What (other than allergies) causes welts to appear in random places?

First of all, yes, I have seen a doctor and he gave me Prednisone 10mg on a step-down dosage to help with this. He didn’t have any ideas; I’m hoping the Dope can help.

For two days now, I have been contending with blotchy welts that appear in places on my body where I know nothing out of the ordinary has been. I’m talking about, for instance, my inner thighs, upper torso, lower back, and on the bottoms of my forearms. I do not have any food allergies that I know of, and I haven’t ingested anything unusual. Well, I did have quite a few Rainier cherries, but I ate those at least a week and a half ago with no ill effects. This literally began overnight, with itching on both of my palms.

Right now, my diet consists of Cheerios in the morning, a turkey sandwich on wheat bread for lunch, and another sandwich at dinner. I use dye and fragrance free detergent and I’ve been taking my current medications for over 3 years.

I know I need to take all advice with a grain of salt, no one here is my medical doctor, etc. But does anyone have any ideas?

:confused:

Welcome to the world of idiopathic hives. For a lot of folks, doctors never determine the cause of hives. I’ve had this on and off for a few decades; one of the wonders of the immune system.

I get itchy red welts when I get too much sun…but seeing as you have them on your inner thighs, I’d guess (hope) this isn’t your problem.

All those places are locations where clothing would likely rub…did you wear new clothing you wore w/o washing first?

@Sue

I had thought of that as well, but no such luck (if that’s an appropriate term here). I always wash my clothes before I wear them, and I didn’t wear anything new in the time span where the rash developed (between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. Sat morning).

The idiopathic idea is what I’m currently working with, and one that I’ll have to accept if no better idea comes along. But I’d like to see what other ideas are out there before I give up hope.

Thanks for taking the time to help, though.

PS: Not sure if it’s relevant or not, but the hives (I guess that’s what they are) do not all itch simultaneously and all the time. Only one is bothering me now, and two hours from now, another one from another part of my body will flare up.

Does Unca’ Cecil answer the question?

I’ll leave quietly now. :smiley:

I would venture that it’s physically abusive ghosts. :smiley:

Shingles?

Does your head turn a full 360 degrees?

I get them from stress, and occasionally ideopathically.

THe type of stress hives I hate [after the ones that appear at the waistband and backs of the hands and neck] are the tiny little ones that are about the size of a flea bite, that pop up on my fingers - I have 4 or 5 spots that they pop up at and it is so annoying as I cant use topical corticosteroids, and have to be a bit circumspect about taking other forms of steroids as well.

I usually recourse to witch hazel if i am out and about [small bottle and cotton pads] and Dome-boro when at home.

I break out in hive almost daily: the triggers I am sure about are mildew, detergent, and cold air, but there are clearly others: stress, especially sudden, sharp frustration, makes them worse. Exercise inevitably causes hives.

Mine don’t last as long as some people’s: withing a few hours all but the worst attacks are over. But while they last they are terrible–I’ve had hives literally from the top of my head to the tips of my toes, all in my ears and between my fingers and toes, completely covering all the “flat” skin surfaces like chest and back and legs. Mine itch, always, but only the worst one hurt.

Other idiopathic hive sufferers: to the worst attacks make you exhausted and panicky at same time? To me, that feeling is more scary than the hives themselves.

My father, son, and I all often get a mild case of hives at the end stage of recovering from some sort of illness.

There’s also Fifth disease.

I’m almost hesitant to mention it because it seems to be the trendy disease of the moment but have you considered celiac? While the prime symptom there is intestinal there is a subset of people with this disease that have a skin rash called dematitis herpetiformis.

The pathophysiology underlying urticarial lesions is complex, only partially understood, and impossible to summarize.

In the best of all possible worlds, your bout with them will resolve and not recur; you never want to know what the worst of all possible worlds is in medicine, since nearly every sign and symptom might be a harbinger of your imminent demise. Sure; it might be strongyloides stercoralis, but happily for you (and sadly for your Internist) it’s probably not…

As a rule of thumb, common things are common, so emphasis will be placed on looking for an external trigger–an “allergy” so to speak–and calming down any underlying pathways which can produce inflammatory and/or vasoactive mediators–that’s prednisone and the like, along with stuff such as anti-histamines and so on.

