Itchy allergy

Posted by papergarden @papergarden, Dec 6, 2018

I was at my dermatologist a week ago. I am on 2nd prescription of prednisone and it helps a bit. He said it is most likely the new shampoo I was using, but after 2nd visit (still itchy) he was not sure and said to go to Mayo Clinic. I am red and itchy in head, neck, forehead, around nose, chin, arms, back, chest, abdomen and one leg on top. I am always prickly. I am very itchy most of the day. No clear area on my body to do allergy patch tests says doc. This has been going on for 3 1/2 months. It does not wane or disappear. The red fades but always comes back when I am moving around I made a list of the things I have used new at the onset that I don't use now of course. This is just a horrible guessing game. Nothing relieves the itch. I've tried, clay, baking soda, and the creams from my Dr. are safe to use though and help.

Hi @papergarden and welcome to Connect. It must be so frustrating to be unable to find a solution to your itching and body rash.

You mentioned that your doctor suggested you go to Mayo Clinic so i wanted to share this link so you can request an appointment: http://mayocl.in/1mtmR63

@dazlin has seen a dermatologist at Mayo Clinic and may be able to share their experiences.

@gardeningjunkie may also be able to share some of her experience with what helps relief body itching and rashes.

Back to you @papergarden, what are some of the creams your doctor has said are safe to use?

I was just diagnosed with Grover's disease. Pretty itchy. A bit more localized than your situation – back, chest, neck, a little on the arms. I have some prescription creams/lotions that seem to be keeping the pop up rash at bay. As your case sounds a little different, i am not sure those prescriptions make sense, BUT there is an over the counter lotion i am using called Sarna – has menthol (0.5%) and camphor (0.5%). I apply it 3-4 times a day and its fantastic. I have heard that others find it works for them, BUT then the itch comes back worse as it wears off. I havent experienced it. I am also NOT sure you should use it on your face. Anyhow, if your doctor doesnt see an issue with using it, i would take a shot at it. CVS has its own generic brand.

@seth971

I was just diagnosed with Grover's disease. Pretty itchy. A bit more localized than your situation – back, chest, neck, a little on the arms. I have some prescription creams/lotions that seem to be keeping the pop up rash at bay. As your case sounds a little different, i am not sure those prescriptions make sense, BUT there is an over the counter lotion i am using called Sarna – has menthol (0.5%) and camphor (0.5%). I apply it 3-4 times a day and its fantastic. I have heard that others find it works for them, BUT then the itch comes back worse as it wears off. I havent experienced it. I am also NOT sure you should use it on your face. Anyhow, if your doctor doesnt see an issue with using it, i would take a shot at it. CVS has its own generic brand.

Jump to this post

I've lived with Grover's now for 3 years. First outbreak was 1 year which is normal. Each year thereafter I have have breakouts about 6 months on, then 6 months off and this is not unusual. last outbreak the papules never broke and crusted, so I wasn't as concerned about infection. Last breakout ceased in Aug and am still clear 4 months later. Ah, the joy of being able to lay on my back or lay back in chair.

Sarna did nothing for me; I tried it. Best itch relief I found was recommended by my derm, surprisingly its comes from chili pepper, Capsaician. After application you will experience the burn, which to me is preferable to the itch, then in about 10 minutes the burn is gone and I get about 30 minutes of very low itch. This allows time to fall asleep. I keep busy during the day so can distract myself for the itch driving me crazy. At night our histamine levels are higher, also we don't have outside stimulus to take our mind off the itch. Steroids did not help at all. I do take 3 24-hr strength anti-histamines daily.

Because of Allergic Contact Dermatitis, ACD, another form of eczema (my first type I contacted about 20 years ago) I have fewer choices because of allergies to the inactive ingredients, but a good brand for me is Flanax Liniment, sold on Amazon. It's a small bottle, 2 oz, yet it is spread thinly and will last surprisingly long. I need to cover entire back torso and sections of abdomen. My sides have always been clear which is a blessing because I can sleep on my sides and I use a long handled spoon to access my mid back if I don't want to bother my husband. Also some bottles have a thicker lotion inside, so I remove with a q-tip. You must use gloves, disposable vinyl good, because if you apply and then touch face or privates you will experience intense burning.

