What was your life like before you received the COVID-19 vaccine?
Pre-existing skin hypersensitivity to laundry soap was addressed by switching to ALL free & clear and the symptom of itchy skin was alleviated. Exactly 11 to 12 days after getting the Moderna booster, I had full-body hives that expanded my waist so much my pants did not fit. I was a grad student on level 2 fieldwork and was not able to sleep for weeks due to the itching and severity of the hives. It was devastating. I looked into any research available and found that a small percentage of people with pre-existing skin hypersensitivities reported severe rashes and hives lasting several weeks to months after getting the booster. I still have the rashes and hives, nearly one year later. I need to get boosted again in order to work as an occupational therapist and pay off student loans, however, I am depressed at the thought of getting boosted again and understanding the impact it will have on me physically and psychologically. I still have to take antihistamines daily, and cannot wear most of my clothes, my hair still gives my face hives every time a single hair touches my forehead/cheek area. I shower 3 times a day to help alleviate the itch. I cannot wear most of my clothes due to the way they make me itch. It has an impact on sleep quality, which leisure activities I can engage in, and takes away time spent with my family and dogs. I love being active and working out but sweat makes the hives worse as well. It feels like extreme contact dermatitis and literally has impacted every aspect of my life.
Describe the symptoms and the timeline of the reaction.
11-12 days post booster, full body hives with extreme hive response to touch, soaps, fabric, dust, sweat, and tight clothing. Symptoms are consistent with allergic contact dermatitis. Itch severity is 10/10, the type of itch that you might jerk your body to get rid of, but the rash and itch worsen if you itch it. Rashes appear large, very red, with hives. The areas of hive/rash disappear in one area and reappear somewhere else. I noticed some outbreaks of rash appear bilaterally more often than ipsilaterally. I still have the rash, however, it has decreased since it began. Now it is more manageable with antihistamines daily and showering after any activities that involve sweating or being around a lot of dust like cleaning. I have tried to go without antihistamines and found that I still cannot do so comfortably.
Describe the solutions that helped your symptoms
antihistamines have helped at the 8th month mark, but prior, nothing alleviated skin response and hives. Ice packs, lotion, oat bath, constant bathing, and over the counter anti itch lotions were used to attempt to alleviate the itch and hives.
Which solutions were not helpful?
The first 3 months were by far the worst. None of the remedies really helped but I needed to try. Itch was so severe I describe it as severe as the body itch that makes you twitch or jerk, but it never stops. The more you itch it, the worse it gets and spreads.
What would you like others to know?
Antihistimines are most helpful if it hasn't gone away in six months. I plan to go to an allergen specialist once I am working to see if there are any other stronger prescription creams that might assist for when I get boosted again.
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