Sunday, April 1, 2012

Itchy Itchy Scratchy Scratchy

It has been well documented on this blog that I have terrible allergies and asthma.  I don't want to link to any post, (because I'm hella lazy) but if you're terribly curious, search for "allergies" on my blog, and you'll get an entire slew of posts.  I think the last total count of things I am allergic to is like 60+ things now, almost all environmental/animal allergens.  So, with spring coming, though I LOVE the warmer weather, it is bringing with it an onslaught of terrible allergy symptoms.  The asthma stuff is more or less under control - all my little lung cells are stuffed with Advair and Albuterol - but the other stuff is KILLIN ME.  Specifically, the itching.  My legs and arms are all clawed up because they itch so much; I can't stop scratching them.  And that sucks, but that's not even what I want to complain about right now - what I really want to betch about is my face.  My face and my neck itches so bad, and I can't stop scratching it, and now I have a lovely rashy/scratched up look going.  I try to cover it up with my Mac Studio Fix, but it's terrible.  You can look at me and know immediately that I can't stop scratching.  My arms and legs I can hide, but unfortunately I can't hide my face.  Unless I had giant sunglasses and my name was Nicole Ritchie.  Or Mary Kate Olsen.  But it's not; my name is Brie, and my face is driving me crazy.  I want to scratch it off.   :(  And no amount of Studio Fix can fix that!

So, here's where you come in.  What can I do?  Are there any allergy meds or topical creams or ointments that help any super itchy areas (why do I think DIRTY when I type "super itchy areas?" :/) you guys have?  Does anyone else have Annoying Itchy Face Syndrome with seasonal allergies?  I take Singulair for allergies along with all my other lung meds, but as far as over-the-counter allergy meds, I don't take any.  Anyone have any specific OTC meds they think might help?  Annnny ideas or anecdotes would be mucho appreciated, because you know, I like my face.  I want to keep it unblemished for awhile, maybe smile a lot and love life, and I can't do that when it itches so much I WANT TO DIE.  I know it sounds like I'm exaggerating, but when you have something that itches so terribly you'll go crazy insane if you don't scratch it, you'll know what I mean.

Help!!!

Photo - Me and Cade lovin each other yesterday.  Oddly enough, we were sitting on a giant, inflatable spider.  I wish the photo quality was better (darn iPad) because I think we both look really cute in it.  I wub my little man!

17 comments:

eden said...

this might sound crazy... but i've been reading things about coconut oil lately and read that taking coconut oil regularly has been shown to reduce allergies. or get rid of them all together. i'm not sure how long it takes to work though... but you could check out the book 'coconut cures' if you're interested. also, i've started using coconut oil as a moisturizer, right on my face. and i LOVE it. so maybe that would help too? maybe? sorry, i don't have much experience with allergies (knock on wood). good luck!

Lindsay said...

oh my gosh. i feel for you. i had (and still have to some degree) terrible itchiness with my pregnancy that would rash up if i scratched it. i thankfully never had it on my face, but i had it on my neck, back, stomach, legs, boobs (wearing a bra was not fun...), etc. Not sure if its the same thing you're experiencing (the doc said it was eczema related to allergies) but taking a Zyrtec daily helps me enormously. its still a bit itchy but much much better. if I even miss one day the rashes flare up all over the place. if you find it works, get the big bottle at costco for a lot cheaper. i think its called allertec there. in terms of creams, the only OTC i had was hydrocortisone cream, but you might get an allergist/dermatologist to prescribe you a more concentrated topical steroid cream, they worked for me if a rash developed. good luck i hope you find relief!

brie said...

Okay.,,never heard of using coconut oil but I'm going to look into it. Thanks Eden!

brie said...

Linds, I remember reading about your itchiness on your blog, so thank you for commenting! I'm going to try the Zyrtec...do you know how long it takes to kick in? Is it fairly immediately, or does it take days/weeks?

Heather Lindquist said...

Over the last few years, I've gotten major itchies too, and cold compresses seem to help. Something about the cold temperature helps the skin repel the allergin I think....not sure though. But it did help relieve the intensity. I bought those gel packs and stuck them in the freezer, and then wrapped them in a towel and placed them wherever I itched real bad for as long as I could tolerate it. Heat always seemed to make it worse.

De España said...

Hmm I might have to try that Allertec your friend Lindsay talked about. I have terrible eczema (obviously related to allergies). I get it the worst on my hands and fingers because it's impossible to keep any lotion/cream on them for any length of time since I have to touch things and wash my hands and it all just rubs off in a matter of minutes... so my fingers basically look like hamburger meat because I scratch them until they bleed. I totally understand the feeling of not being able to resist the itchiness! Anyway, it used to be really bad on my legs and face near my hairline. I started getting sores on my legs and red patches on my face because they itched so much. But now I make sure to apply Cetaphil cream (in the little bucket) right after I shower all over my legs and every night all over my face. (I don't put it on my face in the mornings because I don't want a greasy face all day.) That helps a lot with keeping things moisturized so I don't keep itching. I don't know if dryness is part of your allergy, but if so I recommend Cetaphil (the heavy cream, not just the regular lotion). I tried a lot of other lotions and nothing helped as much. My legs still itch, but not nearly as bad and I have no more sores from scratching them. Same story with my face.

