I have really been thinking about this sweat gland occlusion thing since I last made a post about sweat gland obstruction. It seems to me like there has to be something clogging our pores. After all, most of us can’t sweat unless we get REALLY hot.
Also, when I have a Cholinergic Urticaria attack, my skin always just feels like my sweat glands are trying to sweat but are blocked. I sometimes literally scratch & wish I could just unplug them with my fingernails!
Anyways, if the sweat pores are blocked, it seems to me like there are 3 logical things that could be blocking them: Fungus (or Yeast such as Candida), Bacteria, or a part of our own tissue (such as skin cells). Our bodies do contain a “flora” of bacteria & fungi that occur on the skin naturally, just like it does in our intestines. It is also possible for this “balance” on our skin to get out of whack, or an “over-growth” can occur.
If It is a Fungus On Our Skin (Such as Candida Yeast)
One possibility is that a fungus or yeast that naturally occurs on our skin has over-grown to the point of clogging the sweat pores (or releasing toxins that block the pores). This could definitely be a possibility. After all, many of us used to be athletic, which means we sweat a lot (athletes often have trouble with fungus such as athletes foot, etc.).
Also, many of us have been on antibiotics in the past. I know I used to get strep throat almost every year when I was a teenager, and had to take antibiotics. I last had antibiotics about 6 months before the first time I developed CU. Again, I have no idea if Candida/Yeast is causing this.
A frustrating thing is that the only “legitimate” treatment for yeast is a prescription from the doctor. There are many anti-yeast medicines (depending on the variety) such as Fluconazole (Diflucan), etc.
I went to Wal-mart today, and I hoped perhaps they would have some anti-yeast/candida medicine that was legitimate. I found one medicine (I can’t remember the brand, it was 3 letters like Yza or something). It said it was anti-yeast/candida homeopath treatment (which I am always skeptical of), plus it was only $5!! I was excited, and I was going to buy it. Then I flipped the box over, and it said in fine print, “Does not cure yeast infection.”
What!? What in the heck do they sell it for then? LOL. Anyways, I thought it was probably nearly worthless, so I didn’t waste my money, and I have heard of some CU people trying these “anti-candida cleanses” and they didn’t help at all. It looks like the only legit treatment would be to go to the dermatologist & get them to give a prescription of “real” medicine.
They can also run a test for Candida/yeast on the skin (by taking scrapings & testing it). Or they also use something called a “Wood’s Lamp,” which is basically a blacklight that causes any fungi to glow on your skin. The only problem is it would be hard to tell if you have an overgrowth in the sweat pores, as the skin itself (in me anyways) does not show signs of any major problems.
But at least there is a “pill” to treat it if it actually turned out to be the case. I tried to research any connection between yeast & cholinergic urticaria, and also the medicine for yeast, but I couldn’t really find a solid connection of where it has been used to treat cholinergic urticaria.
If Bacteria Are Clogging Our Sweat Pores:
If bacteria are clogging our sweat pores, it would be difficult to know for sure. I sometimes do get these ingrown hairs or “infected follicles” that kind of look like a small pimple. I get a random one occasionally. I also have a few “bumps” on my back which look similar to a pimple. So bacteria on the skin causing problems is also definitely a possibility.
I suppose the treatment for this would be a round of antibiotics. The only problem is, if Candida was really the cause, then the bacteria could make Cu worse. If, however, bacteria were causing the problems with Cu, it could actually cure it (or at least treat it for a long time).
So bacteria/antibiotics is another possibility of why our sweat glands seem to not work so well. They could be clogging it up as they continue to spread & multiply.
Personally, I really wish it was either a fungal thing, or a bacterial thing. How awesome would that be! Just take a few pills and be done with Cu forever!! That’s what I am talking about!!
Again, I have heard of at least one case as I mentioned in the last post where a person with Cholinergic Urticaria symptoms was given antibiotics, however, it is unclear if it ever worked or not (he never followed up).
I hope to try one, or both treatments if I can by late this year if it hasn’t cleared up by then. I really think that perhaps this could be the issue.
If Our Skin Cells/Tissue Is Clogging Our Sweat Glands
If our own skin tissue (such as keratin) is clogging our pores, then it isn’t so great, because I don’t really know of any treatment for that. Scrubbing the skin doesn’t seem to help, and I don’t know of anything that would work well to keep them clear for the long term. Perhaps sun exposure can help some, but how much is uncertain.
But this is also a possibility of how our pores are being clogged (if they are being clogged). I just really hope we figure this out soon, and it would be so awesome if we could take some pill to cure the problem (such as an anti-fungal or antibiotic), instead of just trying to treat the symptoms (like antihistamines try to do).
Update on My Own Hives, Sun Exposure, and More
My hives have been about the same lately, perhaps a bit worse. I didn’t have an attack at the store today, which surprised me, but I did feel like I was going to a few times.
I haven’t had a severe attack in a while (thank God for that). Every time I feel some pins and needles coming on, I try to calm down or cool down to prevent that torture.
It has been really rainy the past few days, and also very cool, so I haven’t been able to get outside in a few days. I still plan on trying to get some regular sun exposure this entire summer in hopes that it will help. I suppose it could also potentially help any Fungal or Bacterial problem by killing it (although some bacteria/fungi may not be killed easily by sunlight).
I don’t really know what to think at this point. Hopefully time will tell. I suppose we will all know if the sunlight thing helps, and hopefully by the end of the year we will know if antibiotics or anti-fungals can do anything.
This condition is very difficult to live with. I often look at my wife at night and say, “Do you think I will ever be normal again? Will this ever go away?” She always tries to reassure me and says, “Of course sweet-heart. It will go away once you are able to get outside, and later this year once we get insurance & our house, we will take you to the doctor and see about running more tests.”
I always appreciate her positive attitude, and I have to believe that we won’t have this forever, and we will figure out the cause (and hopefully cure it). Logic would tell us something is causing this. Sweat glands have to be involved somehow. It comes & goes in people, so it can’t be anything permanent (such as a sweat gland defect). Perhaps they just get clogged, and when our hundreds (or thousands) of glands try to sweat, they can’t and it causes a terrible pins & needles reaction with itching.
Anyways, let us all continue to have hope that we will be rid of this soon!