Dermatology Expert Forum
Chronic Hives
About This Forum:

This forum is for questions regarding Dermatology issues, such as: rashes, acne, birthmarks, skin infections, rosacea, and general skin care. All questions will be answered by a medical professional.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Chronic Hives

Dear Dr. R,

I wrote you last month on Dec. 22, 1999.  I explained how all of a sudden one morning I came down with these hives.  At that time you said to write back if they were not gone in a month.
Well, it has now been three months since this started and there is no improvement.  I still take antistimines day and night.  I keep thinking about your letter to try and keep my spirits up, but this itching and burning is getting old and stressful.  If you can please write me with some advice.

Thankyou,

Doug
Related Discussions
242489_tn?1210500813
Doug:

I'm afraid I haven't really got anything to add.  If the antihistamines you're taking are not suppressing the hives at all, you ought to ask your physician to try different combinations, until the condition finally remits.  It will!

Dr. R
23 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I began having hives one day out of the blue. They were sometimes mild, but sometimes they covered my full body. I had at least one outbreak a day for a full year. I went to an allergist and was tested for all kinds of food allergies but found nothing that was causing my hives. But everyday before I worked out at the gym, I had a shot of espresso sweetened with Equal. I did not even think about the Equal as a possible allergen. In fact, I did not even consider it. Then I moved to a new apartment complex that was not convenient to my gym and dropped my membership. The hives went away immediately. I have not had a recurrence in two years. I still drink espresso, so you can rule that out. Hope this helps you.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have had a persistent rash for the last 10 years.  Although my rash usually goes away in the summertime.  I have seen dermatologists and allergist.  The dermatologists said it is dry skin, the allergist says I'm allergic to everything except foods.My problem this rash seems to occur mainly at night, although sometimes during the day it itches as well.  It is usually like a raised red dot with a white ring.  It is  on my arms, thighs, and legs, both front and back.  I have stopped using dryer sheets, and fabric softener. But that does not help, neither does lotions, creams nor antihistamines.  Please help.  I am at wits end and it is driving me crazy.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I am writing for my mom who for the past year has become inflammed with hives and swelling.  She has been to many doctors but nobody can find out why this is happening.  The emergency room knows her on a first name basis bec ause she has to go in for a cortizone shot when this happens.  It affects her hands, face, and body.  She swells up like a balloon and nobody can figure it out.  She has had allergy tests to no avail but no cause has been found.  The newest doctor, a dermatologist is doing extensive blood work on her to see if he can find the cause.  Just wondering if anybody has had this problem?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Dear Dr., I too am experiencing a problem with hives. They started two days ago, and come back each night.  I have never had a problem with them before, and I thought that i knew the cause. I am on pain medication due to a surgury i had that resulted from a recent car accident.  I took Ultram pain medication, and then hours later took a Demerol pill.  I was later informed that these two should not be taken together. I have no other symptoms other than the rash/hives(and im not even sure if this is the cause). I have not taken any pain pills since, and i have taken Benedryl caplets for the itching and swelling. My question is why wont they disappear? Could the reaction possible still occur from medications that i took over 24 hours ago?  Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Shannon
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I too have unexplained hives.  Mostly at night on my upper torso and at times on my wrists & legs.  I can not connect any food or medication to the hives.  It happens at times hours after I've had a meal, in the middle of the night, or just anytime with no warning.  I do not believe it is caused by food or medication.  Any suggestions.  It disappears as fast as it shows up.  It always begins with a burning sensation and then itching and then the hives.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I've had alot of pain in right hip and lower back. I also get a pain that feels like a vise which runs up the back. ( very intense) I now have a rash around my waist and goes around the middle of my front. It itches like crazy.The rash is like fine small pimples,no fluid in them.when I touch the rash it feels rough. Could the pain from my back be causing this?  Could it have something to do with the spinal nerves? Also with the people that are having problems with hives I'd like to say that I had an awfull bout with them for 2 to 3 years. It turned out that I had a thyroid condition. It took me that long to convince acouple medical doctors that I had a thyroid problem. The thickness in my neck should have been a hint. Thankyou for your help.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I had terrible,chronic, unrelenting hives for 12 years. My eyes would even swell shut and my lips would swell. I itched from the top of my head to my toenails, literally. I would wake up (those few times I slept well) having scratched holes in myself in my sleep. Of course my Doctors grew frustrated with me and my problem. I took lots of prednisone and cortisone shots for years. I got allergy shots and cremes and lotions. I took Tylenol for relief of the itching, which sometimes helped. I didn't care to live any longer. My Doctor felt I was too dependent on him and that caused me to break out when he was gone, but that was stupid, because I didn't start going to him until long after I had began hiving. Anyway, 12 years after this all began, the hives went away when I was given Elavil for the relentless depression. I didn't even correlate this with the Elavil as it took a couple of months for the cure. Then eight years later I began itching and hiving again. I became depressed again, or maybe I became depressed and started itching again. Whatever. The upshot is that after I was on another antidepressant for a few months, they once again went away. If I forget the antidepressant I am soon reminded because of the itching that starts again. Which came first? The depression or the hives? I don't know, but the antidepressant helped both. (This time it is Serzone.) I did take Paxil and Sine Quon during this time also, but they did not help the hives. In fact, I thought maybe I was allergic to these medications, but it was just that they did nothing to help the hives go away. Don't give up, try some antidepressants and give them a couple of months to "kick in". If they don't, insist on trying another one.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
DEAR SIR,
I HAVE HAD FOR THE PAST 2 MONTHS ON AND OFF 4 DIFFERENT TIMES, AN ITCHING RASH ON MY ARMS AND LEGS AND NECK AND STOMACH.IVE TRIED TAKING BENEDRYL BUT MY SYMPTONS ARE STILL BLOOMING.
RED SPLOTCHS ALL OVER ME, AND IT ITCHS LIKE HECK. IVE TRIED USING BENEDRYL CREME AND IT HELPS A LITTLE. AFTER ABOUT 3 DAYS THE ITCH GOES AWAY AND I NO LONGER HAVE ANY SYMPTONS. WHEN IT IS ABOUT TO COME ON MY ARMS FEEL HOT AND TINGLY, AND I KNOW WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN. I THOUGHT IT WAS THE LAUNDRY DETERGENT, BUT THAT JUST ISNT IT. I CANT PIN POINT ANY CERTAIN FOOD THAT MIGHT CAUSE IT. THE ITCHING IS SO BAD THAT I HAVE MADE MY ARM BLEED FROM SCRATHING IT. DO I HAVE HIVES OR WHAT??????
THANK YOU SO MUCH
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
When I am slightly overheated or slightly too cold I break out into a rash all over.  If I stay exposed to the sun too long my skin looks like it has welps on it and it is very uncomfortable.
I have been on different antihistamines for it but none of them do much good.  Only one allergy shot has helped, but then I had really bad acne. Please help!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn

