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Ask the Health Leaders: What Triggered Your Most Recent Flare?

Chronic hives triggers can be difficult to identify, and often the trigger remains unknown. These triggers can lead to "flares" or outbreaks of chronic hives, even if you were previously feeling well-controlled under your current treatment plan. We wanted to see if any of our health leaders have recently experienced a flare-up, and if they had any suspicions about what may have aggravated their hives. Were they able to cope, and do they have a plan for avoiding that trigger in the future? Read their responses below!

Recent chronic hives flares and triggers

Response from Ambre

I did. Unfortunately it was caused by a hospital team not listening to me, or reading my chart. They used Tegaderm post-op. That combined with the in-house pharmacist refusing my high dose of antihistamines resulted in a 3-week flare-up.

We tried to reason with the pharmacist but he wasn’t listening to anything, so I was left without my antihistamines for 3 days, and it resulted in 3 weeks to recover and get it back under control. During this time, it was incredibly difficult to have my port accessed for TPN [to receive nutrition]. It was a mess, and caused a lot of frustration and anger.

Response from Elisa

I experienced a flare-up as recently as last week. I was in the middle of what I like to call an “inflammatory crisis.” I had an asthma attack, followed by anaphylaxis, and I didn’t even realize I had hives all over my chest until I used my EpiPen and felt relief. I looked down, and the skin across my chest was streaked and had broken capillaries from my unconscious itching. For the next few days, I dealt with more breakthrough hives, despite lots of steroids in my system. Once the overall inflammation calmed down in my body, the hives did as well.

Response from Lynn

My most recent flare-ups seem to correlate to new, additional stress in my life. I struggle with saying no to people who ask me for help. As a volunteer, patient advocate, health writer, resilience speaker, and admin for support groups, I almost feel obligated to help my patient community.

I am working on setting boundaries and self-care, so that I may continue to help others.

Response from Christy

I had a really bad flare after having major surgery back in November. The day after my surgery I started showing hives and after a few days was nearly covered from head to toe. My hives are usually under pretty good control, so it was strange that things suddenly got so much worse, but that’s not uncommon after an event that puts stress on your body. Thankfully my hives cleared up after a few days on steroids and didn’t return. Unfortunately, I have another major surgery coming up in a few months. It’s a very different kind of surgery, so I don’t know if it will put the same kind of stress on my body and cause me to break out again. I guess only time will tell.

Response from Andressa

The past months my flare-ups have been worse than ever. It feels like I have a huge setback. I am still trying to figure out what is going on and what the triggers are. My face is a mess and my ears are so uncomfortable. Stress? Food? Weather change? I don't know. But I'm eager to know what it is and how I can manage it. During my next doctor's visit I will also discuss my B12 deficiency, because I was reading about the side effects of B12 deficiency and it looks like there might be a relationship between them. As soon as I have more answers, I will write an article about this because if my B12 deficiency is a trigger, I might be closer to home.

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