I’m a 24 year old male, in relatively good health. I have had an issue with cholinergic urticaria for the past 4-5 years. My outbreaks never have a noticeable rash/hives or anything, so when explaining it to people they look at me crazy. My first thought was dry skin caused by the dry conditions where I was going to school at the time in West Texas (very dry wind).
A family doctor prescribed me antihistamines (zyrtec) which only suppressed the symptoms but did not eliminate them. He also recommend I use vaseline on my skin to keep it hydrated (wanted me to be a living grease ball I guess). I graduated recently and now live in Dallas, Texas. I was hoping my symptoms would alleviate themselves with the nicer weather, but it did not. This is a seasonal thing and tends to happen sometime in October and lasts till March.
I am typically a very active person, so cholinergic urticaria has made me resort to laziness, as I do not want to experience the overwhelming itching sensation this disease causes. My breakouts only happen as my body heats up, leaving me no option to exercise, work in the yard, move furniture… anything. It wasn’t happening. I had to figure out the issue.
I diagnosed myself with cholinergic urticaria shortly after reading many of these posts and others on Google. Many people have similar issues with heat induced itching. I woke up this morning feeling like a total fatty, as I have refused to put myself in a situation in which I would sweat. Reading this blog and others, many have found Sweat Therapy to be a solution. I went to the gym this morning, signed up for a 3 day pass to test this out. (I was itching when I walked in and signed up as the heat in the room brought on the symptom).
As I walked into the sauna, I mentally prepared for battle, knowing this could be very overwhelming. I closed my eyes and went into a meditating state. The itching actually was not bad compared to ones I would get while exercising.. apparently elevating your temperature as rapidly as possible to break through this barrier is the best thing to do. As to exercise is gradual and therefore an elongated overwhelming itch will happen. The itch lasted no longer than 5 minutes and I was finally sweating. I sat in the sauna for 15 more minutes in complete joy that I could see my perspiration again without an itch. I then went to workout and the itch remained absent. I will continue sweat therapy as I hope to see continued progression.
Another thing I was reading that could be a catalyst for cholinergic urticaria was diet. I have been eating very poorly…. fast food, soda multiple times a day. My sodium and sugar intake (if I had to guess) would be through the roof. I am going to start eating healthier, omitting soda and other fast food items in my diet. It makes sense as this stuff does clog your pores, in which your sweat is trying to surpass causing the itch.
This post was submitted by a reader. For information on sweat therapy, view the video below: