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Hives All Over My Face!!!


juliegee
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Seriously, they'd be hidden on my rear end. The itching is driving me crazy. Since my worst POTS flare, I've had hives on and off on a continuous basis, usually on my thighs, armpits and belly. I take benadryl at night and zyrtec and singulair during the day. The meds help control things. But, this time, the nausea is so bad. Anyone else had anything like this? Does this sound like it could be mastocystitis?

Julie

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I don't have hives but do get really bad nasal and oropharyngeal itching from allergies. I found that after a few months that Zirtek stopped working for me. I have tried most antihistamines but am currently having most success with Acrivastine. It is sold in the UK under the brandname of Benadryl (they sell 3 different antihistamines all called benadryl!) it is the one that you take 3 times a day. I've found that it works really quicky on the itch (within 10 minutes).

Which Benadryl are you using, is it one of the older sedating kind?

Flop

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Oh my... do I ever know the hives flares! Sorry hon, but hives on your butt are no fun either!!!! Any part of you that gets warm (i.e. you sit on it and it's insulated all day with unders and clothes), will flare even more... I get flares in my arm pits, under my breasts, in the creases of my legs and yes, on my behind.

Here's what works for me:

benedryl, zyrtec, zantac (yes, all at once)

and sarna lotion.

cool showers only--hot water will make it flare even more.

Nina

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BTW, all actual benedryl (diphenhydramine) can be sedating; there is no non-sedative form of benedryl. According to my allergist, I'm to take as much as I need until I start to get a bit sleepy, because it means my body will use as much as it needs, and then what's leftover is what makes me sleepy; he told me I to keep taking anohter 25 mg capsule every hour or so after taking the first two until I started to feel a little sleepy.

Check with your allergy doctor about what to do. Also, if you're concerned about masto, that's a good thing to talk to the doc about.

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Nina,

I hate to disagree with you, and perhaps what I've found is only on sale in the UK? Over here Benadryl sell several totally differnt antihistamines all under the same brand name.

Ah - have just found it on Wikipedia:

In the US Benadryl is (as you correctly said) diphenhydramine (a 1st generation and hence sedating antihistamine)

In the UK they sell:

Benadryl - Diphenhydramine,

Benadryl Allergy Relief - Acrivastine

Benadryl Once A Day - Cetirazine

Confusing - 3 totally different antihistamines under the same brand name. Cetirazine is also sold under the brand name of Zirtek and many own-brands too.

The antihistamine that I find so useful is Acrivastine - I wonder if that is available in the US?

Sorry for any confusion from my first post - I didn't realise that a bit of water inbetween us could make such a difference to meds!

Flop

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Flop, I understand that the brand name Benedryl offers more choices overseas--however, nope, here in the states, the only form of Benedryl sold is diphenhydramine; They offer one combined with a decongestant, but that's not really useful for treating hives. The other two you mention aren't available here on the other side of the ocean. OTC nondrowsy anti-allergy meds are Claritin, Alevert, and nasal sprays.

My allergist has me take benedryl (an H1 blocker) and one of the OTC forms of an H2 blocker, such as Zantac or Tagamet (not prilosec, which is a proton pump inhibitor). H1 and H2 are both histamine forms--targetting both can help slow or stop the hives from flaring up.

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Guest tearose

ugh, Julie, I am feeling so itchy for you! I hate to think! You poor thing.

While the minds above figure out what to take internally, I wondered what you can do externally. Does an oatmeal bath sound soothing? Can you spray or put a topical preparation on so you won't feel itchy?

I hope you get relief soon. Also, this is something I would find the cause for, I can't think of you living with this and keeping your wits about you!

take care,

tearose

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I'm also a very allergic person. Can you put some steroid cream on, either otc or prescription? though one doesn't want to overuse, I find it helps quite well. and yes, keeping the area cool and dry (easier said than done), with minimal pressure. When you have to sit, could you sit on a cold-pack?

I take allegra, zyrtec, singulair. And I can add benadryl as needed.

I avoid all perfumes, dyes, fragrances, etc.

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oops- I misunderstood. on your face, not your butt! you may not want to put steroid cream on your face, then, as it can thin out skin.

I remember during a bad spell when my whole face and eyes were seriously red, itchy, hivey, and swollen (time spent at a catowner's house, sleeping on dander coated pillows), I took cold packs and frozen washcloths and held them to my face. Between that and lots of benadryl, it helped. The colder the better.