Just That ZombieGrrl said...

I use Benadryl -- yes, when you first start using it, it may make you sleepy during the day, but you build a tolerance to that, eventually. There are Benadryl topical creams, but taking it orally works WAY better -- especially for animal allergies.

AlwaysJoy said...

I have crazy allergies too. I swear by Benadryl spray, gel, and cream (I like the spray best but probably not for your face)

If you go to Benadryl.com look up topical it'll tell you about them!

Good luck

t. said...

oh, you poor thing! i have allergies to just about everything, but thankfully not any unbearable itching. maybe your dr can prescribe a cream to help you out.

alison said...

I have dermagraphia, so basically I itch constantly. On bad days, I take an antihistimine such as Benadryl. If there's just one spot that's bad in particular, I put hydrocortisone cream on it. If there's any swelling, a cold washcloth can help with that.

. said...

I agree with the Zyrtec, I know someone with a similar problem and as soon as they started taking it once a day it helped tremendously. She said it took a little under two weeks until there was a noticeable day to day relief.
And cold baths! I know no one really likes a cold shower but soaking in colder water always helps when I'm itching (my legs get crazy itchy, I cut my nails often so I don't completely shred them). Other than that I'll take benadryl orally or if I have a particularly itchy spot I use the cream, just have to watch how much and often you're applying.

@De España - I'm not sure if the Cetaphil helps because it's keeping your skin moisturized so this might not be helpful but if you wanted something to apply in the morning for your face there is a cream (also in a small bucket) you can get at CVS/Walgreens/etc called CeraV and it is my savior, oh goodness. I was always afraid to apply it to my face, I didnt want to be greasy! But it doesn't make it oily whatsoever, now I use it solely for my face and other moisturizers for body. Its non-comedogenic and irritant free. Just a thought!

Lindsay said...

The first time I took Zyrtec it cut way back on the itching within one day. If there are active rashes it will take about a week for them to actually go away, but in general I itched much less almost immediately. The nice thing about Zyrtec opposed to Benadryl is it doesn't make you drowsy. When it was really bad I would take a Zyrtec in the morning and a Benadryl at night. One doc told me that they actually worked on different allergies so taking both would actually cover more bases. Anyway, let me know if the Zyrtec works for you!

Also - for those using Cetaphil cream...there is also another body lotion I use for eczema called Cerave. Sometimes you have to ask the pharmacist for it (but you don't need a prescription). It holds the moisture in really well and its less greasy feeling than Cetaphil cream.

Shannon said...

Obvs you will just have to try different things until you find what works for you, but all I can give you is my experience with Sophie! She was born with pretty bad eczema (allergy related we think) and what has helped her the most is a looooong bath and lotions right after. 1 part Vanicream (Walgreens) and 1 part Hydrocortizone cream. That has seemed to clear it up.

That should work for your hot bod, but I am not sure for your face. Vanicream is not greasy, but I dont know how your facial reacts to lotions?

Hope you get it under control, beint itchy sucks!

Liz said...

I don't have allergies so I can't speak from personal experience, but my sis-in-law uses Aloe Vera whenever her skin itches. And since it's natural it couldn't hurt to try.

CH said...

I used to have horrible allergies that made my hands and face break out into nasty itchy rashy like spots.
This sounds nasty, and it kind of is, but at a drug store, you can find something called "Bag Balm" and it's in a green jar thing, and it's basically for a cow's udder, to keep it moisturized, and I know, I know, that is SO NASTY and you're probably gagging just reading it, but it works WONDERS. and it is made for human use, since they sell it in CVS.
My dermatologist gave it to me, and it always helped. I used it at night mostly, and it was amazing.
There's also an OTC cream that is not used on any animal naughty bits, called "Glaxol Base"... it comes in a white and teal bottle. It also worked wonders for me!

Melissa said...

As I sit here, scratching my hairline, nose, lower eyelids, chin, and throat (and hoping my allergy meds kick in before it spreads any further!), it's oddly conforting to know that I'm not the only one with a crappy itchy face with allergies. Not just regular itchy, the kind of itchy that makes you think peeling off your face and scratching the other side of the skin is the only way to get relief. It was a surprise attack today, figured I was safe from tree pollen on a cool drizzly day but alas, I was incorrect.


As for a suggestion for OTC medication, I've found that any generic brand that contains "Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride (HCl)" works maaaarrrrvelously! And, very conveniently, Walmart sells 100-caplet bottles of this for super cheap. Lots of money saved on allergy meds with this awesome dsicovery! :)

Melissa said...

As I sit here scratching my hairline, nose, cheeks, chin, earlobes, lower eyelids, and neck; it’s oddly comforting to know that I’m not the only one ravaged by an annoyingly itchy face with seasonal allergies! Not just regular itchy either- the kind of itchy that makes you contemplate whether removing your face and scratching the other side of the skin is the only possible way to get relief. It was a sneak attack today- I figured since it was a cool, drizzly day I’d be safe from tree pollen. I was mistaken!

As for OTC allergy medication, I’ve found that any generic brand that contains “Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride (HCl)” works maaarrrvelously for me! Very conveniently, Walmart sells just this (under the Equate brand) in a 100-caplet bottle for quite cheap. Awesome for saving money during allergy season!