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Mystery Red and Itchy Skin with Raised Welts
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An_207487 posted:
One day about a year ago I borrowed a pair of my boyfriend's pajama pants and within a few minutes I started itching like crazy all over. I assumed it had something to do with whatever laundry detergent he used, but since that day I have had problems with my skin.

Areas on my body will become red and feel like they are burning, which is usually my ears and sometimes my upper lip, but this recently has spread to my forehead as well. I will find large raised welts on my skin all over my body, which usually look like a long, fat grub is under my skin. I will also get terribly itchy on my legs, bottom, back, chest, and neck. When I scratch the areas will become very red and raised from my scratch marks, which never used to happen throughout my life when I scratched any section of my skin. All of these symptoms seem to come and go. I will be horribly itchy one moment, then it will pass, then another symptom might start up.

I went to see a dermatologist, who suggested I try some Cortisone cream and said that this is something that just happens to people sometimes and that there is no reason for it, but that it usually goes away within a bit of time. I didn't want to use the Cortisone cream since it contained steroids, plus all of my symptoms come and go anyway so I didn't see the cream as being much of a help in stopping this.

A holistic doctor said I might have extreme sensitivity to fragrances and dyes and also be allergic to chicken, beef, corn, and tomatoes, which are hard for me to remove from my diet, especially since corn is in so much. For a few months I tried taking holistic medicine for sensitivity for fragrances, dyes, as well as corn. Nothing helped. I even began using fragrance free soap, conditioner, and shampoo, since often I find that when I exit the shower my ears will be red and feel like they are burning and that maybe the cause of that was the soap, but this didn't help either.

I don't feel any better or worse if I use products with fragrances or eat certain foods. The symptoms don't always happen after I eat, often I will have symptoms just sitting in bed while reading a book or working on the computer. I've never heard of anyone else ever having any of these problems and they all started so suddenly and I don't know what this could be or what I could do.

I feel like I can't be comfortable in my own skin anymore. I'll suddenly start itching everywhere and have raised welts all over my body. It is embarrassing when this happens in public and especially when I get welts on my face and my face becomes red. And my body looks horrible when I scratch at it and I have raised claw marks from my nails, which doesn't leave any scarring, but at times looks like something out of a horror movie.
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An_242507 responded:
Thank God I found this page - I have been suffering with this for weeks and thought I was going crazy! Everyone has a different diagnosis, and not one of them is right. My symptoms simply didn't match any of the usual suspects (shingles, insect bites, food allergies, contact dermititis, etc.) My itch comes first, then I scratch ( I HAVE to - it makes the itch go away), but it raises welts where my nails scratched, and I also get lumpy skin and bumps here and there where the tops break off and bleed a little - they look like bug bites. I seem to remember the first bout at a hotel - the tops of my feet began itching horribly and I scratched until they were red and hot. I thought maybe it was from a bedbug and I had an allergic reaction to it. But the bouts come on randomly - I've been keeping a diary for two weeks, and can't see a common trigger. I'm 57, and have never been allergic to anything - not even poison ivy! I did have a reaction on my neck a year or so ago and the dermatologist did a patch test and "Balsam of Peru" came up (hair dye is probably the culprit). But I never got the welts and bumps like I'm getting now. BOP is found in many toiletries and is not listed on the package, so it's a crap shoot for me. I am stressed about an upcoming move, job change, and end of relationship, but gee golly, I've been through far worse and never had anything like this happen before! It's totally random - I can go an entire day (like I did at a conference last week) with nothing, and then another day be plagued off and on all day long - scalp, jawline, neck, shoulders, upper back, lower back, arms, abdomen, butt, thighs, legs, ankles - arrggh!! Not so much the hands or feet and rare on the face, except for the chin and jawline. Antihistamines work, but slowly and not for long - I take two. I haven't been to the doctor because I think she'll tell to do what I've already been doing. Next steps are to switch soaps. I haven't changed anything in my diet, so I ruled out food. The attacks come on randomly, too, so I don't think it's food. I have 4 dogs in the house, but have been living with them for almost a year. I do have my worst attacks in the house and rarely at night (dogs aren't allowed in the bedroom). Can you become allergic to something that's been there right along? I've had a single, small dog for 10 years, then moved into a house with 3 big dogs, Huskies. But that was last July. Sigh...well, at least I know I'm not crazy and that there are others out there with the same thing. That's some consolation...
 
