As a child, I suffered from hives after every shower. If my allergies were triggered, I’d get hives if I ate shellfish and even certain tropical fruits (namely, papaya…). After gym class, my skin would glow so red, it looked nearly purple, and then I’d start to itch. The hives always disappeared within 30 minutes, though. Like the raspiness I’d get when winded, or during the mildew season, these were simply ‘normal’ and brief occurrences in my family.
My Dad was fair-skinned and freckled and he suffered allergies and sensitive skin. My Mom is allergic to make-up and metals; her nose itches about a quarter of the year, and she was born with asthma so severe, they hospitalized her as an infant. So, my mild (in comparison) hives & allergic reactions were simply par for the course in my home.
At 31, I began to run middle-distance. Not long after, I came down with walking pneumonia and saw a doc, who officially diagnosed my asthma for the first time. I began a daily regimen that pretty much changed my life. (As an aside, I was part of a UVA study, which proved exercise-induced asthma was real, back in 2001/02.)
Skip ahead 15 years to today, and I’m going on Week 10 of an excruciatingly itchy rash. It began on my chest, and rapidly moved to my outer arms, shoulders, neck, back, hips, my sides, belly and the top of my butt. It ebbs and flows. I’ve tried every cream; every combination of antihistamine, spray, supplement, vitamin. I’ve eliminated Propylene Glycol–reading that was a fairly common culprit. I’ve gone gluten-free, having suspected since childhood it was wreaking havoc with my internal system, but have never been tested for Celiacs.
Why haven’t I seen a doc yet, you ask? Because, as we all know, those of us who suffer from auto-immune diseases continue to have an incredibly difficult go of things. I’ve spent most of my life being told my symptoms are a million different things (or, nothing at all real), almost all of which have been wrong.
It’s been sheer luck to have come across a couple of doctors over the years, who not only took me (and my research!) seriously, but actually invested themselves into figuring out what was going on. Like everyone, I don’t have time to go through half-a-dozen doctors until the one willing to listen and test me is found. It is so frustrating!
But, then, stumbling upon this site– after 2+ months of symptom checkers, pix-comparisons of rash-like skin disorders, countless, scratchy and sleepless nights, spent awake, miserable and researching conditions — has given me an ‘a-ha!’ moment.
It’s been an unusually warm summer for my area in NorCAL. The position of my house leaves my office and room hotter than Hades, come 3pm, onward, each day. I’ve been doing quite a bit of general sweating–more than usual–every day. I’d bet my car and TV, this is what’s going on, and the reason the rash persists. Though, far less severe, and short-lived, I had them as a child, and I’m nearly positive, it’s just kicked back up recently.
Of course, I’m open to thoughts and ideas, but really chimed in to say, Thanks a million for your work, time, and knowledge you’ve made available through this site. You’ve no idea what you have done for me. 🙏