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Old 01-07-2012, 10:56 AM
36,441 posts, read 55,945,099 times
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My husband has been suffering from what has been diagnosed as hives--urticaria since July...
He is 63 now and previously when he was in his early 30s he would get rashes on his body that were probably related to stress--since they mainly appeared on Sundays...and would resolve themselves within 24 hrs--
they were mainly on his trunk/back...they went away after a while and never really came back until this summer

In July he had several episodes--in different parts of his body--
ball of one foot, inside thigh, his top lip, other thigh...
we went to doc-in-box twice, his family doctor, the local ER twice--
we got variety of diagnosis--
when they were on his inner thigh one dr said it was cellulitis and gave him steroid shot and antibiotics
when he got upper lip swollen--different doctor said that was reaction to medication/antibiotic and to stop taking it

the last doctor we saw--in ER--for swelling on his leg said that it was hives--not cellulitis--and referred us to dermatologist
went to see him and he took biopsy sample which confirmed hives--
but he said it was too difficult to determine what was causing the reaction...
did not seem to interested in trying to rule out possible choices--
like new blood pressure medication my husband started in June...
but gave him RX for heavy dose of antihistimine to take when there was outbreak...

He mentioned this when he saw his family dr for 6 mo checkup last month--
his doctor said that his own wife had chronic hives and it was just something that you dealt with as it appeared...

well this week my husband has had a really bad session--
heavy hives on both inner thighs and around back of leg, on ball of one foot, and last night his top lip on left side started to swell and moved across to other side --

the antihistimine he can take only once a day since it is so strong...
he took photos of his lip/face when they were full blown and sent to his doctor's email/office address
saying he wants to investigate the cause--

he is pretty sure it is one or more of the medications he takes for high blood pressure...ACE inhibitors seem to be prone to cause this reaction

does anyone else have this problem and/or can you suggest any remedy?
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:37 PM
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This might sound kind of crazy....but does he get these hives seasonally in cold temps?

I get hives from the cold. I don't get them when I'm outside but once I come in and start warming up the hives appear. Usually they are on my thighs (which doesn't have as many layers covering them) and sometimes on my hands and neck as well.
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:57 PM
Location: not where you are
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Just curious, do you burn scented candles, incense or or there certain fragrances he might come in contact with during those occassions? For years I had no idea, it was those things that were causing my hives till I did some reading and connected the dots. I used to burn incense when I was a teen and would get these welted like hives. I also would get the hives on the back of my thighs when I sat on these benches that contained fiberglas materials.

This might not be your husbands culprit, but thought I would put it out there as something to consider. It took many years for me to make the connection, but it was quite a relief to figure out what was causing my hive issue and some other skin reaction issues. I don't react to all candles and incense, it's been trial and error, but I've had to throw out most brands that I've purchased in the past.

I hope you DH finds what's causing the issue soon, I know how frustrating it must for him to have to deal with the hives and not have any answers as to what's causing them.
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:47 PM
Location: earth?
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If you suspect it is the medication, why not drill down on that and get that issue resolved?
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Old 01-07-2012, 11:23 PM
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As a fellow sufferer, I'd suggest getting to an allergist/immunologist. There can be many, many causes, some of which are so obscure as to elude the average bear (err . . . I mean doctor). For example, I have a genetic immune system abnormality which can cause hives for no easily discernible reason. And then there are times when I can figure out what the trigger was. We really need to have a specialist who will dig deep to find out what is going on. It takes a dedicated detective! Best of luck figuring this out.
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Old 01-07-2012, 11:42 PM
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,873 posts, read 15,590,346 times
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Wow, that's awful! My bad hives came on suddenly a few days after I had been released from the hospital where I was given phenobarbital, among other things. In my case, though, the hives were followed in two days by anaphylaxis. Luckily I got to an emergency room before the ridiculous swelling completely closed off my breathing. They told me getting there 15 minutes later would have been fatal. So if your husband's hives are accompanied by any weird body swelling, please take his to an ER immediately. You did say both his leg and lip have been swollen. Is that why he was given the strong antihistamine? But if that swelling starts to spread at all, don't hesitate to take it seriously, even if medical professionals are treating you like an alarmist.

My hives covered my whole body and I, too, had some bad ones on my face. The swelling started in my extremities. The suspected cause was the phenobarbital, although they were unable to confirm that completely since I was also taking several other meds in the hospital, including an antibiotic. I have never taken phenobarbital since then and I've only taken antibiotics in absolutely necessary situations (usually a Z-pack has worked for me).

I always speak to a pharmacist personally before I take any kind of drug now and when I tell them I had anaphylaxis they give me a lot of their time. I really don't think most doctors are very knowledgeable about side effects of medications, so maybe your husband might be helped by a talk about his med history with a good pharmacist. At least it would be a place to start since this honestly does sound like some kind of allergy, so I'd move on from the pharmacist to an experienced allergist.

TRosa's idea is an interesting one because some of the worst allergies aren't caused by something that was consumed and this IS a skin problem. The worst eye infection I ever had in my life was caused by a pollen allergy.

In any case, cellulitis is an often misdiagnosed illness. I swear doctors just say that any time they are stumped over any unexplained swelling and redness. Please continue your quest for an answer to this -- he must be so miserable. And let us know the progress of your search. I'm very interested. Best of luck.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:13 AM
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he started getting these outbreaks in July so they are not tied to cold weather per se--but I know that some people do have hives that are produced by cold-weather...or by touch or by sun-exposure...

The frustration comes because the dermatologist who did the biopsy diagnosis of urticaria and his own family doctor both said that it is almost impossible to discern the cause of the outbreak/allergy and that he should just learn to live with it...
so neither one of them seemed too desireous of being an investigator of the cause--

he found three more places where new rash was starting this AM (Sunday)
our family practice does walk-in clinics Sunday afternoon and I am trying to talk him into going there today--
he might benefit from a steroid shot vs the oral antihistimine he has been taking...
one change with these new erruptions is that one of them is itching--which has not really been a problem before...

IF he does go back to allergist I know we won't ask for apptment with the dr who did the biopsy and basically said "just deal with it"...

are there any specialists besides a dermatologist/allergist who might know how to find a solution--

one website I read postings on said that some people with chronic hives were going to rheumatoidologist--

another posting said that some people benefitted from taking an antibiotic or maybe sulfa-type drug--forget the specific one now---

and some people said they had positive results when they treated for low-thyroid...
and lately my husband has been wearing extra layers inside the house and warmer clothes to work--and complaining about dry itchy skin--but it is winter so most of that seems "normal" vs abnormal except
we have the thermostat set at 74 most of the time and he is still wearing a fleece over his clothes or using an afghan at home...
I on the other hand am usually feeling stuffy and not particularly cold...

we live in DFW area and our winter so far has been really pretty mild--not like last year with days below zero and ice/snow...

If you have any websites/postings that refer to this type of condition would appreciate a link
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:55 AM
Location: earth?
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And you suspect it is his medications, yet you are completely going off on tangents and ignoring figuring that out because?
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:24 PM
Location: Brawndo-Thirst-Mutilator-Nation
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Possible allergy/intolerance???

I took Glucosamine/Chondroitin for a while. Did not do anything for my joints, but it sure made my face break out into rashes.
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