Let’s not be rash…
June 9, 2022 7:27 PM   Subscribe

YANMD, but have you had a rash like this? Almost sure it’s from weeding last weekend as it’s only on my forearms and started on Sunday night. The weirdest things about it are that it flares up every evening, but by morning it’s gone, and that it’s only on the underside of my arms.

It’s bumps (not blisters) and a mottled red (but the bumps aren’t red, just skin color). Itchy.

I’ve been taking Xyzal at night all spring, so maybe it wearing off explains the evening flare ups. But I would hope it would act more quickly to get rid of it, too, and several nights the itching has woken me up.

Does any of this sound familiar? If so, how long can I expect it to take to go away?
posted by Kriesa to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
Have you been using an herbicide on these weeds? This seems less like an allergic reaction and more like a response to chemicals.
posted by SPrintF at 8:32 PM on June 9, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Does it line up with being outside? Are you pale? Did you wear sunscreen? It could be PMLE or a sun allergy. Check the symptoms. I was just diagnosed and it took a while to figure it out as it takes hours to show up and mostly affects my hands.
ETA: I use sunscreen, take an allergy pill, I had RX creams but calamine lotion has actually helped a ton.
posted by Crystalinne at 9:04 PM on June 9, 2022 [2 favorites]

My thoughts are along the line of Crystalinne's. I get something like you described when I work in the yard on sunny days, and I believe it is a result of a combination of sun and my allergy medicine (generic version of Singulair). Mine is very itchy, makes me red and splotchy and goes away after a few hours.

I have even had flare ups sitting in the sun inside.
posted by terrapin at 2:51 AM on June 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: No herbicide, no cleavers. I was wearing sunscreen over the weekend, but I am very light skinned and I wasn’t diligent about reapplying. And I do usually go outside after dinner to do some watering and light garden maintenance (but not elbow deep in the flowerbed) without sunscreen since it’s late in the day and I’m out for less than 30 minutes.

So sun allergy/sensitivity seems like a real possibility. Reading about it also led me to another possibility. I had COVID-19 exactly a month ago. Apparently it can also cause a sporadic “allergic” reaction after the fact. I suppose it could also be the trigger for a sensitivity I never had before. Pictures of both the PMLE rash and the post C-19 rash look similar to each other and to what I’m experiencing.
posted by Kriesa at 3:13 AM on June 10, 2022

Best answer: So, yes. I generally get a rash like this if my skin gets exposed while weeding, even sometimes if I am wearing long sleeves. Every year. Bad news, though, it can last for months for me; although after the first year when it was very bad it doesn’t itch so much the next times around. For itch relief very hot showers helped.
posted by bq at 8:49 AM on June 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

I can't say what may be affecting you, but topical hydrocortisone is my go-to for itches. It's OTC and cheap. In my geezerhood it seems like I'm getting more weird unexplained itches, rashes, etc. The dermo just says do hydrocortisone, and it works well in terms of relief, and maybe a bit in terms of cure.
posted by beagle at 9:33 AM on June 10, 2022

Long sleeves for working in grasses or weeds. Or, if all else fails immediate wash down during and after. Just rinse if you feel a prickle. I get zoned out doing tasks, and sometimes fail to notice skin irritations, until itching wakes me up to the fact I have always gotten itchy, if I don't wash grass and weed contact from my skin. It is just a gentle comforting rinse with the hose, not vigorous. Then back to it.
posted by Oyéah at 8:10 PM on June 12, 2022

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