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My dermatologist forbade me from putting steroid cream on my face. He didn't even want me to use the benedryl lotion/creme. Instead, he had me use "Sarna" lotion--it's got camphor and menthol and is very mild and cooling. It's a bit expensive (I get mine from Target) at about 14 to 16$ a bottle--but when I'm itching like that, I'd pay just about anything to make it stop. Cold washcloths that I store in the freezer also can help.

You may want to follow up with your doctor as hives on the face aren't a good thing--and if you're allergic to something and that's what's setting it off, you need to find out. Masto really has some distinct features, which if you look it up on the web, you can find.

Nina

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Nina - you just reminded me about anti-itching creams. The dermatologists over here in the UK recommend 1% menthol in aqueous cream. I have been able to buy this over the counter at a pharmacy - they have made it up for me for just a few pounds, or you can buy menthol crystals and mix your own (be careful not to make it too strong). The menthol really seems to cool the skin which relieves the itching.

Be careful not to put menthol too close to your eyes though - it will make them sting like crazy!

Sorry to hear that you can't get some of the modern antihistmanies in the US that we have in the UK - I always thought that you guys got meds before us Brits.

Flop

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diphenhydramine (what we call benadryl) is otc here. Cetirizine (sp?) is known as zyrtec, and is available by rx. I haven't heard of the other, whch doesn't in itself mean anything. Could it be the same as claritin, which is otc? Claritin doesn't work for me. Maybe just a 10% imporvement in allergies? I use zyrtec, allegra (fexofenadine?),and singulair.

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Thanks, everyone for your suggestions. I'm probably doing a no-no; but I've had to break down and cover my face in cortisone cream. It feels so much better and it actually helps the bumps go down. I hope just a few applications won't do too much damage. If I didn't do this, I think I'd be looking at some scarring. It's really bad.

I'm taking ranitidine, benadryl, zyrtec and sigulair and it's helping somewhat. I hope my allergist has a few more tricks up his sleeve.

MKoven, you make me laugh. I was ready to sit on a cold washcloth, wondering how that was going to help my face:-)

These hives seem to be linked to my autonomic stuff... so far that hasn't acted up any more than usual, but I'm certainly on the alert. Once, during a awful hives outbreak, I got the worst tachy. I actually used an epipen because I thought I was having anaphalaxysis. It helped so maybe I was..... Every time my allergist does allergy testing on me, I'm allergic to NOTHING. Then why do I keep getting these horrible hives?

Julie

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Hi,

Clarityn is a brand name for Loratadine, I don't find it works for me.

I've done a bit of a search for UK antihistamines:

The First name is the generic drug name, the names in brackets are brand names.

OTC = over the counter, POM = prescription only medicine.

Non-Sedating:

Acrivastine (Benadryl Allergy Relief) OTC

Cetirizine (Zirtek + others) OTC

Desloratidine (Neoclarityn) POM

Fexofenadine (Telfast) POM

Levocetirizine (Xyzal) POM

Loratidine (Clarityn + others) OTC

Mizolastine (Mizollen) POM

Sedating:

Alimemazine (Vallergan) POM

Chlorphenamine (Piriton + others) OTC

Clemastine (Tavegil) OTC

Cyproheptadine (Periactin) OTC

Hydroxyzine (Atarax + others) POM

Ketotifen (Zaditen) POM

Promethazine (Phenergan) OTC

Wow - that seems to be a lot of antihistamines. I wonder which of those are available outside the UK? I have previously had benefit from Terfenadine (no longer available in the UK), Fexofenadine and Cetirizine but they just don't provide lasting relief from the itching. I think that the Acrivastine is better because you take it every 8 hours, I can put up with 1-2 hours of itching but not 10 hours+.

Anyway - this topic has drifted away from the original problem of facial hives, how are you getting on Julie?

Flop

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Here's an article on mastocytosis:

http://www.emedicine.com/derm/topic258.htm

It could be "adrenergic urticaria." If you have POTS, it probably is adrenergic urticaria:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...p;dopt=Abstract

Is there a white halo around each lesion? Are you taking a beta blocker? Supposedly, a beta blocker might help.

When was the last time you had a complete physical? Urticaria can be a sign of leukemia or lymphoma.

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Thanks Flop and LThomas for all of the info. I've long thought that my hives and POTS are related, but haven't been able to connect the two. I'm frustrated!

Julie

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