It is very common not to find a reason. Even in people who are convinced they have a reactive urticaria, the putative trigger is often suspect.

Here’s a little writeup that may help as a specific resource with which to start:
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/762917-overview

How’s your lipids? I don’t know exactly what yours look like, but I have had…bumps, I guess…small raised red bumps on my forearms, my thighs, and my sides for a couple of months and just went to the dermatologist to figure out what they are. He said they were eruptive xanthomas, deposits of cholesterol under the skin. It apparently happens when your cholesterol is very high.

I get those kind of rashes when I eat too much pizza. Turns out there is some additive in it that makes huge welts appear around my face and neck (in 5 minutes!), but the nice thing is apart from a hot flush, I dont feel them, and they disappear by themselves in 20 minutes.

Thanks all for your very helpful suggestions. I seem to be on the mend now (2nd day of prednisone out of 9). Don’t think I’ll need an exorcism, as I have yet to vomit pea soup :wink:

I guess I just chalk this one up to some freak immune system reaction.

[quote=“statsman1982, post:1, topic:498456”]

First of all, yes, I have seen a doctor and he gave me Prednisone 10mg on a step-down dosage to help with this. He didn’t have any ideas; I’m hoping the Dope can help.

For two days now, I have been contending with blotchy welts that appear in places on my body where I know nothing out of the ordinary has been. I’m talking about, for instance, my inner thighs, upper torso, lower back, and on the bottoms of my forearms. I do not have any food allergies that I know of, and I haven’t ingested anything unusual. Well, I did have quite a few Rainier cherries, but I ate those at least a week and a half ago with no ill effects. This literally began overnight, with itching on both of my palms.

Right now, my diet consists of Cheerios in the morning, a turkey sandwich on wheat bread for lunch, and another sandwich at dinner. I use dye and fragrance free detergent and I’ve been taking my current medications for over 3 years.

I know I need to take all advice with a grain of salt, no one here is my medical doctor, etc. But does anyone have any ideas?

:confused:[/QU

please email me if anyone has any ideas cindylou321@yahoo.com I’m having the same problems…welts on my body, hands, face, elbows, etc…please help

Only in the interest of [del]OCD[/del] accuracy, I want to correct two misunderstandings above.

First, hives (urticaria) are very different than the lesions of shingles. Indeed, the OP mentions that what he noticed were randomly appearing and itchy welts in his skin (all typical of hives). On the other hand, shingles is not random but occurs in a typical distribution (along what is called a dermatome) corresponding to the area ‘served’ by the shingles-affected nerve. Likewise, shingles doesn’t look blotchy. Instead, early on especially, shingles looks like little bubbles (vesicles) appearing in groups here and there along the dermatome of the involved nerve. And, although the lesions of shingles can itch, it’s much, much more common to have pain, burning, and tingling. In fact, to have only itching would be, IMO, exceptionally rare, if it even occurs.

Second, eruptive xanthomas (or, more accurately, eruptive xanthomata) are not due to “deposits of cholesterol under the skin”. They are actually due to triglyceride being deposited there. Although it is a type of blood fat, triglyceride is not the same as cholesterol. Unlike the tendon xanthomata associated with high cholesterol (see below) which take years to develop and years to disappear (if ever), eruptive xanthomata come and go over a much shorter time course, on the order of weeks.

For those interested in such things, xanthomata due to cholesterol are more typically found in the tendons (pic, pic (<== notice how thick the Achilles tendons are)) or over ‘extensor’ surfaces such as the elbows (pic). All that said, there is one site where both cholesterol and triglyceride may accumulate in the skin: in the creases of the palms (pic) which occurs in the condition called dysbetalipoproteinemia (also called Type III hyperlipoproteinemia).

Finally, there can also be cholesterol deposits around the eyelids, and those are called xanthelasma (not xanthomata). Their presence is suggestive of high cholesterol but they are also commonly found in people whose blood levels are normal.

Demonic possession. Or in this case repossession. If you connect the hives with a Sharpie, you will find that it spells the name of the demon.