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Allergic to sweat?


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Whenever I work out, I break out into hives and get itchy in the areas where I sweat the most - armpits, back, inner elbows, face, stomach.  This has been happening for a few years now but has gotten progressively worse.  Any idea what's going on?

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I can think of a couple possible causes.

1) your skin is sensitive to being wet/oily.  Carry a towel IMO.

2) you are eating something you have a dermal allergy to and don't know it, and sweating it out.  Make extra sure your diet doesn't have anything funky in it.  (Very unlikely)

3) you are using some soap/lotion/skin product that reacts poorly with your sweat/body oils, but not enough to bother you unless there is a lot of it.  Try different skin products. 

Personally, I think 3) is the most likely.
This happens to me on my face. Im okay working out in air con or weight lifting but vigarous exercise like spinning in a warmish home and my face itchs like made and goes really dry and sore afterwards.

I thought that prehaps its the washing detergent that the gym uses on the towels, which i use to wiped my face when im sweating, but maybe its the actual workout.

I happened last night for the forst time in over a month, as there was no air con in the spinning room.
#3  
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You might not be rinsing your clothes in the washer well enough or using too much detergent. I notice a difference when I use too much by accident.
I commented in my journal about my flushing issues with niacin and hydrocodone I am taking for pain and how I itch from taking these meds.  One of my friends commented that they get this reaction when they work out so its quite possible you are allergic to sweating - if you try rinsing out your workout clothes more- change soaps and also try Eucerin calming cream body lotion and if none of these things help I don't know what to say
maybe you have ezcema? i always get a rash on my neck after intense sweaty workouts but it usually goes away when i've cooled down..i just have to wait it out and wipe the sweaty off
That happens to me, too.

My physician says it is due to a release of histamines while exercising. So, he says I can either take an antihistamine, or put a hydrocortisone cream on the affected areas.

Here's a little article on it.
blackthorne - thank you soo much for that article, that explains things. I thought i was going mad, checked every face cream, detergent etc i was using to see what i was wearing when i have these reactions. I stopped using the gym towels hoping that was the cause, or even their shampoo and conditioner, but there seemed no cure. Now i know its just one of those random things then its fine.
Original Post by karanjlo:

Whenever I work out, I break out into hives and get itchy in the areas where I sweat the most - armpits, back, inner elbows, face, stomach.  This has been happening for a few years now but has gotten progressively worse.  Any idea what's going on?

My experience is something similar except when I get a rash from sweat, it's only on my RIGHT hand. It swells, becomes itchy and BURNS like a B***h... very uncomfortable experience!! I don't know why this happens... any suggestions?????

 

 

#9  
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Hi everyone, I have similar problems - rash and hives which initially started out on the backs of my hands and forearms. Now it has spread to various parts of my body. I've had this for a year and a half to date. I have seen a specialist and the diagnosis was that it is a histamine reaction and they put me on hydroxyzine, which I hate taking. I read up on the reactions of having a digestive yeast problem and thought maybe that was it, so I put myself on a yeast free/sugar free diet and started taking supplements. After a few months kinda gave up on that. Initially I had also tried switching detergents, soaps, etc. but nothing helped. I even threw away some clothes thinking it was the type of fabric the clothes were made out of. Sometimes on the back of my hand the reaction will even blister and start to ooze out a fluid and leave a small scab. My reactions are identical to poison oak reactions with one exception -after about two hours the symptoms usually subside and disappear. It is a very frustrating problem Frown

Do you have really dry skin? I know when my skin is dry and I sweat it feels like a slight burn. Maybe try moisterizer (SP)? Just a suggesstion.  But maybe it's more serious like hives.

Honestly, I'm an esthetician and it is most likely exactly that; a histamine reaction. Usually it won't keep happening to a regular exerciser but if you are doing wicked intense stuff here and there, your body reacts like it's a new thing. What are your exercise habits? Try a topical cream and see if anything happens before you work out (put it on the spots that usually get affected the most). I know it sucks to have to take antihistamines before working out! Does it help though? Have you tried any over the counter antihistamines? Do some trial and error assuming it is this reaction... It sounds like it really is. Do the blisters come when you are REALLY doing something strenuous? Luxe

The skin on my butt has been breaking out into painful boils (sorry for the visual) since I started doing heavy, sweaty work outs. I have no idea why, because my skin is clear else where :/ and I shower regularly...grrrr.

Maybe it's not sweat that you're allergic but the food you're taking? See a doc to figure out what it is you're really allergic to.

