Monday, December 07, 2009

Another allergy? Say it isn't so!

I've been away from the computer all weekend, not because I was productive, but because I itched. Itched! I was moderately productive, though, so it wasn't a completely wasted weekend.

I started itching on the back of my hands about ten days ago. Little tiny bumps appeared, bumps like tiny raised pimples with nothing in them. The itch progressed up my arms where I had maybe ten or fifteen tiny bumps total. I noticed about four days ago that my shoulders started itching, and then the sensation spread to my upper back and neck. Tiny, tiny bumps; lots and lots of itching. I did my best to not scratch, but by yesterday afternoon I was frustrated enough to go see a doctor.

At first, we thought the bumps looked like bites. We ruled out spiders since I had fifteen or so in random spots. We knew they weren't mosquito bites. I went on a bed bug hunt throughout the bedroom and apartment and turned up nothing, not a single carcass or blood stain, not a hint of them anywhere. We laid down two long tape strips near the bed to see if we could trap any bugs, bed bug or otherwise, and nothing stuck. I changed all of the sheets, washed the mattress protector in hot water to kill any dust mites, and pulled the bed away from the wall to check for any other insects. Nothing. (Yay!)

The doctor checked me for scabies, bed bugs, insect bites, every usual suspect that I'd already gone through, and we agreed the bumps didn't look like insect bites. He suspects they are part of an allergic reaction.

But here's the really weird part: knowing that I tend to have somewhat sensitive skin, I find a product that works and stick to it. I've always used ALL laundry detergent, the kind with no perfumes or dyes. I've always used Snuggle dryer sheets without a problem. I use Suave body wash, the pink "flavor." I don't wear perfume, and my deodorant is BAN solid, which is made for more sensitive skin. I rarely use hair conditioner, lotion (only Eucerin if so), or wear jewelry. I thought maybe a necklace was causing the itching, but I removed it immediately when the itching started as I know I'm sensitive to nickel. I'm not allergic to any food that I know of, and I haven't recently taken any medication I am allergic to. I'm at a complete loss as to what could be causing the itching. It's not exactly grass pollen season outside right now.

We bought some dye/scent-free dryer sheets this weekend in the hopes that I'm only allergic to Snuggle dryer sheets. The doctor gave me Prednisone to combat the itching, but after nine days I think I'll be back to square one. At least for now I'm not itching.

Any thoughts?

4 comments:

MissKris said...

I'd say if you lived here in Portland and got blasted by the east wind roaring out of the gorge it'd be dry-skin-related because I have something similar going on with my skin at this time of year. itches like fury. For me I know it's the cold factor and the very low humidity that does me in. Dry air can wreak havoc on skin too, that's for sure. Good luck!

whit-o-roni said...

anyone can develop an allergy to anything at any time. so it could be something you have used forever...

could it be something "the man" wears/uses? his cologne or soap? just a thought.

Skunk said...

Could it possibly be due to recent meds? I got an allergic rash from some antibiotics a few days AFTER I finished taking them...

Jaggy said...

I'm definitely thinking it was the meds. I have one day left on the Prednisone, but everything seems to have calmed down. Ugh!