If papules break though I use Clindamycin Phosphate Topical Solution, an antibacterial.

Another topical that seems to keep the breakout less severe (my last outbreak was 50% milder than my first) is Calcipotriene a vitamin D topical developed for psoriasis. My Medicare Pharmacy insurance doesn't allow this so I use Good RX coupons (free to all on the internet) which are good at all your local pharmacies.

For me heat, sweat and friction seem to trigger it, yet I am an outdoor person so altering my lifestyle has been a challenge. Still I do limit my heat exposure and am forced to limit friction exposure off-roading and boating. I try very hard to be inside by 11 during the summer. I even joined a book club. I bought a new sewing machine. Keeping the mind busy during the day is of major help.

Grover's has another name, Transient Acantholytic Dermatitis. Yet for the majority it is anything but Transient, it's chronic- for life.

@gardeningjunkie

I've lived with Grover's now for 3 years. First outbreak was 1 year which is normal. Each year thereafter I have have breakouts about 6 months on, then 6 months off and this is not unusual. last outbreak the papules never broke and crusted, so I wasn't as concerned about infection. Last breakout ceased in Aug and am still clear 4 months later. Ah, the joy of being able to lay on my back or lay back in chair.

Sarna did nothing for me; I tried it. Best itch relief I found was recommended by my derm, surprisingly its comes from chili pepper, Capsaician. After application you will experience the burn, which to me is preferable to the itch, then in about 10 minutes the burn is gone and I get about 30 minutes of very low itch. This allows time to fall asleep. I keep busy during the day so can distract myself for the itch driving me crazy. At night our histamine levels are higher, also we don't have outside stimulus to take our mind off the itch. Steroids did not help at all. I do take 3 24-hr strength anti-histamines daily.

Because of Allergic Contact Dermatitis, ACD, another form of eczema (my first type I contacted about 20 years ago) I have fewer choices because of allergies to the inactive ingredients, but a good brand for me is Flanax Liniment, sold on Amazon. It's a small bottle, 2 oz, yet it is spread thinly and will last surprisingly long. I need to cover entire back torso and sections of abdomen. My sides have always been clear which is a blessing because I can sleep on my sides and I use a long handled spoon to access my mid back if I don't want to bother my husband. Also some bottles have a thicker lotion inside, so I remove with a q-tip. You must use gloves, disposable vinyl good, because if you apply and then touch face or privates you will experience intense burning.

If papules break though I use Clindamycin Phosphate Topical Solution, an antibacterial.

Another topical that seems to keep the breakout less severe (my last outbreak was 50% milder than my first) is Calcipotriene a vitamin D topical developed for psoriasis. My Medicare Pharmacy insurance doesn't allow this so I use Good RX coupons (free to all on the internet) which are good at all your local pharmacies.

For me heat, sweat and friction seem to trigger it, yet I am an outdoor person so altering my lifestyle has been a challenge. Still I do limit my heat exposure and am forced to limit friction exposure off-roading and boating. I try very hard to be inside by 11 during the summer. I even joined a book club. I bought a new sewing machine. Keeping the mind busy during the day is of major help.

Grover's has another name, Transient Acantholytic Dermatitis. Yet for the majority it is anything but Transient, it's chronic- for life.

Jump to this post

Thanks for the detailed reply. I am using calcipotriene cream as well as betamethasone valerate two times a day. Luckily it seems I don’t have it too bad (yet) so other than it just constantly bothering me I can usually distract myself and keep going. Hope the sarna continues to work. Did you ever try the uv light treatments or accutane?

Dear papergarden- Until you can get tested, detox your world.

Think of everything your are contacting and I won't even get into the off gassing of chemicals yet.

Stop using all your grooming products. Buy Grandma's Bar soap for face and body. Only 2 ingredients, lard and lye and during the soap making process the lye is converted into glycerin. It is free of fragrance, preservatives and a host of other ingredients which are common allergies. Do not use any anti bacterial soap or soft soap. I use this for shampoo also (no more scalp itch). It does lather but if you have soft water the lather will be better for shampooing or wash an extra time. Only use Vaseline right now to moisturize, after testing may be allowed others. For laundry- sort. Do not wash with other family members clothing, not because you are contagious, but you will be wearing safe clothing which I will mention next and their clothes may contain materials or chemicals you are allergic to and will contaminate your clothing. Get a purer laundry soap, Charlies Washing Powder is safe for me. No fabric softener except white vinegar.