Original Post by karanjlo:

Whenever I work out, I break out into hives and get itchy in the areas where I sweat the most - armpits, back, inner elbows, face, stomach.  This has been happening for a few years now but has gotten progressively worse.  Any idea what's going on?

 

Sounds like you may have Cholinergic urticaria which is tiny lumps - 2 to 4 mm diameter - all over appearing when the body gets hot, esp. when exercising. 

If you can force your body to sweat on a regular basis, this tends to help.  This tends to help keep the condition at bay & it maintains an open pathway for the sweat glands. Of course they will start itching initially, but they will then sweat & stop itching. After doing this for a period of time, some people report that the condition clears up completely

Avoiding hot temperatures and exercise is another way to keep the condition from breaking out. Of course, it is important to exercise, and unless you live in an igloo you will not be able to avoid this 100%. But as a general rule, if you are calm & cool, you won’t break out

Improving your diet could also help with this condition Do not be guilty of eating lots of ice cream, dairy products, and sugar/chocolate. You will  notice when you eat more fruits, vegetables, and lean meat your skin & body does better.

Humidifiers, shower filters, water softeners, and steam rooms have also helped to improve chronic hives in many people.

What has NOT helped with this condition:

Acupuncture therapy does not seem to be effective in most individuals I have talked to.

Antihistamines do not seem to help with this condition. Some people report a small improvement, some don’t. Most agree that they definitely do not make it go away completely.

Parasite cleanses/Candida cleanses also do not seem to be very helpful for most people.

Steroids also may help a little, but it is probably not worth the health risk.

Other medication, such as immunosuppressants have seemed to provide some relief. However, please keep in mind that these types of drugs are very dangerous and studies have shown that they can lead to cancer, heart problems, and other effects...only take on Dr's advice.

This is a terrible condition, however, it does seem to go away on its own (eventually). So far, no decrease in life span or associations with terminal diseases such as cancer, etc. have been linked to this condition (thankfully).

This is very difficult thing to deal with, however, you are not alone! Try to improve your diet, get out in the sun & sweat. This usually helps improve this condition and sometimes it will clear up permanently.

In my personal opinion I would avoid dangerous medications unless your doctor specifically says you NEED to take them for some other reason.

You are allergic to your sweat.  i have the same issue, was diagnosed by an allergy specialist when i was 19.  Key is to shower immediately after working out, cool water so you don't continue to sweat!!  also found a bit of unscented baby powder in the worst areas helps, like arn pits, and for women the underside of the breasts.  Anyplace sweat lodges will break out, eyebrows, hairline, arm pits.  Just keep on showering!! 

Its what you call exercise induced hypersensitivity (allergy). It happened to me also when I first started running. I got rashes in the groin area especially. The doctor said to me that it was normal as my body wasn't used to exercising yet. And that after a while my body will get used to it and it will disappear.

You should go to your physician/ dermatologist to ask for his/ her opinion but this is what my doctor advised me:

1. After exercise quickly wash the problem area or take a bath and change clothes. Don't wait for your skin to spend all that time soaked in sweat after working out.

2. She prescribed me a steroidal cream called Clobetasol. You just have to apply it to your problem area. It also works on normal itches, insect bites, etch.

Don't worry after a while your body will get used to the sweat and exercise and you will no longer get hives when you exercise.

Its what you call exercise induced hypersensitivity (allergy). It happened to me also when I first started running. I got rashes in the groin area especially. The doctor said to me that it was normal as my body wasn't used to exercising yet. And that after a while my body will get used to it and it will disappear.

You should go to your physician/ dermatologist to ask for his/ her opinion but this is what my doctor advised me:

1. After exercise quickly wash the problem area or take a bath and change clothes. Don't wait for your skin to spend all that time soaked in sweat after working out.

2. She prescribed me a steroidal cream called Clobetasol. You just have to apply it to your problem area. It also works on normal itches, insect bites, etch.

Don't worry after a while your body will get used to the sweat and exercise and you will no longer get hives when you exercise.

Sorry for the double post only clicked "Post Reply" once but the computer posted it twice.

#18  
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Well karanjlo  all that sounds like the skin is getting an alkaline ph, which makes pores leak, so much that afterwards the skin is dry, and dry skin itches. So, you may try putting the infected arm in a bucket with vinegar, let's say a 30% dilution, or if you can just pour vinegar on the arm to acidify the skin, and take Vitami C daily, like 4 g a day for three days, and then 1 g a day afterwards, you should be relieved. 

 

I just happen to be a doctor, working in Mexico, thought I'd let you know how I think. 

check out his page. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholinergic_urti caria

i get the same symptoms when i work out and use my hot tub, sauna or do welding

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