Sunday, August 23, 2009

Papular urticaria

A dismal weekend spoilt by dreadful English weather, too many anti-histamines and a big scare on my arms. I'm hoping there won't be a big scar on my arms.

It started when I was nice to the cat on Friday night, the same cat that has been bringing fleas into the house. We thought she was free and I fondled her around the neck, only to get a nip on my arm from a flea.

Within a few hours my arms broke out into a rash. My immediate thought was to blame the biscuits I consumed during the afternoon - they were meant to be cream sandwiches but seemed to have quite a  gingery taste. I'm running low on montelukast so I took a one-a-day antihistamine. I thought this might help with The Ring too.

By Saturday there were welts and weals and red spots all over my arms, partly around the elbows but also on my hands and the fingers. It looked as if the cat had scratched me and then infected me with a plague of scabies.And my arms itched all over.

A montelukast and another antihistamine failed to relieve the misery on Sunday. As the weather deteriorated and the temperature plummeted, I developed that clammy feeling and sense of foreboding they say comes with anaphylaxis -along with the kind of rash they say to look out for with septicaemia. And after two days of anti-histamines I felt tired, despite sleeping for hours.

Eventually I found a little creature on my wrist and removed him. That may have helped relieve the misery. I tried smearing my arms with E45 and that relieved the misery but left the skin quite red. The same happened when I tried another cream Eurax yesterday.

So I turned to the internet and discovered it is probably  - or rather almost certainly - a condition called papular urticaria. Urticaria is hives and in this version, often triggered by those fleas, you do indeed get weals, welts, red rashes and lines of spots, often on the arms and exposed parts of the skin. It happens to people with hypersensitive skin, usually children. Well, perhaps the ginger biscuits made me hyper-sensitive on this occasion.

I am indebted to this page for helping me identify the problem. I am resolved that the cat will be confined indoors for ever so she cannot collect any more fleas.


RAS

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