The Heat Is On
Oh summer time. Months filled with vacations, BBQs, swimming, ballgames and hives. Hives? Well for some, including me, hives can often be heat induced, making summer a season that is not such a fun one. And let's not just put all the blame on summer, okay? All the seasons have their moments. I am grateful to live in a state that has four seasons. Although summer seems to be taking over more than its share of the year. But with heat induced hives it really doesn't matter what season it is, any kind of heat can trigger them. Yes, even winter!
My heat induced hives adventure
The first time I experienced hives was 14 years ago. At that time I got them off and on for no reason. And I had no way to stop them. When they started recently the second time, I soon found out they were heat induced. I would start burning all over, feel as though I was being bitten by insects, then intense itching would begin. Fortunately, as soon as I brought my body temperature down, the itching was soon relieved.
My adventure began one day when I got overheated doing my hair. And trust me, it is not like I spend a lot of time doing my hair. I just have normal hair. But I suddenly became miserable in the short time I spent drying and straightening it. I got a fan out and pointed it directly at myself so I could cool down quickly. I just thought I was overheated for some reason. It happened again when I was housecleaning. And let's just say I am not a turbo charged housecleaner. It probably takes on the same effort and energy as doing my hair.
But again, I had the same symptoms with the burning and itching. Things started to finally make sense when I got extremely hot just stepping outside. Within literal seconds of being outdoors, I was miserable. I knew this was not normal and I might be experiencing hives again. Thankfully, this time as soon as I cooled off, I had relief from the itching.
Summer time survival
Now as someone with chronic migraine and vestibular migraine, I have to admit that summer is not my favorite time of the year. I am very light sensitive so I prefer being inside, with curtains closed, as much as possible. However, I am a Nana of 6, and my grandkids are active in soccer and swim team. That means I will leave my hibernation to attend their summer activities. But my hives added a new obstacle. While I had medications to help with my other health issues, it was very hard to be comfortable outside with heat induced hives.
I did my best though. I wore loose, comfortable clothing. I also wore a hat. I always had my portable "toolbox" packed with itch lotion. The lotion did not stop the itching, but was often soothing. I also had my favorite back scratcher too! And I included my rechargeable hand held fans which helped. Needless to say I always took a lot of water to stay hydrated.
I won't lie. I was still pretty miserable, red faced and itchy. But I was happy to be there for the grandkids. I will admit at swim events I was really tempted to take a big jump in that swimming pool. I kept thinking what's the worse that will happen? They will throw me out? Then I can go home and cool off in the air conditioning! Okay, maybe I would embarrass my grandkids, and definitely my children. Instead I controlled myself and I knew I would soon be back home enjoying the cold wonderful air conditioning.
Handling the heat
Many say in the winter they can't wait until the summer heat. Not me. I am perfectly happy being bundled up enjoying the chilly winter days. However, no matter the temperature, one has to be prepared to handle the heat induced hives before they happen. Especially since it is not always environmental temperature that causes them. For each person this will be different but may include knowing the triggers, signs and symptoms of the hives in order to prevent them as much as possible. For me, I need to stay out of the heat, at least for long periods of time.
If I am going to be doing activities in the house that will raise my body temperature, I need to make sure I have the fans on well before I begin my activities. I need to wear light, loose clothing in the summer and if I take outdoor walks I do it early morning or late evening. And if all else fails, I am never adverse to simply hibernating if needed. No matter the season.
Do you have heat induced hives? If so, what are some ways you have found that help you handle the heat?
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