I had the same rashes (hives) that everyone here seems to be talking about. Antihistimines didn't work AT ALL. The itching was unbearable for a month. My doctor thought that I had an allergic reaction to penicillin that I took for a strep throat a month earlier. But his remedies, like oral steroids and Benadryl, didn't work either. All of the doctors were baffled.  Then I saw a Dermatologist who was able to figure out this mess.  It seems that some people develop rashes over their trunks, backs, arms, legs, ect. appearing as small, itchy, red dots, after a strep infection.
This outbreak is known as Guttate Psoriasis and can be very unbearable due to the itching. Again, antihistimines do absolutely nothing for the itching, except make you extremely tired. After two weeks of UVA/UVB light treatment and topical steroids it has almost completely cleared up! No more sleepless nights. Short durations of sunlight work as well.  If you do suspect you may have Guttate Psoriasis, DO NOT take prednisone (oral steroid), it can be very dangerous in this case (as my first doctor later discovered). Good Luck.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have been fighting an unbearable itch for 6 months...It started on my knee as a small rash, then spread to my legs and waist. In a matter of just a month I was insane with itch especially during the evening and at night. The itch would wake me and I would scratch till I bled. After numerous trips to doctors and specialists ( all of whom were telling me I had a bad case of stress and nerves )....after so many different kinds of medicine I have lost count. I have finally found the answer !

Mites_______....It was found by a specialist at John Hopkins...a simple scrapping and a peek under a microscope revealed the eggs..Golly
I could have been cured in a week instead of fighting this for 6 months.I was on the verge of insanity with the itch.

They come from, I am told, mice..birds and their nests....animals.... and dust...