What are you sleeping on. My memory foam pillow and mattress was poisoning me because of element that makes memory foam which comes from rubber.

What are you sitting on- fire retardant, anti wrinkle, blending material fibers- if so cover with a vinyl or plastic sheet and a cotton blanket or 100% polyester blanket. Some are allergic to the formaldehyde used to tan leather, but leather is safe for me. Also 100% vinyl or plastic furniture fine.

What are your linens and clothing made of? Do not use any blended material because of chemicals used to accelerate the blending of the material. So no poly/cotton, nitrile, neoprene, nylon, and elastic in any form or spandex. Yet, I wear underwear with drawstrings. No socks with elastic. Shoes are the biggest challenge. I have some website clothing sources for safe, soft cottons if interested. Still it they have elastic waste I must remove and make a casing for a drawstring.

I understand your desperation- I was unable to sleep and sleep is a form of torture. Living with inescapable chronic pain is what I imagine hell to be like. At night I would lay there planning the cleanest and least painful way to kill myself. Yet then I wondered would I end up in hell and then never be set free of my pain. The 5 Day Extended Patch test for ACD literally saved my life. Even after a detox of all my positives it took months to get better, but I had a name for my disease and hope!!!!!! All my exterior ACD rashes cleared up, but still would have a build up of internal skin issues so I required a corticosteroid shot of Kenalog-40, which I normally needed for internal stinging, burning and itching every Dec 1. This year, no internal issues yet after 1 year, but also I bit the bullet and did an anti-inflammatory, anti yeast diet detox for 2 full months. Now 2 months and 1 week later am free of all yeast issues. Also, dealing with my 3 very different forms of eczema I normally have some type of eczema symptoms. Right now zero eczema issues and zero yeast issues. Believe me I am taking advantage of this lull. I know chronic means chronic and something will pop up, but life is amazing now. Please stay strong and don't quit. You must get the name of your exact type/types of eczema in order to avoid your triggers and learn which treatment is best. Spend your waking hours studying on the internet and searching blog like you are now. I didn't even learn about the patch test from a doctor!!!! My derm never even told me about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also go to the Inspire website, it has a great eczema blog running and I learned much there. You also might ask about the Kenalog shot, perhaps it could calm you down enough for a clear area to test. Go to the New Zealand dermatitis site, very good info.

@seth971

Thanks for the detailed reply. I am using calcipotriene cream as well as betamethasone valerate two times a day. Luckily it seems I don’t have it too bad (yet) so other than it just constantly bothering me I can usually distract myself and keep going. Hope the sarna continues to work. Did you ever try the uv light treatments or accutane?

Jump to this post

I haven't tried either the uv or accutane. When I break out again will give those a try. I had great success with Elidel, a non steroidal topical immune suppressant. I used for my 3rd form of eczema, Perioral. I will ask derm if it could help with Grover's. Betamenthasone v. is a cortic steroid and I am allergic to 3 of the 5 classes of steroids, so will check if that one is safe for me. Yet, with the safe ones I tried before no obvious change. Some folks just have one break out period and then never again. I hope you fall into that category.

Me too. You mentioned in another post that memory foam caused you issues. I started using one of those wedges a few months ago to reduce snoring. Now I wonder if that might be contributing to my itchiness. Going to dechallenge it and see if that helps a bit.

@seth971

Me too. You mentioned in another post that memory foam caused you issues. I started using one of those wedges a few months ago to reduce snoring. Now I wonder if that might be contributing to my itchiness. Going to dechallenge it and see if that helps a bit.

Jump to this post

Yes, get rid of that wedge if it has memory foam. Regular polyurethane foam is safe for me as it is made with out chemicals from rubber.

@gardeningjunkie

Dear papergarden- Until you can get tested, detox your world.

Think of everything your are contacting and I won't even get into the off gassing of chemicals yet.

