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Old 01-02-2018, 02:14 PM   #1
Ronnie51
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Please help with Allergic reaction

I'm always trying new supplements to help me stay healthy, specifically, to avoid diabetes. My latest was Bitter Melon which I started taking approx. 2 weeks ago. The other day I was drying my hair where I use a standing mirror so I can see the back of my head in my vanity mirror, and I noticed that my back had red "bumps" in the center of my back going up my spine from the small of my back to between my shoulder blades. I put bumps in quotes because they are barely raised, some aren't raised at all, just red marks. I took a closer look and there were also some on either side of my abs, so it's pretty widespread. They don't itch or hurt or ooze and I feel fine; also they're more pink than red and the rash looks like prickly heat. I immediately suspected that it was from the Bitter Melon and stopped taking it. So, that was two days ago and I'm watching this rash to see if it fades, gets more pronounced or spreads. None of the above; it hasn't changed. I realize it's only been two days since I stopped taking the supplement (today being the second day). Does anyone know how long after an ingested allergen is removed does a rash start to go away? I'm not sure if it is from the Bitter Melon, but that was the only new item I've added to my diet, and I haven't changed my laundry detergent. How long should I wait to see the doctor if it doesn't start fading? Thanks, everyone!

Last edited by Ronnie51; 01-02-2018 at 02:24 PM..
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:52 PM   #2
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Ronnie-
I once got a rash on my neck as an allergic reaction to Cipro. I stopped taking it immediately, and my memory is that the rash had faded by the next day.

But I had only taken the Cipro for 2 days, so if your rash is from the bitter melon, and you'd been taking it for 2 weeks, it might take longer to disappear.

In my experience, seeing a doctor for a rash that's neither itching nor painful isn't much help because he/she can only guess at the cause--as you've done. If you have any other symptoms, or if the rash spreads or becomes itchy or painful, I'd definitely see a doctor.
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Old 01-02-2018, 04:08 PM   #3
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Ronnie-
I once got a rash on my neck as an allergic reaction to Cipro. I stopped taking it immediately, and my memory is that the rash had faded by the next day.

But I had only taken the Cipro for 2 days, so if your rash is from the bitter melon, and you'd been taking it for 2 weeks, it might take longer to disappear.

In my experience, seeing a doctor for a rash that's neither itching nor painful isn't much help because he/she can only guess at the cause--as you've done. If you have any other symptoms, or if the rash spreads or becomes itchy or painful, I'd definitely see a doctor.
Thanks, Leo, for your voice of reason. With all the illness in my family lately, I tend to go off the deep end for no real reason. Happy & healthy New Year to you!
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Old 01-02-2018, 08:35 PM   #4
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It could still be something like soap or detergent.

I started getting a weird rash around my mouth and couldn't figure out what it was. I blamed a lot of things, then finally figured out it was the toothpaste I had been using for at least 10 years. I don't know if I changed or it did, but we suddenly didn't play well together anymore.
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Old 01-03-2018, 08:15 AM   #5
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Well, the rash seems to have spread a bit to one of my shoulders. I also just started a new medication for stomach ulcers, an H2 blocker, Pepcid AC. I was taking a PPI for three months which healed the ulcers, but I didn't want to take it long term as I heard about health risks of this med if you take it long term, so my doctor said I could switch to the H2 blocker. Could be a coincidence...I noticed the rash two days after starting the med. I thought H2 blocker helped with allergic reactions but I'm not sure. If you have a reaction to one H2 blocker, does that mean you'll have a reaction to all of them?
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:01 AM   #6
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Maybe hives. I have gotten them in response to sun, cold, citrus, hair products and ibuprofen. Zantac has been described as having antihistamine properties, but I don’t know much about that. Hives are not uncommon if you have autoimmune issues and it looks like they can be triggered in all kinds of ways and exacerbated by stress for sure. Sometimes mine were a rash, other times they were large welts. I didn’t go to the doctor and get dx’d. They did go away usually after a few days except for the welts. They took weeks to fade.

Do you have autoimmune issues?
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:03 AM   #7
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Not sure, but allergic reactions to Rx meds typically show up after one or two days of taking the med.

Have you tried Google-ing to see what are the typical negative reactions to this Rx?

I've always found that helpful. Many years ago, my primary prescribed a diuretic, and I had a reaction to it which he insisted could NOT be the Rx. When I checked online, my reaction was listed as one of the most common! He's been my ex-primary for a while.
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:18 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by girondet View Post
Maybe hives. I have gotten them in response to sun, cold, citrus, hair products and ibuprofen. Zantac has been described as having antihistamine properties, but I don’t know much about that. Hives are not uncommon if you have autoimmune issues and it looks like they can be triggered in all kinds of ways and exacerbated by stress for sure. Sometimes mine were a rash, other times they were large welts. I didn’t go to the doctor and get dx’d. They did go away usually after a few days except for the welts. They took weeks to fade.

