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Allergy

Question
Posted by: | 2018/12/26

Q.

I am 57 and have suffered on and off with itching after showers since I was 10 years old

As a child, I saw an allergist and started by using hypoallergenic soaps, lotions and detergents and extra rinse cycles in the washer. I have gone to not wearing nickel jewelry, using whole house water softeners, and moving all products in and out of use to try and determine what is causing the itching. It happens in 3 different states, at home and when traveling, but sometimes takes off for a month or so at a time and always returns. I know now that within 3-4 minutes of drying off, the itch will come. It generally stops within 30 minutes if I keep from scratching and use a lot of "mind over itch". I have taken Benadryl prior to the shower and after the shower with no help. I feel it must be psychosomatic and have just about decided to go the rest of my life without bathing. Please help.

Expert's Reply

A.

Allergy expert
- 2019/01/11

This sounds like a form of Physical Urticaria called Cholinergic Urticaria which is triggered by sweating, exercising and showering. Its not usually caused by an allergy. However keeping the skin soft and well moisturised and avoiding the physical triggers will help. It does have a habit of suddenly flaring up and stress can play a role. If Benadryl antihistamines don't help, a low dose beta-blocker such as propranolol could be tried.

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