Post # 1
Ok bees, for the past 2 months I’ve been getting this rash all over my arms and neck. They are red patches and extremely itchy and getting worse all the time. Also my eyes are very red and itchy.
Based on reading I am guessing it’s an allergic reaction to something. I have a doctor booked a but they can’t see me for 3 weeks. Normally I have a bit if dry skin but no allergies.
Since the appointment is so far away I feel like I need to start eliminating already. Problem is that I don’t know where to start. I tried to trace my steps on what is different but I’ve recently moved abroad so everything is new. New apartment, new food, new chemicals, new furniture. So the elimination seems impossible. I’m also slightly worried that there might be mold in the apartment but I have no proof of this. Any ideas on how to proceed?
I’ve started using hydrocortison for the patches and eating over the counter allergy medicine. Thus far no difference.
Post # 2
You don’t have an allergic reaction to something new. You have to be exposed to a substance to develop antibodies to a specific allergen. You may have developed new allergies, but you have to be exposed to a substance more than once to have an allergic reaction.
If it continues to be a problem, ask your doctor for allergy testing.
Post # 3
zeebee1 : I’m allergic to everything. So here’s what you do. Take notes about what you eat and come into contact with. Dates and times. It’s a giant pain but you can see the patterns.
Look at what you touch first thing. Sheets? Lotions? Soap? Look at the detergent or softener. Many times you can develop an allergy to fragrance in those items. Think of anything that’s new or changed. Also this allergy season is hell for those of us with allergies and those that never had them before are having symptoms.
Go get some zyrtec that stuff is magic.
Post # 4
If it’s just your neck, then think contact allergy. Any new hair products? Try some Benadryl too. I’m allergic to blue dye in jeans – makes my legs extremely itchy but no redness. Good luck, I agree with pp write everything down!
Post # 5
Well if it’s only on your neck and arms and not anywhere you can’t start eliminating. What comes in contact with your neck and arms that doesn’t come in contact with out parts of your body. You hair (shampoo/conditioner)? Jewellery (purchase a new necklace/bracelets lately)? A sweater (any new material added to your wardrobe)? Do you wash your shirts with a particular laundry powder that you don’t wash your pants with? Have you bought any new perfumes lately? These are somethings that might cause the rash to be on your top half more than your bottom half.
Post # 6
Be careful with your use of Zyrtec. You can have killer withdrawal symptoms when you discontinue it. It can feel like your whole body has the worst burning itch you can imagine. Many people have to taper off their dosage over a month or more.
The location of the rash doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with being exposed to something only in that are of your body.
Post # 7
zeebee1 : what are things that only touch your arms and neck? Start there
Post # 8
+1 to what Jules said. It won’t let me reply for some reason to tag her.
You can develop an allergy to something familiar. I developed an allergy to a perfume I had used for years. So start simple like the pp said what do you touch first thing in the morning to your neck and arms for instance? Are you sleeping in a necklace? (which is likely a nickel allergy) etc.
Post # 9
Thank you for responding. My neck and and arms are the worse. There are less in my chest and lower back. I’ve already tried zyrtec for a few weeks and this far no difference.
I’ve tried the elimination a bit but the problem is that I’ve recently moved to another country so everything is different. Everything I own is new and all the chemical brands are different that what I am used to.
I will try to make notes on what i use and eat. Maybe there is something there. The rash doesnt get better in between so it’s a bit difficult to know if it gets worse since there might be an extra patch and it’s not noticeable until there are several more. Might have to count them and then see if there are more.
I don’t use anything special on lower part of the body compared to upper body. No jewelry (I wear them rarely) and no new clothes lately. My personal guess is some chemicals (all new), the hard water or there is mold or some other growth somewhere. since I can’t really stop showering I’l start with chemicals.
someone mentioned allergy testing and that is exactly why I am going to the doctor to discuss this. I just want to make the time in between a bit more comfortable and get a head start.
Thanks for ideas!
Post # 10
zeebee1 : Sorry to hear about your troubles – sounds miserable, especially when you’re dealing with such big life changes too!
As PPs said, the location of the rash doesn’t necessarily mean that those parts of your body alone were in contact with whatever is causing the issue. Rashes/responses to a systemic issue can manifest in some body parts and not others. It’s possible you could be reacting to a food, rather than a topical product.
Often in these situations people gravitate towards more eco-friendly products (detergent, body wash etc.) but these aren’t always better. In fact, sometimes they are worse. I would try and select products that are fragrance free and designed for sensitive skin wherever possible to reduce irritation. You could also look at whether getting a charcoal filter for your showerhead could be beneficial. I know I always react to water in different cities (red itch and blotchy rash on my chest and back after showering), but it goes down within an hour after contact.
Depending on what part of the world you are in, you might want to also look up the current pollen levels. I moved to Melbourne from New Zealand about 18 months ago and can’t believe how insane the pollen counts and asthma and hayfever rates are here during Spring.
Have you asked a pharmacist for advice? If not, they may be able to provide some suggestions to help tide you through until your doctors appointment. As PPs said, in the meantime you should document everything you eat and products you come into contact with (even if you can’t determine whether they make things worse) as this may be useful for your doctor.
Good luck – I hope you find some relief soon!
Post # 11
I agree with PP. If it is neck and chest mainly I would maybe try a different shampoo etc for a couple of days. Really hope the doctors can help. Be careful with what you are putting onto your skin to help. I spend years using cream for rashes and it was the actually creams that I was allergic too. Very rare and it took the doctors ages to figure out.
Post # 12
Thanks for your input. I started a diary first thing in the morning. and wrote down everything. I’ll make an additional lists with what I’ve started to eat that I normally don’t. For example I’ve never had pineapple juice reglarly and then cut them out.
As I was going through all the chemicals I checked my birth control pill package and on the moderately rare side effects there is rash. My gyno changed my pill recently so I thought that I could go off from it for a while.
I’m in UK so in doubt it’s pollen this time of year but I’m also thinking that it could be carpets. I’ve never had full floor carpets before nor has anyone I visited back home. It doenst look like dust mite bites but who knows what lives in the carpets here and everywhere else we go.
It’s funny that previously I’ve just gotten some cheap detergent that’s on sale and not thought much about. My boyfriend is very spesific that everything is sensitive, non bio and now I’m the one with the rash. Just bought some detergent from a well known brand that is sensitive undamaged to find my old shampoo. It’s not sensitive but I know it hasn’t caused anything previously.
Unfortunately I have dry skin and especially with the rash I can’t stop using moisturiser. I’ve used my current one for years. It’s the most basic one you can get from pharmacy and in the past is has been the best. Hope that the things suppose to help don’t make it worse. <!–Clip_XXXX_171127_165716_740–>
Post # 13
Oh, Bee. How I empathize. I’ve been going through the same thing for months. My dermatologist is sure it’s internal, rather than external. It’s one of my meds, we’re suspicious of Wellbutrin right now—the one drug I don’t want to quit.
I went off of SSRIs, thinking they could be it—nope. Then I thought maybe it was the mega doses of biotin I was taking (30,000 micrograms), nope. So, the next thing to experiment with is the Wellbutrin. I’m tapering down, the itch is minutely better and I feel horrible. Very pissy with an insatiable craving for sweets that’s started making its presence felt on the scale.
In the middle of all of this, I developed a nasty case of eczema over a huge area.
I see the dermatologist again Thursday, hopefully, she’ll have some better ideas.
I so hope your problem gets cleared up fast. It’s just miserable.
Oh, and fwiw, my primary did allergy testing months ago—I’m not allergic to anything. Go figure.
Post # 14
Hmm try the shampoo or conditioner change but change one at a time.
Then get a free and clear type detergent. I also double rinse now.
Post # 15
I’m not a doctor, but I have terrible allergies and super sensitive skin.
My first guess would be detergent – try different “free and clear” varieties – they are not all the same. I can only use certain ones (I’m in the US and cannot use any kind of Tide, for example, even free and clear). Go with a “free and clear” fabric softner as well. To me, detergent seems the most likely, although it could be shampoo or soap. Soap can mess you up and really dry you out – I used Dove for years, but my dermatologist had me switch to Oil of Olay and my skin is so much better. Also look into Vani Cream – they have face soap and moisturizer that have, basically, nothing in them. I have seen them at the drugstores, but I usually just get it on Amazon.
Hopefully the doctor can help you. Good luck!