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jayemm replied to An_242507's response:
I am just seeing this page and I have had this for years . I though I was the only person and really did think I was going nuts . Could not and can not sleep do to itching in areas all over my body , very self conscience about telling people because of where the inching happens , its all over! So i itch at night when I sleep and tear up the skin and make it worse . Its raised red whelps , I can draw on my skin with my finger nail and in a few min. you can see in red whelps what I wrote but I did not push down hard . The lack of sleep do to itching is hurting my life very badly . What do I do , I need help and a doctor that takes this seriously , cortisone will not fix something like this but that what 2 doctors have told me to do .. Very frustrating .. years and years , What do I/we do!?
 
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jayemm replied to FloridaCountryGirl's response:
I am just seeing this page and I have had this for years . I though I was the only person and really did think I was going nuts . Could not and can not sleep do to itching in areas all over my body , very self conscience about telling people because of where the inching happens , its all over! So i itch at night when I sleep and tear up the skin and make it worse . Its raised red whelps , I can draw on my skin with my finger nail and in a few min. you can see in red whelps what I wrote but I did not push down hard . The lack of sleep do to itching is hurting my life very badly . What do I do , I need help and a doctor that takes this seriously , cortisone will not fix something like this but that what 2 doctors have told me to do .. Very frustrating .. years and years , What do I/we do? I agree , it is not always when under stress by any way , shape ,or form . Also , steroids they prescribed did nothing for me...
 
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jayemm responded:
I am just seeing this page and I have had this for years . I though I was the only person and really did think I was going nuts . Could not and can not sleep do to itching in areas all over my body , very self conscience about telling people because of where the inching happens , its all over! So i itch at night when I sleep and tear up the skin and make it worse . Its raised red whelps , I can draw on my skin with my finger nail and in a few min. you can see in red whelps what I wrote but I did not push down hard . The lack of sleep do to itching is hurting my life very badly . What do I do , I need help and a doctor that takes this seriously , cortisone will not fix something like this but that what 2 doctors have told me to do .. Very frustrating .. years and years , What do I/we do? I agree , it is not always when under stress by any way , shape ,or form . Also , steroids they prescribed did nothing for me...
 
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jayemm replied to Seven74's response:
Its not stress for me but those pictures are the exact same thing I have . I do find lack of sleep and everything else the inching causes can cause stress and sense they do not last but a few hours sometimes . A person could calm from stress and have these whelps subside in the same amount of rough time , they still have no connection but that they are both going on in the body at the same time .

Have had this for years and need help like this rest ..anyone ?


We need more help on this one.
 
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Southflorida321 replied to jayemm's response:




Last year I began having the same symptoms that many of you listed. I am healthy and in my early thirties. I rarely even get a cold. My doctor said it was from stress, but I think it is because I took an antibiotic. Who knows. No one really does. I had a very bad sore throat and when my ENT prescribed Augmentin I started having welts where my skin was scratched and itched. It was devastating for me because she said it was something I just had to live with and I could take medication, but more medication could have other effects. I talked to someone Michigan and he said he took Clartin D for a few years and it went away. He stopped taking it regularly and only when it started "acting up". I took claritin D a few times, but I always felt very bloated and had a "medicine head". I tried to take the Publix version of Loratadine 10mg and I don't have any side effects. My skin still gets red, but it doesn't break out into hives or a rash. I don't take it every day, but I do if I know I'm going to be lifting heavy things or playing sports. It is very annoying and I hope they find a cure one day. I'm glad the Loratadine alleviates some of the symptoms, but I hate that I have to change my life because of it. I can't even pick up and hug a 2 year old without breaking into hives. My Dr said it should go away in a couple years, but nothing is definite. It has been a year and it is still the same. I don't think it is related to stress. If I am under stress it is harder for me to "resist" the urge to scratch, but other than that, I think the cause is something else. I think it may be neurological.

There are others out there who have to cope with this too. I thought I was alone and it scared me. You are not alone. I had to put my "mind over matter" and remember that it could be worse. It is terrible, but is not fatal and you cannot give it to someone else by touching them. Check with your doctor to see if you can go on an antihistamine. It helped me feel a little "normal" again.
 
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An_242507 replied to Southflorida321's response:
I finally went to my doctor and he prescribed Claritin (or the generic) - I take one a day, it's 24 hours, and it has helped tremendously! He said I could take the Benadryl (generic) if the Claritin wasn't working, but I haven't had to yet. I still get the itchies sometimes on my left forearm, where the "bites" are, so am wondering if that's the original site and if the "bites" have anything to do with it. I was thinking neurological, too, as I still get the blotches after a shower. The doc said to see if different water temperatures make a difference - haven't experimented with that yet. They have seen this before and it's labeled "idiopathic" - meaning "of unknown cause" - big help, there, huh?
 
