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Rash, Hives, Lyme Disease???
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Rash, Hives, Lyme Disease???

I've had a recurring rash or hives for over 10 weeks.  It started out as localized itchy bumps, resembling insect bites, usually two at a time, on my tricep area and upper arm near the elbow.  This occurred on both arms, and then once on my neck, which induced me to see a doctor.  The ones on my neck and occassionally others grew to about two inches in diameter which were hard underneath and raised on top, red and very itchy.  The inflammation would last for a few days.  All of the bumps last for weeks and seem to be replaced by new ones when the old ones go away in close proximity to the old ones.

The doctor did a biopsy which showed nothing.  A blood test was inconclusive for anything.  The doctor said it may be a remote possiblity to be Lyme Disease, but I'm not a good candidate not having been near an infectious tick area (live in suburbs, no pets, etc.).  Said it may be just hives with no known cause or stress, but I'm not buying it.  I've never been allergic to anything.  These are not insect bites.

Now the bumps appear on my wrist area, again looking like insect bites but lasting way too long, also on my hands on the lower thumb area and sometimes on my legs and upper arms.  A few still get inflammed here and there.  Very annoying!  

I'm aware of no other symptoms but for the rash/hives.  I've heard Lyme Disease is very hard to diagnose, even with blood tests and the physical manifestations vary greatly.  The doctor prescribed anti-histamines but I really don't want to take them just to cover up the problem. I've used prescription creams (steroids), which did nothing.

Any ideas/insight would be greatly appreciated!
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9 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,
Do try the anti-histamines first and see if the symptoms suside.
Allergy can start at any time in a person,s life. In many instances the cause may remain unknown.
Hives can appear anywhere on the body, cropping up either in one small area or covering large patches of skin. They most often occur as part of an allergic reaction. No one lesion lasts more than 24 hours, but new ones may continue to appear until the condition resolves.
Potential triggers include physical exertion or exercise, stress, illness, chemicals, cosmetics, textiles, and pressure from materials rubbing against the skin.
Foods (commonly eggs, shellfish, nuts, berries, dyes, or other additives)
•Drugs (any drug can touch off an allergic reaction, although allergies to penicillin, sulfa, and aspirin are especially common)
•Pollens and plants (nettles, poison ivy, poison oak, and so on).
If there is no improvement ina wek to 10 days then you can think of getting yourself investigated further.

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Avatar_n_tn
Thank your for the input.  These "lesions" (any discernable "hive") last for at least a week and generally longer, that's why I'm thinking it's not your average hive.  Thoughts?
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had the same problem!  The hives have broken out two years in a row, around the same time of year, but I don't think it's an issue of seasonal allergies - the stress level has been about the same both times.  I'm suspecting lyme disease now, after thinking that it was food allergies for a long time.  Turns out that lyme disease can also cause gluten intolerance, which I have, but I don't think I've eaten any gluten lately.  What did you find out about your hives?
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Avatar_f_tn
Doesn't sound like Lyme's at all. It is hard to diagnose. My brother has chronic lymes and most of those symptoms are arthritis like and similar to chronic fatigue. The lymes rash is quick, just after the bite and very distinct. So, if it helps, I think you can definitely rule that one out
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Avatar_m_tn
What you describe sounds exactly like bed bug bites. circular, itchy welts that resemble hives. bed bugs get worse and worse over time and they are becoming an epidemic. They are a problem whether you are the most sanitary person on the planet or not. They can spread from apartment to apartment. They can come in on your luggage or your clothing from anything that is cloth that you may have been in contact with. Pesticides generally do not work on them unless the entire residence is bombed under tarps. Bed bugs can live over a year without feeding. New studies find they can live over 2 years without feeding.

They generally don't resemble bites and they can take weeks to go away. They can even leave scars for a very long time afterward.

Bed bugs are extremely hard to find... they are clear when not fed and they hide deep within floor boards, walls, box springs, dressers, or anything else you can think of!

Bed bugs are supposed to be able to be found by special extermination dogs that can sniff them out.

I know all this because my boyfriend has bed bugs in his apartment complex at Spruce Court in Doylestown, PA. The entire apartment complex became infested with them.

Tips: You may notice the bites are less in the summer. They do not like the heat. Shove everything you own in the washer on hot/hot, sanitary mode and in the dryer on high heat for at least an hour. They can hide in things like books. So if you move, but things like that in a freezer for a long time.

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Avatar_m_tn
I have the EXACT same rash.  Small bumps at first then traveling to the EXACT same areas, neck, wrist etc...  Just a few at a time which last for at least a week.  I was just diagnosed with LYME, so im guessing its very characteristic of LYME.  Not bed bugs which i considered.  I have no allergies, i didnt do the food testing but i did the envrionmental testing and i did do the food testing a long time ago.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have the exact same thing. it comes and goes one after the other and nothing seems to help. i take hydroxyz for the itch which helps and i was given an ointment for it which is a godsend! ointment is called fluocinonide. i currently have another bump forming on my upper arm just below my shoulder.

dermatologist said lyme disease but i have not been outdoors to be bitten by a tick...so im stumped. i'm a home body. Anyways, i have another appointment where i plan to tell the dermatologist my concerns because the antibiotics i was given are not helping but making me feel even worse..
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Avatar_m_tn
I know it has been a while since you posted your question so you may not see my reply, but I thought it was worth a chance.
I had the same issues off and on for YEARS! I heard a lot of guesses from several different doctors until someone reccomended a dermatologist. (I had lived in the mountains for 20 years, and just never considered a dermatologist until moving to the city).
Anyway, the dermatologist took a biopsy immediately and sent it off. Two weeks later I had my answer; Lichen Planus.  As with the rash from Lyme Disease, Lichen Planus doesn't always look the same. Plus, whenever I injured an area with a small cut or deep scratch, by the next day the Lichen Planus had moved in. The dermatologist prescribed a few different ointments, until one really helped; it is called flucininoid. Lichen Planus is and auto-immune disease, so destressing your life can really help. Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
I see that this is a very old post, but I have the exact same rash/hives in the same areas and have had this for almost exactly a year. I am becoming impatient now and more proactive. JUST was tested for Lyme, so we will see. I am grateful that as far as I know this is not life threatening, but let me say that my quality of life is not where I want it. Practicing medicine I realize is sometimes anybody's best guess, but any ideas or success with relief would be helpful. My old standby of Benadryl doesn't do the trick, nor do my numerous cortisone meds. Kenelog injection works wonders but of course can't have that often, and after a week or two, symptoms return. Any great ideas?
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