I have had cholinergic urticaria for about 4 years now with symptoms popping up whenever I switch from cold to hot rooms, showering, getting nervous or stressed. Over the past 2 years the symptoms have got increasingly worse, at first I would get an episode every so often, but now it’s each time I encounter a trigger (ie. it didn’t always happen when I shower, now it’s every single time).
Over the past few years I have been trying to figure out what caused the cholinergic urticaria, and I was wondering if anyone else had similar experiences. I have two theories:
1. I started indoor tanning when I was 15 years old (I’m 29 now). I was a pretty heavy tanner up to 4 years ago, (approx 2-3 x per week), when I got quite worried about how bad for your skin indoor tanning was. I slowly spaced out my tanning and havent been to a tanning bed in 1.5 years. In the tanning beds I would get very hot and sweat, and I would also use lotions that ‘tingle’ to give you a deeper tan. Not really sure what was in the lotions but they make you hot and itchy (similar to cholinergic urticaria but without hives or bumps. Looking back I don’t know why I put myself though that for a tan…anyways I digress). It was around the same time I stopped tanning that I started getting CU, so I’m wondering if they’re linked? Has anyone had the same issues.
2. Also, around 4 years ago I went on a trip to Cuba. I shaved my legs in the hotel then went into the pool. My legs were a bit itchy in the water, but I assumed I got a little bit of razor burn or the chlorine was irritating my freshly shaven legs. When I got home I had hives all over my legs that were really itchy and didn’t go away after a few days. I went to a walk in clinic and the doctor said I had a fungal infection, probably from the pool water. She prescribed me a cream and I used it for a few weeks and the hives eventually subsided. I feel like this event had something to do with my CU like it was a trigger. The itchiness and bumps usually starts in my legs and arms and my legs get the itchiest/most sensitive when I have an episode.
I feel like both of these events are related to why I have cholinergic urticaria and I’m wondering if anyone has had similar experiences, and what you did to help.
I have been to an allergist and their only suggestion is to take an allergy medicine every day. I have seasonal allergies also, and when I take antihistamines for this there isn’t really much change to my cholinergic urticaria.
Thanks for reading!