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An_242507 replied to An_242507's response:
I meant to type "idiopathic etiology" - "unknown origin".
 
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TalmageNE replied to FloridaCountryGirl's response:
Glad I am not aloneI have had these for about 11 years. I first got them after the birth of my daughter and thought it was an allergic reaction to the Codiene. But, 11 years later, I still get them, almost daily (really bad right now, which is why I searched this to see if anyone had finally found a solution. I have tried to change soaps, detergents, deodorants, perfumes, diet, all of the above. Oten times, they are worse, when I am under alot of stress, but I do not believe mine are stress related. They may have been initially triggered by stress, but now, I feel that I will have to live with them indefinitely. No doctor knows what they are (they all say "possible allergies, use cortizone, take Benadryl"--which does help). I will come back in a few years to see if there is a solution. --at least, now, I see that I am not alone in this!
 
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cgromes1977 replied to An_207489's response:
have started getting this and i was thinking that i was getting bit by something. when i scratch it looks just like this photo.
 
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S_Holland responded:
Wow, I'm so glad I found this thread. I'm itching like crazy, have been for the past 4, going on 5 days. Off and on. It comes and goes, in patches and spurts. It all started about 3 years ago when I was living in The Netherlands. A fellow American friend came to visit me from China and we had to share a bed in a hotel room in Amsterdam. I had to borrow a pair of his sleep pants. Well, after we had turned the lights out to sleep, I started feeling a burning and itchy sensation all over me, especially my legs, accompanied by lumps and welts. It certainly freaked HIM out! We thought it was bed bugs, but nothing happened to him, so we ruled that out and thought I was allergic to his pants or whatever he washed them in. A week later, he was gone, and the itching had gone as well. I thought I was just allergic to him! But ever since, this problem just pops up out of nowhere sometimes and I get itchy welts and bumps everywhere that come briefly and pass. Like right now, it's my neck, shoulder and my shoulder blade. But earlier this morning (it woke me at 4 AM from the itching) it was my leg, back and sides! .....Well, someone here had it right! It's definitely stress related...and it seems the best and only thing to do about it is to de-stress as much as possible. See, when my friend came to visit, it was a big deal for me. I had been overseas for so long and never had a visitor...It was stressful and exciting. This time, I had been without work for the past 2 weeks (Got a job today though!), and with that came a ton of stress. And every other time it has happened: STRESS. Just glad to read this conversation thread and be reassured that there's nothing serious going on with me.You all know how scary the internet can be when trying to self-diagnose
Good luck with your stress welts, everyone!
 
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An_242507 replied to FloridaCountryGirl's response:
I have been following this thread and have chimed in a couple of times. I continue the Claritin (not "D") and have not had any itching ANYthing like before, but occasionally get a small, burning area (especially on the face or leg) that may itch for a short while. I did some more research and I don't want to freak anyone out, but itching with no rash (such as you'd see with contact dermatitis and other itchy skin disorders) can be a symptom of MS (multiple sclerosis). It's important that you note (and watch for) any other symptoms, as this disease has no clear-cut set of symptoms - every case is different - and visit your physician. Here's a link to check it out further: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/about-multiple-sclerosis/what-we-know-about-ms/symptoms/itching/index.aspx
 
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hunterchick12 replied to FloridaCountryGirl's response:
I am so glad a came across this website! i am having the same issue and dont really know what it is either! watevever it is it isches me like crazy! i thought i had gotten into some poisen or somethng in the woods, but its obviously not! if anyone has any info on what to use let me know!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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An_247840 replied to hunterchick12's response:
Thank you everyone! I replied on another forum but then saw this one and it's just what I am having. No bites or bumps until after I scratch. I need to tie my hands in duct tape after putting on mittens to keep from clawing my skin off at night.
Was there any answers beyond Claritin or Benadryl. I take Allegra (headache with Claritin; hyper with Benadryl-I'm wierd) It's a relief just knowing others have the problem (sorry) and might be able to offer solution. Please share your thoughts and suggestions.
 
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Mohiba K Tareen, MD replied to An_247840's response:
Dear An,

There is a condition called 'papular urticaria' where ones body makes bite-like lesions due to increased levels of histamine in the body.

Google it and see if it applies to you. An OTC cream called Sarna (or its generic equivalent) can help tremendously.

If that doesn't help, go see your local dermatologist for an answer and good medication.

I hope that helps


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