Stop using all your grooming products. Buy Grandma's Bar soap for face and body. Only 2 ingredients, lard and lye and during the soap making process the lye is converted into glycerin. It is free of fragrance, preservatives and a host of other ingredients which are common allergies. Do not use any anti bacterial soap or soft soap. I use this for shampoo also (no more scalp itch). It does lather but if you have soft water the lather will be better for shampooing or wash an extra time. Only use Vaseline right now to moisturize, after testing may be allowed others. For laundry- sort. Do not wash with other family members clothing, not because you are contagious, but you will be wearing safe clothing which I will mention next and their clothes may contain materials or chemicals you are allergic to and will contaminate your clothing. Get a purer laundry soap, Charlies Washing Powder is safe for me. No fabric softener except white vinegar.

What are you sleeping on. My memory foam pillow and mattress was poisoning me because of element that makes memory foam which comes from rubber.

What are you sitting on- fire retardant, anti wrinkle, blending material fibers- if so cover with a vinyl or plastic sheet and a cotton blanket or 100% polyester blanket. Some are allergic to the formaldehyde used to tan leather, but leather is safe for me. Also 100% vinyl or plastic furniture fine.

What are your linens and clothing made of? Do not use any blended material because of chemicals used to accelerate the blending of the material. So no poly/cotton, nitrile, neoprene, nylon, and elastic in any form or spandex. Yet, I wear underwear with drawstrings. No socks with elastic. Shoes are the biggest challenge. I have some website clothing sources for safe, soft cottons if interested. Still it they have elastic waste I must remove and make a casing for a drawstring.

I understand your desperation- I was unable to sleep and sleep is a form of torture. Living with inescapable chronic pain is what I imagine hell to be like. At night I would lay there planning the cleanest and least painful way to kill myself. Yet then I wondered would I end up in hell and then never be set free of my pain. The 5 Day Extended Patch test for ACD literally saved my life. Even after a detox of all my positives it took months to get better, but I had a name for my disease and hope!!!!!! All my exterior ACD rashes cleared up, but still would have a build up of internal skin issues so I required a corticosteroid shot of Kenalog-40, which I normally needed for internal stinging, burning and itching every Dec 1. This year, no internal issues yet after 1 year, but also I bit the bullet and did an anti-inflammatory, anti yeast diet detox for 2 full months. Now 2 months and 1 week later am free of all yeast issues. Also, dealing with my 3 very different forms of eczema I normally have some type of eczema symptoms. Right now zero eczema issues and zero yeast issues. Believe me I am taking advantage of this lull. I know chronic means chronic and something will pop up, but life is amazing now. Please stay strong and don't quit. You must get the name of your exact type/types of eczema in order to avoid your triggers and learn which treatment is best. Spend your waking hours studying on the internet and searching blog like you are now. I didn't even learn about the patch test from a doctor!!!! My derm never even told me about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also go to the Inspire website, it has a great eczema blog running and I learned much there. You also might ask about the Kenalog shot, perhaps it could calm you down enough for a clear area to test. Go to the New Zealand dermatitis site, very good info.

Jump to this post

Thanks for your advice.

@ethanmcconkey

Hi @papergarden and welcome to Connect. It must be so frustrating to be unable to find a solution to your itching and body rash.

You mentioned that your doctor suggested you go to Mayo Clinic so i wanted to share this link so you can request an appointment: http://mayocl.in/1mtmR63

@dazlin has seen a dermatologist at Mayo Clinic and may be able to share their experiences.

@gardeningjunkie may also be able to share some of her experience with what helps relief body itching and rashes.

Back to you @papergarden, what are some of the creams your doctor has said are safe to use?

Jump to this post

Vanicream for face, Cerave moisturizing cream in jar for body. (dark blue logo) and Free and Clear shampoo and the conditioner.

@papergarden

Vanicream for face, Cerave moisturizing cream in jar for body. (dark blue logo) and Free and Clear shampoo and the conditioner.

Jump to this post

Keep in mind if papergarden has ACD we don't know what is safe until tested. For example I know I am allergic to an ingredient in Cerave and what's even more maddening even though Vanicream for face and Free and Clear are technically safe for me I still react with itching and burning. I can only assume they contain a ingredient missed on my 5 Day Extended Patch Test for ACD.

