What is causing my itchy rash?

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It was many years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting in the E.R. asking, “What is causing my itchy rash?”

At that point, the rash covered my ENTIRE body from the neck down.  As I lay in bed that night, I thought I might go insane from the itching and burning.  My upper chest was the worst. The rash finally got so intense that I went to the hospital at 2 a.m. to see if they could offer relief.

Irony – but you won’t get it until the end of this article

It was the first time I went to the doctor for my rash, but it was unfortunately not the last.  The hospital staff pumped my veins with an IV Benadryl.  They told me that moving forward I could get the same relief from over-the-counter Benadryl. I tried the capsule variety on many future occasions, but it never actually helped. (Keep reading to find out the laughable reason why).

The itchy rash popped up several times

Prior to the full-body rash that took me to the E.R., the rash had appeared on my ankles a few times.  Both times were the day after taking calcium supplements. I knew it was the calcium supplements, because it had been the only change in my routine those days.

The night I wound up in the emergency room with an itch, I had spent the day at the lake.  I thought perhaps I had swimmer’s itch or something.  (Nobody that had been with me in the lake that day had similar symptoms, though). The itching and most of the rash went away within about a week of my doctor’s visit.

However,  I had a few spots on my arm that time that stayed for YEARS after the day at the lake!  I literally spent two summers in long sleeves because of the ugly rash on my arm.

Numerous visits to doctors failed to turn up answers. The dermatologist took samples to the lab, but they were inconclusive. He gave me a cream to use . . . and I continued use for weeks in hopes that it was working.  Every time I used it, though it made my rash redden and burn worse.