I, like most of us, have spent countless hours on the internet trying to learn more about hives and figure out how to get rid of them. A little bit about myself; I am 42 years old but first noticed hives in my mid 20’s.
They appeared while working a landscaping job in the hot/humid south. I did not know what it was and brushed it off as a ‘heat rash’. I had sporadic bouts throughout the remainder of my 20’s but they were not chronic at this time. The bouts increased in frequency in my 30’s. My hives would last 1-2 weeks, occur multiple times a month all year long.
I self-diagnosed myself with eczema and switched to non allergenic soap and laundry detergent, hoping this would get rid of them to no avail. Trips to general practitioners labeled it as eczema or contact dermatitis. They would generally prescribe steroids which would clear it up only to return; one time with a head to toe vengeance. I finally broke down and went to a dermatologist a couple years ago where they did a skin biopsy.
I finally got the official diagnosis- chronic urticaria. They basically said that finding the trigger/s is not likely and that an allergist would probably not be useful in my case. They recommended Zyrtec which I continue to take 2x a day. The search went/goes on to find my trigger/s and the eventual ‘cure’.
Around this time a blood test showed that I was low in Vitamin D. I did not think much of it and then read of the possible Vitamin D deficiency/hives link. I saw my hives stop after introducing 2000 IU’s of D3 twice daily (along with Zyrtec) and I was stoked! I was hives free for about 2 months but they returned, most recently when we moved further south.
As for my trigger/s; I think that I have more than one. As mentioned in my bio, I first noticed hives in correlation with heat, so I think it’s safe to say that’s one. Where I differ from some of this forum is that I have no trouble sweating and I tend to get wheals opposed to ‘pin’ hives. I do experiences skin flushing when getting hot and sometimes get itchy all over, especially when getting out of the shower.
Another trigger I’ve thought of is the sun. Two times I had sun exposure/sunburns turn into a bad hive reaction. I wonder if it was the sun or the suntan lotion? Has anyone else had this happen? If so, what brand of suntan lotion do you use?
Of all the research I’ve done, Ben’s thoughts and videos have been helpful. I’m still making my way through his videos but think a diet change makes sense. I am also going to look for a shower head filter as I’ve had some suspicions about water too (I often break out when visiting my fiancé’s mothers. I think it’s either her detergent or water).
I am currently getting over my latest bout of hives and am wondering, yet again, what triggered it. I noticed a small hive or two forming after a recent run, then we went to visit my fiancé’s cousin when it exploded (I mostly get hives on my neck and arms, but have had them all over). They use Gain detergent so I am left wondering if it was the heat from running, the detergent, or both. Until this clears up I am taking D3, Zyrtec and Benadryl at night (I only take it when I have a bout but take the prior two year round).
Any thoughts on triggers, someone with a similar story as mine or general thoughts are welcomed. Thanks for this site Ben and I will continue to research it until I can find a ‘cure’!