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Tell me about urticaria

(37 Posts)
MaudantWit Thu 30-Oct-14 22:48:12

For a fortnight now I have been covered in a pervasive rash which the GP told me is urticaria, brought on by an allergic reaction to something I've eaten. The GP didn't offer allergy testing or anything apart from antihistamines, but the consultant I'm seeing about something else is going to refer me to a dermatologist.

Does anyone have any tips or advice? I'm using Virasoothe to control the itching, but is there anything better?

soph123kay Thu 30-Oct-14 22:51:15

i sufferd from this as a teenager my eyes and lips used to swell up it stopped after a year though x

Catsmamma Thu 30-Oct-14 22:53:08

i had it for ages....took antihistamines daily for about two or three years

being too hot, too cold, indoors, outdoors, washing powder, fabric conditioner....never did work out exactly what caused it.

used to think it had gone and stop run out of the AHs only to have it come back after three or four days, one day I ran out, and it never came back.

have had a couple of episodes of it since but as it comes across ..usually arms. legs, then body the rash fades out, whereas before it would just get wilder and redder.

MaudantWit Thu 30-Oct-14 22:55:57

I'm glad to hear you both got better, but alarmed to hear that it hung around for years!

Sunnyshine Thu 30-Oct-14 22:57:57

My daughter gets this too. Unspecified allergy with raised long scratch like hives on torso, arms, bottom. Has strongest anti histamine every day. Hasn't flared up until recently when bitten by a wasp. We put eczema cream on it everyday as antihistamine dry skin out.

goodasitgets Thu 30-Oct-14 22:57:59

I have cholinergic urticaria (18 years of it!) but it's not there 24/7
Mine seems to be brought on by raised heart rate and change in temp
I take 4 x 10mg (the one a day) tablets of zyrtec

MaudantWit Thu 30-Oct-14 23:04:17

I had to look that up, goodasitgets. It sounds very annoying. You have my sympathy.

Spingley Thu 30-Oct-14 23:07:20

I had it once as a reaction to anti biotics. I'm quite a rashy person but a course of antihistamines cleared it up and touch wood it hasn't come back. At the time I was convinced it was measles, so an allergic reaction seemed like getting off lightly!

WottaMess Thu 30-Oct-14 23:13:24

Had temp triggered urticaria for about 15 years but grew out of it! Took cetirizine (Zyrtec) daily and that kept it under control. Worth trying different ah though as some work better for you than others. (Side effects worth checking too).

Queenofknickers Thu 30-Oct-14 23:20:26

I came out in this a few years ago when marriage was wobbly and the dermatologist said it was stress. He gave me Valergan tablets and they (and riding out the rocky patch) sorted it.

MaudantWit Thu 30-Oct-14 23:30:31

Thank you for all the replies. I don't think cetirizine is helping much (although I don't know how much worse it might be without it) so will investigate alternatives.

wheresthebeach Thu 30-Oct-14 23:35:49

I have this too - try Ranitadine.

goodasitgets Fri 31-Oct-14 00:37:08

Def take the appointment - I've tried various combos including ranitidine with an antihistamine, up to 300mg of antihistamines, and other stuff. They've run out of options now except for cyclosporin to suppress my immune system and quite frankly it's crap anyway so I don't want it any worse grin

MaudantWit Fri 31-Oct-14 08:59:26

I've woken up today still covered in blotches and with very swollen eyes. I'm feeling very sorry for myself (although I know that many people have things a great deal worse), but grateful to you all for sharing your experiences.

Elfontheedge Fri 31-Oct-14 09:11:49

I get this too. It flares up when it's cold or when i exercise. Dermatologist told me it would go away eventually on its own which it did when I was pregnant, then it came back again! It's not as bad as it was though.
At the same time as I got this I also suddenly started having allergic reactions to NSAIDs (ibuprofen etc.) and now can't take them at all sad

BadRoly Fri 31-Oct-14 09:16:34

I have a selection of lotions and potions and antihistamines but they're all on prescription so not much help.

I too have suffered for 20+ years but badly for the last 5 or so. I'm currently on 4x citirizine, 2x fexofenadine and when I'm 'flaring' (like now) I take a piriton (the old drowsy one) at bedtime.

I have an emollient shower cream and use Balneum plus lotion (an anti itch potion) to try and south the itching - both prescribed by a lovely dermatologist.

Her predecessor was going to try cyclosporine but this one felt the side effects were too great and pointed out that it would only provide short term relief.

Day to day I avoid tight clothes (bra straps in a flare up are hellish), getting too hot, have cotton bed sheets, avoid ibuprofen and if I'm really bad, try and cut out some foods (tomatoes are supposed to be very baaaad for urticaria grin).

