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Old 01-04-2009, 07:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
Random hives?

Sorry not sure if this is the right section or not....

Lately I've been getting what I believe to be random hives, Urticaria - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia they don't look like the more severe pictures there, more like the ones in the pictures down at the bottom of the page. I've been getting them on my forearms and a few around my waist or on my thighs.... They seem to come randomly and quickly, and last for a random amount of time, like hours or a day at most I would say... I also got one on my lip which was uncomfortable... At first I thought maybe bug bites, but then I've just been getting them randomly and I still haven't seen any bugs....

I am pretty sure I don't have any food allergies, but I do usually get hay fever, and when I was younger I was allergic to cats. I thought I was over that but I'm not sure. I wasn't really allergic to bees in the past, I got a wasp bite on my lip which swelled up only a little, but then earlier this year I got a wasp or bee up my jacket sleeve while on my bike and it stung me, my arm swelled up (a lot) from my wrist to my elbow for about an entire week.

The only thing I can really think of, is I just moved into my apartment a month and a half ago, and was on vacation part of the time... I know the previous owners used to have a cat or cats, and thinking that may have something to do with it... Before I moved in we cleaned everything, and carpet cleaned the carpets though... I've read hives can be related to stress, but I haven't been stressing about anything, in fact I haven't even been working much, which means I've been spending more time in the apartment... Which again leads me to believe I may be allergic to the apartment... The only thing there that confuses me, is I went out and while I was out I got a few hives on my arm, and then the one on my lip... Maybe there was something on my clothes, I was wearing long sleeves....

Sorry for the longish post, but thought maybe there are some wiser people out there who have an idea, and I haven't gone to a doctor because I haven't had any other symptoms at all...
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Ontario (in the stray cat complex)
They look like the large white raised areas shown in the three pics at the bottom you say?

Hmm when I was little a couple of times I broke out in these really large white raised bumps anywhere from the size of a quarter to the size of a dessert plate. They itched like crazy! I think in my life time I have broken out in them about 10 times and seemingly for all different reasons or no reason at all. My grams used to rub calamine lotion on them and they would be miraculously gone by morning. When I was about 17 I had to take the 3 day antibiotic zythromyacin and within an hour of taking the first pill I had them all over my back the doctor told me to stop taking the pill and take some benadryl. Another time I think they were caused by laundry detergent not being completely rinsed out of my clothes.

If your taking any medications ask your Dr if they could cause an allergic reaction, perhaps change laundry detergents to one for sensitive skin, make sure your not putting too much in and that your washing machine is rinsing well.

Best of luck I hated the stupid things though they did create some interesting looking patterns.
Frivolity, at the edge of a Moral Swamp, hears Hymn-Singing in the Distance and dons the Galoshes of Remorse. ~Edward Gorey
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
Hey thanks for the response.... You may be on to something with the laundry detergent because I did just do the laundry (the clothes I've been wearing when it seems to happen), and I stuffed the machine right to the top on that load, I think there was too much for it to really rinse it well...

Thank you very much
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Oregon
I know a number of people that get hives from laundry detergent. That would be my guess, unless you've switched personal care products--of any sort--recently. Some personal care products use ingredients that can be irritating. I get hives from Mr. Bubble bubble bath.
If I am not better, at least I am different. --Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: under your bed
I just got over a case of hives a month ago. Every picture on that page (your link) was what I looked like, but sometimes I had more. I had them for 6-8 weeks. My family doctor's wife has had them off and on for 20 years. He referred me to an allergist, after treating me for 2 weeks and giving me a brief education on 'mast cells,' which he said something in my life had stimulated. Mast cells produce histamines and leukotrienes, as well as other things. The hives itch like hell. When you scratch them, you stimulate the mast cells to make even more histamines, leukotrienes, and something else.

Heat makes them worse. No hot showers, hot packs, turning your heat up at home. Rubbing and scratching make it worse, even where you don't have hives at the moment. No scratchy wash cloths (just apply body wash lightly and rinse). And for heaven's sake, now is not the time to use 'exfoliating' ANYTHING! I used my apricot facial scrub on my face with a wash cloth and my entire face was a red welt for half a day. Cold can help. Try cold/cool showers, ice packs, turning your heat down. Benedryl cream can also help with the itching.