They can be treated easily with medication.
This is not something that requires a dirty home for I am quite a clean person.
I just wish that the test for this had been done way back at the beginning it would have saved me months of misery.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Let me join the gang.  I had hives from August 1998 to July 1999.  During the latter part of that time I was being treated with 4 to 10 Claritin a day.  They barely worked.  This was after steroids, mass quantities of Benadryl, etc.  I had a great doctor, but there was one thing we couldn't agree on.  At exactly the same time I had the hives, I also had a serious acid stomach.  No ulcer (I know due to that procedure where they stick a tube down your throat and stuff) but an inflamed stomach lining due to an overproduction of acid. I was on Prilosec for that and it worked great.  I maintained that there was a connection between the two problems and he maintained that there wasn't.  BUT, on top of the hives, I was having outbreaks on my face of a sorta eczema-like nature...which I also had during my pregnancies and this was accompanied by an acid stomach which the ob-gyn said was hormone-related.  (For the record, my doctor's guess was that the hives were stressing me out and thus my stomach was upset, a stress-reaction.) Anybody else had this skin-stomach connection, and if so, could it have been hormone-related?  God save us all from the armchair patient theories, but hey it's better than letting it just be a mystery.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I also get hives occasionally and don't know what the cause is.  My doctor prescibed Zyrtec which works well and doesn't make me drowsy like Benedryl does.
Blank
18954_tn?1314301717
I have tried everything I have been to 3 specialists and now they are starting over again with Zyrtec and Doxepin. I have had chronic hives for 2 yrs nothing is helping. I have gotten shots so much they are worried the affect it has on my body, nothing is working they have done test nothing shows up. I just want to know how long can I expect to have them the rest of my life or what.If anyone has any advise please help.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have had hives for a year and a half.  I have been to 4 doctors. They all said the samething. (give the medication time to work, or I don't know what to do next.)   When I went to Rochester, Minn. the doctor told me I had sinus infection, he put me on
Leviquin, Sinequin, Hydroxyzine and Furosemide.  I did real well for the month I took the Leviquin. He took me off of the Leviquin, and I continued to take the other medication.
The hives are gone for now, but now have deep red blisters on my hands.  They are very painful. I am using clobetasol cream on my hands, but it only takes care of the itch, not the pain. My doctor told me to stop using the soap I was using to wash my hand with. I'm using Dove now, I hope it work for me.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Let me join the club.  I have had hives for 2 and a half years.  Had all the allergy tests with no success of finding the cause.  I am told that only 20% of the time can a cause be found for hives.  My sister is a doctor and she says that doctors get very frustrated with us because it is so hard to find the cause.  I take Zyrtec everyday which helps a lot.  If I forget one day though I am in misery.  One of the posts mentioned stomach problems at the same time as the hives.  I have had chronic heartburn for quite some time.  Maybe there is a relation?  Never though of it before.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I itched like mad for more than a year. I'd tried every antihistamine in the book, with no results, and was both depressed and scared that I'd never have a normal life again. My doctor tried cortisone shots and tablets, and I even tried acupuncture.

Finally I discovered the cause of my itching totally by accident: I took apart the air conditioner in my bedroom to try to stop a rattle, and discovered that it was full of mold. New York is very humid, but I had no idea that mold was growing in my building, which isn't very old.

I bought a duhimidifier and a new mattress, and things are almost back to normal
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have also had hives for what seems like an ETERNITY. Mine started the day after a traumatic counseling session 6 years ago. I think that the stress was just a small part of what started the hives. I think my body was overworked by other cronic (chronic) problems . Previous to the start of my hives, for years I had these problems -  heartburn almost daily for years, depression every few months varying in severity [mostly mild], and BAD sinus infections several times each year. Even now I get hives daily even with Claritin and Zyrtec, now I'm trying Allegra. These questions plague me daily .....Was stress the catylist that caused my body to get hives? Do I have a stomach problem? Could it be thyroid related? Could it all somehow be related to depression? I'm sure some of you have simmilar stories of doctors acting like you're crazy. Everything but the hives started in my teens. My hives started in my early 20's. you're not alone.....
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Please be aware of the efffects of prednisone when used to alleviate hives. I took prednisone for my chronic hives on and off for two years with the result that I still have hives and now have two artificial hips. This drug can deteriorate your hip joints as well as your shoulder joints, when used continuously.
I am now on a regime of 3 different allergy medications to try and suppress my hive breakouts.
Please use whatever else you can but by all means avoid prednisone.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I started getting severe hives about 3 years ago. The first time I had them they lasted about 1 year. I have been to 3 doctors with no luck until I saw the third. I have had many tests done all with no success. I was finally put on dapsone and doxipan. After a few months they went away. Now after being hive free for 2 years I am once agian "breaking out". My hands and feet sweel like balloons. I suffer form joint pain and often look disfigured. I have tried every antihistime on the planet, every cream, and I have also been put on steriods. Nothing has come remotely close to helping. I feel that I am in need of serious help.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I also have had the itching and scratching.  For two years to be exact. I've tried the histamines and creams and I still suffer. I went on holiday in the south and the rash on my hands and waist area began to clear up like a miracle.  When I returned home the itching returned.  I have two cats and I believe that is the problem.  I'll have to give them away to know for sure. At night the itching drives me nuts.  I scratch till I bleed but it feels better as sick as it sounds.  My husbands believes it is the cats and the air ducts in my townhome that has not been cleaned, and the carpet that no doubt has a trillion mites. I think I am also allergic to people, because when I am aggrevated I itch like crazy.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Some advice:

1.  Scratching your hives makes the hives worse, people!  Apply some analgesic like Itch-X to alleviate the itching.  But never scratch your hives.  

2.  Avoid hot showers/hot baths.  Heat also makes the hives worse.  If the itching is still unbearable, apply an ice pack on your skin.  This well help.

Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, Just another Rash?? was started.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
A related discussion, Hives, Acid Reflux, Lactose Intolerance - related? was started.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
For two straight days, i have been sleeping over my cousins house. Now, when i go to sleep, there are no bumps, but when i wake up, i start itching and scratching, which then lead to bumps appearing on my body. Is this a sign of a disease or something?
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
563773_tn?1374250139
Bhupinder Kaur, MDBlank
Private practice
,
351246_tn?1379685732
Dr. Kokil MathurBlank
Consultant
,
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank