These spots are sort of like hives & I always get them after a shower, but sometimes it's within an hour & other times it can be 4 hours or so. At first I thought it was a reaction to soap, so I tried a non-allergenic soap, but I still got them. It's only a few at a time, but they itch so badly I think I'll go crazy. I've tried steroid cream my dermatologist gave me & that only helps a little. Ice packs seem the best relief. The other night I was awakened by itching on my leg. It was only two small red hive-like bumps--fairly small--but they itched badly enough to wake me from a sound sleep & I sleep deeply.
We have very hard water so we have a water softener. I finally wondered if it's the salt in the water, but others on this site seem to think such allergic reactions from softeners not likely. I'm wondering now if it could be something that has collected in the shower nozzle itself. Anyone ever heard of anything like that? Some kind of bacterial allergy from a shower head?
There are possibilities of water urticaria,allergic reaction to components of water or even water softener. Water urticaria, or aquagenic urticaria, is a rare condition in which hives develop after contact with water. The hives last for 10 to 120 minutes and do not seem to be caused by histamine release like the other physical hives. Most investigators believe that this condition is actually exquisite skin sensitivity to additives in the water such as chlorine but distilled water can also cause this reaction. One thing that I would like to mention is that many cases of hives are "idiopathic," meaning no cause is known.
Confirmatory diagnosis can only be made after allergy tests like skin ***** tests or by applying tap water and distilled water to the skin and observing the reaction.
Treatment involves prevention of the allergen and treatment of hives.
The mainstay of treatment of hives is antihistamine which may be necessary for prolonged periods (in excess of 6 weeks). Double conventional doses of these non-sedating antihistamines such as Cetirizine, Loratadine, Acrivastine and Fexofenadine may be needed to get symptom relief. Sedating antihistamines such as Chlorphenamine or Hydroxyzine are used at night to get urticaria control. Short courses of oral cortisone or steroids are taken for short periods (one to three days) to settle more severe symptoms.
You may take Vitamin C along with the prescribed treatment. Vitamin C is a general anti-allergy supplement. It helps stabilize mast cells so they are less likely to release histamine.
Hope it helps.Take care and pls do keep me posted on how you are doing.
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