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itchy and scratchy

... seeing how my paperwork blues post garnered lots of comments and questions, I will be responding to them in a separate post rather than having it buried in the comments section. This will happen in a day or two, so stay tuned, k?

In the meantime:

I occasionally have these welts appear on my forearms near the elbow, we've always figured it's some sort of low-grade contact irritation. Back in high school, I remember occasionally getting them, and assumed I was reacting to a particularly nasty mosquito bite. Then one day my parents decided to try and make me more of a girl, and bought me some sort of toiletry set from Marks & Sparks; in order not to waste it, one day before school I put some of the scented powder on my face. Halfway through school I was scratching and scratching at my cheeks, feeling these huge raised welts. I remember a friend of mine asking what was wrong. Me: "Oh, just reacting to a mosquito bite lah." She: "Ummm... it looks much more than that!!" I don't recall what happened to that toiletry set, but I've been wary about putting unnecessary junk on my face ever since: one of the reasons I don't do make-up.

Fast forward to about 2 years ago. This was just before I was leaving KL to get hitched, fiancee visa in hand. For a few weeks prior, I'd been getting those elbow welts, and since I'd been hanging out with Rail at all these different mamak shops, and we all know just how well they actually clean their tables, I figured I'd just switch to wearing long-sleeved shirts, never mind the heat! Another strange place that itched was my right ring finger, under my engagement ring. Then, one morning I woke up and my entire scalp was itching like crazy! It was covered in these tiny welts and o.m.g. did they itch!! I happened to have an appointment with my masseuse-cum-torturer, who said I was probably "heaty". Thankfully everything receded in time for my trip to Chicago.

Then soon after the wedding, the itchies and scratchies acted up again. The hives struck badly, and Dr Kosh had me take Claritin, which seemed to help dull the worst of the breakout. One curious development was my engagement ring - it would actually BURN my skin if I wore it more than 24 hours. As a result, I have worn it only once or twice since then. :( I'm also thankful we chose "cheapo" silver rings for our wedding bands - so far no problems with that!! :)

Discussed it with a GP who gave us the names of two allergists we might consider visiting, but by that time the symptoms had all but died out, and I felt I didn't have anything to show. Besides, procrastination and inertia are two of my many middle names, LoL!

... fast forward to about a month ago ....

Remember the the day of the bling? It was also a day of bowling. And I *think* I was starting to feel hive-y itches before leaving for bowling, but I wouldn't swear on it. ... but you know where this is leading, right? Yup... a few hours after coming back from bowling, my thumb and ring finger of my right hand (two of the three digits that get inserted into questionable ball holes) stared to swell. The elbow welts returned, and in greater numbers. Caused by the bowling? Or the cheapo bling? Or some combination thereof? No idea. But I divested myself of all my jewelry, just in case.

No real difference.

A week or two later, I went to bed with a tingling sensation in my upper lip - woke up the next day looking like half of Angelina Jolie's pouty lips! That went down in about 2 days. I'd post a photo except that my 'stache and nosehairs seem more obvious than the duck-billed lynne, LoL!

And in the past week, I've had hives on my scalp, specifically at the base of my head. Splotches have appeared on my eyelids. Over the past two days, they've appeared on my shoulders, behinds my ears, heck even on my earlobes too!! It has *not* been fun!

Claritin didn't seem to be doing anything. The generic equivalent of Zyrtec seems only slightly better, perhaps staving off new outbreaks but not doing anything for existing hives.

... and no, we haven't dug up the piece of paper from two years ago with the allergists' phone numbers, let alone gotten an appointment fixed. Did I mention inertia and procrastination? :D

Then yesterday, I attended my Meditation session in the 'burbs: One of the attendees, when asked the usual "Hey, how are ya?" responded with "Oh, my allergies!! They've been really bad this week. My hives are *so itchy!*".

And I felt this load roll off my shoulders - it's not just me!!!!!

Since this outbreak, Kosh and I have speculated about the significance that I've had similar outbreaks at the same time of year (even though 2 years apart), and have been wondering if I had developed some sort of seasonal allergy. To know that someone else is experiencing an upsurge of symptoms makes this hypothesis slightly more likely. It's a bummer though, to suspect that I may have developed allergies. Doesn't sit well with my Leo pride.

But all the more reason to visit that allergist, to figure out that I'm allergic to, eh?

Now please excuse me while I scratch my scalp to death!



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  2. hmm, yes dear you have earned a trip to the allergist, doctor and a lifetime supply of Calamine lotion.


  3. I have the same issues with hives sometimes, and they are worse in the seasons that my other allergies are bad. I actually had some patch testing done at the dermatologist- they have some premade patches they put on you with the most common allergens. Then if you are allergic to one of those things, they can give you a list of items to avoid, even down to the brand names.

    Good luck and I hope you find relief!

  4. Hi Lynne,

    I've never suffered from hives. So I do not exactly know what it is. But from your description...there is this cream manufactured by a French pharmaceutical. The cream goes by the name "Topicorte" or is it "Tropicorte".

    I have used it for something quite similar that you've described and it is effective.

    It used to be sold over-the-counter in Malaysia. No more now. I could get it when I worked in Bangkok. I know it's sold openly there.

    I am unsure if you can get it where you are. But, you could ask your Pharmacy or Doctor about it.

    God Bless!

  5. Ugh. That sounds awful. I hope you figure it out. :(

  6. thanks for y'all's concern... by now it seems to be beaten into almost submission thanks to the zyrtec and benadryl, where I double-dose the benadryl... sigh... I have a GP doc appt this week, and will follow up with an allergist or dermatologist after that... would be nice to know the triggers so I can avoid them...


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