The hell is this rash?

[Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
edited May 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey guys, medical question here.

Don't worry, nothing serious. Doctor's office isn't open yet so I'm trying to do my own research.

Last night when I went to bed I had two "bug bites" on my shoulder. They were small and itchy, one raised from the skin a little bit.

I've had a cold for a little while. I've taken a generic brand version of Nyquil before I went to bed (30ml, recommended dose) and during the day I'd been taking Buckley's cough medicine. The previous night I'd had a half dose of Nyquil.

Since these were the only unusual things I consumed, and since I never take either of these, I figure I'm having an allergic reaction to one or both of them.

The rash has spread. I'm now covered in these little "bites", especially on my torso, arms and hips. My back is the worst though, with several very large areas of redness that are slightly raised from the skin. It is quite itchy. My legs and head only have a couple.

Anyone have any experience with this? I suspect it was the Buckleys because it made part of my lip twitch (part of my lip which in the past has swollen due to an obscure allergy). Anyway, as I said I'll be seeing a doctor anyway, but I wouldn't mind knowing something in the couple hours I have to wait. Thanks.

[Tycho?] on


  • E.CoyoteE.Coyote Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Seasonal allergies with hives maybe. Benadryl should help with the rash until you get to a doctor and it might even clear up the cold symptoms.

    E.Coyote on
  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    You said it was a cold, but did you have a fever at all? It's not uncommon for a fever to be joined by -- or followed by -- a rash. I freaked out a bit the first time it happened because I was in my late 20's and I'd never previously gotten a rash after a fever.

    Daenris on
  • Mmmm... Cocks...Mmmm... Cocks... Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    To quote my doctor "well I have no idea what that rash is, but it's not full of puss or bleeding. 90% of the time we never find out what these rashes are and they go away as mysteriously as they came doing really no harm"

    Mmmm... Cocks... on
  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Yeah, IANAD but in general rashes like that where you just get itchy and they spread but don't seem severe, are not bleeding, and are manageable (itch-wise) are from some random thing that your body is reacting to. It could be pollen, food, laundry detergent, insects... And it could be from one of those things that simply got on your clothes and your body is reacting to.

    What I'd suggest is to wash your bedding with HOT water in the washing machine, and since it's on your back that should cover it. I had a problem at my ankles so I washed all of my socks, too, since they're held tight against your skin. Bedding is usually not washed as frequently as clothes, though, so it's good to wash that first and see how it goes. And wear a shirt (a fresh one, t-shirt) when you go to sleep, so you don't add to whatever you currently have accidentally.

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  • Erin The RedErin The Red The Name's Erin! Woman, Podcaster, Dungeon Master, IT nerd, Parent, Trans. AMA Baton Rouge, LARegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Im not sure if this will help with the rash, but it may help manage the itching. Works for chicken pox at least.
    Hot bath with that oatmeal stuff in it.
    Smells funny, works wonderfully.
    I broke out in a rash after eating cheap hot dogs a few years back, and while it didn't make the rash go away, it did keep me from wanting to claw off my own skin.

    YMMV, of course.

    Erin The Red on
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited May 2011
    If it sticks around for more than a week or two go to a proper dermatologist, and preferably not one who specializes in cosmetic stuff. I may be speaking from experience here.

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  • Zilla360Zilla360 21st Century. |She/Her| Surreal. Immersive. Earth.Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
  • twmjrtwmjr Registered User regular
    edited May 2011 by any chance? It kind of sounds like it, and I had it once.

    twmjr on
  • TrillianTrillian Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Well I don't think they'd be infected, but hey, could be bedbugs!

    Trillian on

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  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Well, things got more interesting.

    I went to the doctor. Its hives, almost certainly an allergic reaction. I suspect the cough medicine, but the doctor stressed that its nearly impossible to be sure what causes these things. Ok. He prescribed antihistamines in an elevated dose, Claratin (or the generic brand version). I took half a pill at lunch, then another half in the evening.

    I wake up at 5am or something to go to the bathroom. Looking in the mirror and I'm covered in the shit. My entire back, sides, and arms are red. Covered like sunburn covered, there are a couple spots of white skin visible. There are spots on my hands and face, with my neck and stomach being bad as well. A bit on my knees, but my legs are still mostly clear, as are my pecs. I take a full pill of the Claratin upon seeing this.

    Now its the next day, and I'm still covered in a virtually full body rash. Much, much worse than yesterday. The distribution might be a bit different from last night, though its hard to tell. Overall coverage looks about the same. I'm toying with the idea that I'm allergic to antihistamines, as one of the cough syrups I took contained antihistamines. Or I'm allergic to my bed?

    I'm not even sure what advice you guys can offer anymore. I'm going to have a blood test later to see what that gives me. I have no existing allergies, nor prior incidence of skin rash, no existing reactions to cough medicine or any other medicine or drug (though this is the first time in several years I've taken cough/flu medicine). I'll keep this updated as a bit of a medical anomaly; maybe it will help someone else down the line.

    [Tycho?] on
  • DaMoonRulzDaMoonRulz Mare ImbriumRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Have you recently changed laundry detergent?

    DaMoonRulz on

  • B:LB:L Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    You should start eliminating anything "new" to see if your condition improves, until you can see a doctor.

    Any new detergent, soap, shampoo, clothes, or medicine.

    Also, it's unlikely since you have full body hives, but make sure your mattress isn't infested by bed bugs while you're at it.

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  • FoolproofFoolproof thats what my hearts become in that place you dare not look staring back at youRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Also have you started using your furnace/air conditioner after not having it on for awhile? Been near any fires? Are any of your trees or lawn plants blooming?

    Any of these can cause some trouble if they are covering you with dust/pollen/ash.

    Foolproof on
  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    The odd thing about this is that aside from the cough syrup, I have changed nothing.

    I'm quite minimalist in my consumer products anyway, so there's few to change. But soap, deodertant, toothpaste, shampoo, laundry detergent, all the same. My habits are all the same; same schedule, same eating times, same activities. I had a busy weekend, drinking a lot at a party, going to a concert. Nothing too unusual, and all several days before I had any incidence of the hives. I've had bedbugs before; its definately not that, nor any other parasite or infection. Definitely my immune system reacting to something.

    Here's how today went so far:
    Took a pill of claratin early in the morning. Bad rash when I woke up. It lightened throughout the day.
    I got home, took a several hour nap. When I woke up, my skin was almost totally clear, with maybe a tiny spot here or there.

    Now, I just sat down to eat, and suddenly my hands are itchy; rash is present on my fingers (only on places that previously had no rash). Much itchier than the rest of the rash. My meal had all regular ingredients except for some shellfish- which I haven't eaten for many months, and to which I've never reacted poorly before. So I'm allergic to... rice? Maybe? That would suck.

    Anyway, the saga continues. I'm not going to take any claratin tonight, and I'll see where that leaves me in the morning, since that is when the rash has been at its worst. Stay tuned!

    [Tycho?] on
  • mysticjuicermysticjuicer [he/him] I'm a muscle wizard and I cast P U N C HRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Ed.- Nevermind. Didn't notice that you'd said you had bugs before.

    mysticjuicer on
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  • RashyRashy Registered User new member
    Just want to post here in case someone else has this reaction. I took one dose of Buckley’s at about 5:00 pm one day due to a terrible flu. It did seem to help the flu symptoms. During the night, I had some weird digestive symptoms, then with diarrhea. The next day, I had a rash all over my abdomen, and even on my thighs. Nothing else was different except for the Buckley’s.

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