I have been suffering from chronic hives/welts that itchy and when I scratch them it spreads and gets scaly. It is usually concentrated on knees, elbows, behind my ears and lower back.
It started a few months after I had my second child, first I used over the counter anti-itch cream and that stopped working so I visited a dermatologist who suggested it was ezcema and prescribed mild steroid (I was still nursing at the time) to control itching. At first the steroid cream worked and after few months it got worse, I went to a different dermatologist and she prescribed stronger steroid cream and suggested I switch out all clothes detergent, shampoo, lotion, etc. to allergy free products.
My skin got better but once again, after a few weeks it was a lot worse. I went to an allergist who administered "prick" test for food and environmental allergies. The test showed a few minor allergies (ragweed, pine pollen, etc.) but nothing unusual. I was also tested for Celiac disease (through blood work) and it came back negative.
I visited my internist who tested for unusual levels in my blood to check for autoimmune disease and everything came back normal. She suggested I visit another dermatologist who is very good and finding answers for difficult skin conditions.
The third dermatologist I visited asked a lot of questions about my lifestyle (stress level, eating habit, excercise, etc.) and thought my condition maybe driven by my hormone levels during pregnancy, nursing and chronic physical stress from insomnia and taking care of an infant. He gave me a non-steroid cream (since at this point my skin thinned due to prolonged use of topical steroids), gave me a prescription for Allegra (to control hives and itching) and performed a biopsy. The biopsy indicated that they are hives. The dermatologist said I should continue the allergy tablets for at least a month and stop taking them to see if the hives return, he also suggested I take extra vitamin C and increase my intake of iron. He speculated that once I stop nursing it will take around 6 months for my hormones to regulate and hopefully my problem will go away.
It's been 3 months since I stopped nursing (I nursed until my second child was 15 months old) and 3 months since I've taken daily allgery medicine (generic Zyrtec) and I still get itchy welts and hives. They are definitely better when I take my allergy medicine but it's still not completely gone. I don't want to increase my daily medication and am wondering if an holistic allergist can figure out what's causing my chronic hives that itchy. This has been going on for 15 months or so. I am very aware of environmental toxins and consume and use only all natural/organic products/food.
Any suggestions for comment will be greatly appreciated.