pics that resembled my arm (mostly of bee-sting induced hives) so now I am curious to find out whether it actually IS hives or if I could have another skin affliction. I have had the "hives" for 48 hrs now. The bumps are no longer raised, I just look "spotty" from my wrist to elbow. Has anyone ever heard of anything like this? Is it normal for hives to last this long? What other diseases/allergies, etc could be causing this? Any help or advice would be much appreciated, as I don't have health insurance and am desperately trying to self-treat. Thank you!