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So what's this rash then?!

(28 Posts)
Myusernameismud Fri 31-May-19 21:09:50

I know we all love a rash identification thread grin

This is me, after I got out of the shower today. I have various undiagnosed allergies, mainly food. I'm off to addenbrookes to be tested next week so I've had to stop the daily antihistamine and low dose steroid I'm taking.

The last few days I've had this awful, super itchy rash after a shower. I thought it might be the shower gel, even though it's a fragrance free one so didn't use that the next day, but it still happened. Tried having the water perfect body temperature in case it was the heat, but still the same. So what, is it just water?! How on earth can I ask to be tested for a shower water allergy?!

The rash is raised on my face, neck and arms, but flat and blotchy on my chest. My palms were itchy and blotchy too, and a few little itchy hives on my stomach, back and shoulders, but the lower half of my body is almost totally unaffected. It itches like hell, and takes around 3 hours to subside. We live in a very hard water area, so may be a factor? I'm also pretty wheezy when I get out, which is the most puzzling part.

So what on earth could it be? Anyone else have a mystery post-shower rash? grin

jalopy Fri 31-May-19 21:21:03

I'm not a doctor but is it possibly cholinergic urticaria?

More info

Myusernameismud Fri 31-May-19 21:26:01

Possibly, although sweating doesn't bring it on. It's literally just having a shower or bath! The rest of it fits though, I have asthma and eczema too.

Myusernameismud Fri 31-May-19 21:43:01

Hmm reading into that more, mustard allergy is one of the things that I'm being tested for but it says spicy or hot foods can bring it on.

I definitely don't get it when I'm hot/sweaty or stressed though. It's so frustrating!

jalopy Fri 31-May-19 22:11:47

The info says that the rash can be triggered by showers/baths.

Similar to your experience?

Myusernameismud Fri 31-May-19 22:20:30

Yep, only ever showers or baths but it doesn't seem to be related to the heat. I've had a cool shower and still got it!

2pointfourmonkeys Fri 31-May-19 22:38:46

Dermographia? Mine was always worse when i was hot so maybe irritation of water hitting your skin plus heat?

WeShouldBeFriends Fri 31-May-19 22:40:07

Washing powder on towel?

Myusernameismud Fri 31-May-19 22:59:11

weshouldbe no, it starts to appear while I'm still in the shower so long before a towel has touched my skin!

2point4 DH has dermographia, it doesn't look much like it. It also happens in the bath, and when I go swimming for that matter but I always assumed that was the chlorine.

As a side note, I have lots of fun writing rude words things and drawing on DHs skin. It stays there for ages!

SimplySteveRedux Fri 31-May-19 23:04:42

Check out SLE (Lupus), there's other symptoms you'd have though, Wikipedia and the NHS site have good information.

Myusernameismud Sat 01-Jun-19 01:18:17

Hmmm simplysteve I have quite a lot of those symptoms! I've had pleurisy twice in the last year, a lot of joint pain and fatigue too, but my GP always put the fatigue down to poorly controlled asthma.

I get this rash on my cheeks when I've been on the sun, but it's not sunburn because I literally only have to be out for 5 minutes for it to happen. Excuse my amateur attempt at disguising my face grin

2pointfourmonkeys Sat 01-Jun-19 12:06:18

@Myusernameismud ha ha, yes that used to be my party trick! Having kids seemed to fix mine. Not an option for your DH 😂😂

SimplySteveRedux Sat 01-Jun-19 13:58:54

Err that looks like the trademark lupus butterfly rash. You should get checked out just in case.

allwrite Sat 01-Jun-19 14:28:10

"So what, is it just water?! How on earth can I ask to be tested for a shower water allergy?!"

A dermatologist would use your photos to help diagnose. This is what I did when I got really fed up with reacting badly to water on my skin.

I have both aquagenic urticaria and aquagenic pruritis - my skin thinks the water is a foreign object so my body floods my blood stream with histamines. Temperature and 'type' of water make absolutely no difference.

The rash (urticaria)appears a short while after the shower, and takes the form of growing red blotches with a central 'blister'. They take about an hour to fade.

The itch (pruritis) can begin when I'm still under the water, and travels rapidly around my body. It feels like pin-prick stabbing.

I also react if I'm out in the rain, or break into a sweat, or if the weather is particularly humid. I can also feel sick or faint when the effects start up.

None of my doctors have ever experienced these conditions, but the dermatologist I then asked to see did confirm what I had from my photos and description. He also said that there was no real treatment. I have tried all sorts of histamines in all sorts of combinations, to no avail. I just keep very busy afterwards in order to distract myself.

Myusernameismud Sun 02-Jun-19 18:29:04

That's really helpful allwrite, thanks. I guess I'll see what the allergy tests flag up next week and go from there. Although the idea that nothing really helps it isn't so reassuring, I was hoping it was something that could be fixed confused

YesQueen Sun 02-Jun-19 18:36:31

This is my cholinergic urticaria and it does look different. Mine is my whole body

Myusernameismud Sun 02-Jun-19 18:39:25

Hmmm yeah quite different to mine yesqueen, I'm inclined to think it's not that because sweating doesn't bring it on at all. I can just feel how itchy that is! What do you do to ease it?

YesQueen Sun 02-Jun-19 18:46:01

Nothing sad I'm already on 4 antihistamines a day. Sometimes a cool bath or a fan on me can help

Myusernameismud Sun 02-Jun-19 19:40:57

Oh yesqueen that's awful. I bet you dread the summer. Do you have other associated issues? Asthma, hay-fever etc?

YesQueen Sun 02-Jun-19 20:06:25

Nope, none at all confused
My mum has bad hay fever. It started 23 years ago and hasn't gone since. I do have dermographism as well. It's change of temperature that does it for me so summer is ok as already warm, exercise in winter is the worst, or if I get really stressed it comes up
I have a suspicion it's autoimmune as I am gathering autoimmune conditions, or as the doctor puts it "you like things that are rare, and hard to spell" hmmgrin

Myusernameismud Thu 13-Jun-19 08:09:58

@allwrite I had my allergy tests done last week and they were inconclusive hmm
I mentioned aquagenic urticaria and the allergy specialist said she'd never come across it in 30 years so it was unlikely to be that. Her specialism is nut allergies though, so I'm thinking of asking for a derm referral. They've discharged me from allergy and referred me to the severe asthma team!

SimplySteveRedux Thu 13-Jun-19 10:53:11

Did they do any tests for Lupus? Bloody annoying when you get passed from from doctor to another...

SimplySteveRedux Thu 13-Jun-19 10:53:29

*from one doctor

Myusernameismud Thu 13-Jun-19 11:09:51

Nope, that's something I'll have to go to the GP to request apparently. My GP said they'll see if the ridiculous tiredness and other symptoms settle down in the next 6 weeks as they've changed a few medications I'm on. If not, they'll do some bloods then. Not sure I can cope with another 6 weeks of needing 2 naps a day!

Myusernameismud Thu 13-Jun-19 11:10:40

Simply I am literally being passed from pillar to post, the only constant is my lovely long suffering asthma nurse!

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