Do you have autoimmune issues?
I do have autoimmune thyroid disease. And my stress level for the past month has been off the charts. I do have an appointment with a dermatologist on Friday. We're supposed to get 6-12" of snow tomorrow, so I hope I can make it. Thank you all for your responses.
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:20 AM   #9
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Not sure, but allergic reactions to Rx meds typically show up after one or two days of taking the med.

Have you tried Google-ing to see what are the typical negative reactions to this Rx?

I've always found that helpful. Many years ago, my primary prescribed a diuretic, and I had a reaction to it which he insisted could NOT be the Rx. When I checked online, my reaction was listed as one of the most common! He's been my ex-primary for a while.
I also developed a rash after taking the diuretic, HCTZ, for about three months. My doctor said the same thing your doctor did, because I had been on the drug for 3 months. But my dermatologist told me to stop taking it and the rash did go away. Makes sense because I'm allergic to sulfa antibiotics and HCTZ is sulfa based.
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Old 01-04-2018, 12:48 PM   #10
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Ronnie, how is your rash? I hope it is clearing up, but if not, I hope you are able to make it to your derm appointment and maybe get to the bottom of this.

I googled bitter melon and didn't see any side effects about a rash, but then, each person reacts differently. I was interested in it not only for the benefits for Diabetes but it also mentioned being helpful with psoriasis. Then I read further and saw some side effects I didn't like, like damage to the liver, and heart irregularities, so maybe I'll hold off on it.
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Old 01-04-2018, 01:07 PM   #11
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Ronnie, how is your rash? I hope it is clearing up, but if not, I hope you are able to make it to your derm appointment and maybe get to the bottom of this.

I googled bitter melon and didn't see any side effects about a rash, but then, each person reacts differently. I was interested in it not only for the benefits for Diabetes but it also mentioned being helpful with psoriasis. Then I read further and saw some side effects I didn't like, like damage to the liver, and heart irregularities, so maybe I'll hold off on it.
Hi Carol,
Thank you for inquiring. Rash still there on my back, but doesn't look like it's getting worse. What I saw on my shoulder disappeared quickly, so I guess I'd say it's status quo. The fact that the rash is along my spine made my sister think it may be a mild case of shingles as her doctor told her that shingles follows the nerve. I still have no pain or itching, no oozing. I did have the shingles vaccine six years ago, so perhaps it is a mild case? I had an appointment with my dermatologist for tomorrow but we're experiencing a blizzard today so I cancelled it. I will call tomorrow and reschedule for early next week. Thank you for the research on the bitter melon....I hadn't read that. I'm bringing the bottle with me when I go to the doctor.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:43 PM   #12
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Ronnie, I never thought of shingles because shingles usually starts near the spine, but wraps around your body on one side of the other. I have never heard of it not wrapping around the body, but I have no medical training. I do know that if you had the vaccine, you would probably only get a mild case. I had it around my waist on the left side. My husband, his son and daughter, and his son-in-law all had it around the upper chest. My step-son got it a second time on his scalp but it was a mild case. My husband and I are the only ones over 70. The rest had it in their late 40s. Mine wasn't itchy, but just very painful....a burning pain. I'm glad you didn't have any of that. My DH was bedfast for 3 weeks with it. I guess we will wait to see what your derm says, or maybe it will go away before then.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:58 PM   #13
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Thank you, Carol, I do appreciate sharing your information. You've been a great help.
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:20 AM   #14
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Okay, so now I think that much...if not all..... of the redness is just due to the very drying conditions in our frigid climate with no humidity in our heating system. I do have extremely sensitive skin...if I just rub it, it turns red. Unfortunately, I can't reach my back to put moisturizing cream on, and while DH is wonderful for so many things, applying cream to my back is not one of them. At this point, I'm not planning to see a doctor as I'm embarrassed to say that I don't think this is a rash, just another stage of my life getting older, similar to dark spots on one's hands (which I'm also slowly developing on one hand). I feel like the boy who cried wolf :-(.
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:31 AM   #15
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Ronnie, this might not help in time for this rash, but I have a lotion applicator with a long handle, similar to this.

There are different types, and they can be bought online. A friend got one at Bed Bath and Beyond.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg lotion applicator.jpg (10.7 KB, 2 views)
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:36 AM   #16
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Perfect, Carol, thank you! I will definitely be buying it. I tried to apply some cream to my back this morning, and only succeeded in getting a small area which got even redder from rubbing.
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:28 AM   #17
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my daughter has an allergy to dairy. She had rashes that wouldn't go away. She stopped dairy and the rash went away within one day....
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Old 02-03-2018, 11:21 AM   #18
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my daughter has an allergy to dairy. She had rashes that wouldn't go away. She stopped dairy and the rash went away within one day....
That's interesting. My skin always looks like I have something going on with it. I wonder if it's some kind of ongoing food allergy. I wouldn't be surprised. Glad your daughter is aware of what causes her rashes.
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