I could lightly draw on my skin with a fingernail, anywhere on my body, and within 5 minutes it would show up as a red welt in the exact shape that I drew. It's called skin drawing. Getting dressed, putting on shoes, washing with a wash cloth, all of these things caused hives where they touched within 5 minutes. It was usually gone within 90-120 minutes, IF I did NOT scratch. And then I had them somewhere else. At any given time, they covered about 20-30% of my body. The doctor gave me codeine for the pain, which there was much of a couple of times. When I scratched my hands/feet so hard they bruised and swelled, I could not bend my fingers or walk, let alone wear shoes. It hurt like hell. I missed 2 days of work and stayed home on codeine.

The doctor originally gave me two weeks worth of meds. They only went away about 70% on the meds. When the treatment ended, they came back full blown within 12 hours. That's when he referred me to an allergist.

The allergist doubled my dose of Allegra, for the histamines. Also added Singulair for the leukotrienes, removed the steroids that made me sick, and added something else to help me sleep through it at night. Also Benedryl pills if I needed something between my Allegra/Singulair doses.

I was taking 2-3 Allegra per day (the normal dose is one), 1-2 Singulair (normal dose is one), 2-4 Benedryl pills, applying Benedryl cream several times a day (because the hives kept 'moving' to new locations), 2-3 pills for sleep, occasional codeine. That's sounds like alot of crap to take, but that's what it took to finally get rid of the hives. And yes, doctor kept tabs on me for being on so many meds at once.

I was told that 80-90% of people with hives never figure out exactly what caused them. And to not be surprised if I got them again down the road. A long answer, but I hope it helps.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Old 01-05-2009, 01:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
Thanks for the info everyone... Luckily for me, my issue doesn't seem to be very severe... I didn't get any new ones today, and my lip is feeling fine again, so I'll just stay away from those recently washed clothes till I can wash them better, and see if it works out.

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Old 01-05-2009, 04:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: Winston-Salem, NC
I feel your pain!!!!!!!!!


I went through something similar a few years ago but it lasted for 6 straight months. I was prescribed a lot of different meds and the only one that worked was called Atarax. Benadryl, Allegra, etc. none of that worked at all. Sometimes it made it worse. When I did get these hives on my lips they would be numb and swell. I also used to get them on the palms of my hands which were really really bad and itched the worst.

As someone else mentioned, many people don't find out what causes the hives and I never did either. My guess is stress, but I didn't really feel stressed out, but I eliminated everything else possible from my life and they remained so I really don't have any hard evidence.

Good luck!!!!!!!
"A Darwinian attacks his theory, seeking to find flaws. An ID believer defends his theory, seeking to conceal flaws." -Roger Ebert
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
Thanks for the link... Luckily mine doesn't seem so bad, I only get maybe 3 - maybe 10 a day, and sometimes worse than others, hopefully it doesn't get worse... I usually don't scratch them so they don't get too bad, if I do they get worse though... The one on my lip sucked, like you mentioned it was numb...

I think I've ruled out laundry and cat related, I went and rubbed a dryer sheet on my wrist really good, and laundry detergent on the other one and no issues, and I went to my parents and petted the cat making sure her hair rubbed on my for arm a bit and nothing came of any of it...
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
Originally Posted by Lasereth View Post
I feel your pain!!!!!!!!!


I went through something similar a few years ago but it lasted for 6 straight months.
I hope it doesn't last that long, still getting them at least every few days... Sometimes reactine help, haven't tried anything else... very annoying...
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: Denver City Denver

Maybe it's leprosy?

See a Doc.
heavy is the head that wears the crown
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Location: Tupelo, MS
I agree with it likely being the detergent

I also had a case once where I bought new bed sheets and put them on my bed without washing them... I had never broken out in hives before and at that point, I broke out everywhere it seemed. We eventually narrowed it down, washed the sheets, and everything was gravy from then on. While I had them, benadryl seemed to work the best.
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