I've had a go at drinking nettle tea (homeopathic remedy - treat like with like) but didn't notice much difference. I keep meaning to read a mindfulness book too to try and reduce my apparent stress hmm.

The immunologist I saw a few years back did say it was crucial to keep an eye on my thyroxine as it can be linked to a dodgy thyroid (mine is under active) but to be honest, my GP doesn't really give a shit I think because it's not a 'serious' condition angry

MaudantWit Fri 31-Oct-14 10:24:20

Right. I have booked another appointment with the GP. I think I could live with the blobs if I could just find something to help with the relentless itching. I'll ask about changing the antihistamine or taking more of them.

Pippidoeswhatshewants Fri 31-Oct-14 10:32:33

Hi, I have nothing to add, just a moan about my yet undiagnosed itch thlsad
I've just had blood tests, and gall bladder, liver, thyroid causes have been ruled out.
I'm pretty sure it's some form of urticaria, at the moment I am "wearing" a lovely, itchy urticaria bra. It's hard to go braless, though, if you are well endowed. I have a GP appointment next week and might push to be referred to a dermatologist. I'm obviously not in mortal danger, but this SUCKS!!!!!

MaudantWit Fri 31-Oct-14 13:11:12

Pippi - Please feel free to moan. I have recently been spending time with other women whose health problems are far greater than my own, and I am trying to keep things in perspective, but being itchy and blobby is very annoying. I couldn't possibly go braless, but I am finding that edges of clothing - bra, waistband, tops of socks etc - bring up a fresh batch of blotches and weals.

Mini05 Fri 31-Oct-14 13:26:03

GP as given you the cheapest antihistamines! Which is standard pratice always cheapest first!

I sympathise with you my sister had this for years!!! Always chasing a cause drove her to despair . Personally I thought it was stress. She used to have piriton she used to get it everywhere bubbles of water!!

MaudantWit Wed 24-Dec-14 12:03:57

I'm reviving this thread in the hope of getting more advice and tips from fellow sufferers.

Since I last posted, I've seen the GP again and seen the dermatologist at the hospital. I'm on a different antihistamine at a different dosage and was on steroids for a while. Consensus is that this is not an allergic reaction.

What I'm still confused about (despite much online research) is what I should expect. I assumed and hoped that, on the right medication, the symptoms would soon go away but they're still very much here (although they fluctuate from day to day). I haven't been rash-free, except for a few hours, for the last two months. I note that some here have had symptoms for years. So is the medication about alleviating symptoms rather than getting rid of them completely?

I'd be grateful to anyone willing to share their experiences again.

seoda24 Wed 24-Dec-14 16:04:17

Sorry I don't have any advice as of yet.I got this lately from neck to toes and it lasted 3 days.I also have atopic eczema and a range of allergies so I don't get alarmed when my skin goes bump...You must be sooo fed up.My dermatologist has referred me to an immunologist/ allergist.Have you had any allergy tests in past? I have had everything going so not sure about this referral I'm waiting on.Hope you get to the root of it.

MaryShelley Wed 24-Dec-14 16:38:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kundry Wed 24-Dec-14 16:51:46

My experience - I had it for about a year.

Dermatologist told me I'd probably never find out what caused it so no point doing allergy tests, often it isn't an allergy, it just starts. It certainly seemed to go away when I got less stressed. This was 10 years ago and it's not come back. Lots of people, inc doctors, said 'it's a reaction to something you ate' - derm said they were wrong and given I haven't changed my diet in any way, she was right. It just happens sometimes.

Steroids unhelpful as it only came back worse when they were stopped.

What was helpful was A LOT of anti-histamine - with derm advice I ended up on 3x dose of fexofenadine plus 2x dose of neoclarityn. It took a long time to get it sorted. One day I just started to cut down and it never came back.

Also while I had it, I scratched so much I got ezcema. Nice.

mrssmith79 Wed 24-Dec-14 17:25:59

I've had it for around 8 years now sad and in all honesty it makes my life so miserable.
GP (disinterested) eventually referred me to a dermatologist (again, disinterested) and after a couple of years being made to feel like a pest and an idiot I finally deciphered the root cause on my own. Mine's caused by any physical pressure on my body (kneeling, gripping something too tight, chewing my lip, wearing heels etc). The weals and itching start locally then usually cover my whole body after a few hours.

Had a couple of scary trips to a+e when I had especially bad flare ups and my mouth / tongue / throat felt swollen but can say it's settled down quite a bit over the last two years.

I take loratadine daily and piriton if I feel an outbreak coming. When it's been really bad gp has prescribed steroids which have helped immeasurably.

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