I was told Free and Clear was developed by 3M for my kind of problem. I could be making me itchier I feel sometimes. Anything on my head right now is not fun, even just getting it wet w/o shampooing or putting it in a shower cap nothing really seems to create hope for a solution. I am 64 and went most of my life w/o any allergy problems. Occasionally I would gets hives, twice in my 20's, same in my 30's and once 3 years ago. The hives would do its course and be done. What I am dealing with now is a monster. I have graves disease but that's it. Well, I have high level enzymes in my liver right now. I am overweight. My arm and leg and stomach do seem to have lessoned in color. (not as red a rash), but it fools me sometimes and comes back. I am still on Prednisone which does help. I asked my GI doc if the rash could be caused by high liver enzymes she said no. Graves Disease is an autoimmune condition and I bet might be a hindrance to healing. So do I get rid of My Pillow? I buy poly fiber fill and shredded foam because I make pillows. Maybe that's the end of that craft.

Most of us with eczema have another autoimmune disease, or will develop one in time. Like you my itchy skin started in middle age, common for ACD. With a shower cap I use a wide 100%, elastic free head band made by Cottonique, then place a shower cap over the head band area so the elastic can't touch my skin. One of my allergies is to an element in rubber, which is in elastic, spandex and so on. I do treat myself to my VMV Clark Wash for hair and body to shampoo about once every 2 weeks or for a special event, otherwise it's Grandma's. Also their conditioner is safe for me. VMV does leave the hair a bit fluffier than my Grandma's bar soap for face and body.I don't use the VMV as a body wash, it's expensive and I love my Grandma's. I have no tested reason why Free and Clear doesn't work for me or others I blog with on my Inspire eczema site, but about 50% of the products that should work for me based on my Patch Test results. So if I find products that work I stick with them. Just because your derm says it should be allergy free for you doesn't make it so. For example Aquaphor Healing Ointment works for me, as it should, but Hydrolatum which should be ok causes stinging.

Also you really need to consider diet changes. I have given up all forms of sugar, even natural in fruits and all carbs for 2 months. Now can gradually add a few back. Still I have lost my sugar cravings. I have never been overweight, but one cannot help but loose weight on this detox regime.
Don' stop your pillow hobby because fiber fill is safe. Keep the pillows you have if they are polyurethane or polyester fiberfill, both available in all stores these contain no rubber. If memory foam, a foam which feels different and can be molded to the touch and contains elements from rubber, avoid.

@gardeningjunkie

Most of us with eczema have another autoimmune disease, or will develop one in time. Like you my itchy skin started in middle age, common for ACD. With a shower cap I use a wide 100%, elastic free head band made by Cottonique, then place a shower cap over the head band area so the elastic can't touch my skin. One of my allergies is to an element in rubber, which is in elastic, spandex and so on. I do treat myself to my VMV Clark Wash for hair and body to shampoo about once every 2 weeks or for a special event, otherwise it's Grandma's. Also their conditioner is safe for me. VMV does leave the hair a bit fluffier than my Grandma's bar soap for face and body.I don't use the VMV as a body wash, it's expensive and I love my Grandma's. I have no tested reason why Free and Clear doesn't work for me or others I blog with on my Inspire eczema site, but about 50% of the products that should work for me based on my Patch Test results. So if I find products that work I stick with them. Just because your derm says it should be allergy free for you doesn't make it so. For example Aquaphor Healing Ointment works for me, as it should, but Hydrolatum which should be ok causes stinging.

Also you really need to consider diet changes. I have given up all forms of sugar, even natural in fruits and all carbs for 2 months. Now can gradually add a few back. Still I have lost my sugar cravings. I have never been overweight, but one cannot help but loose weight on this detox regime.
Don' stop your pillow hobby because fiber fill is safe. Keep the pillows you have if they are polyurethane or polyester fiberfill, both available in all stores these contain no rubber. If memory foam, a foam which feels different and can be molded to the touch and contains elements from rubber, avoid.

Jump to this post

Keto diet will be the first of the year challenge. Where can I get Grandma products?

Please login or register to post a reply.