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Chronic skin pain

     I experience extremely painful, sensitive, burning, itchy skin almost almost everyday.

     Gender: F
     Weight: 105lbs
     Height: 5’2”
     Age 37

     It feels like fire ant bites (to which I am deathly allergic) all over my entire body. It’s a tingling burning itching sensation. It feels like when your foot falls asleep but it’s over my entire body and it hurts to touch it.

    It doesn’t have to be visible to hurt a lot but when it’s been going for a while then I develop a red rash and hives that can be hard to get rid of.

   Almost every day. The pain level ranges from a 5-7 on an average day. On a bad day, which is 1-2 days a week, the pain level is an 8-9 making it hard to move around or focus on anything. Sometimes I am lucky to have a low pain day 1-4 about once a week. I can’t remember the last time I had a 0 pain day.

     I want to say everything triggers it because it happens nearly every day, but there are some things that certainly trigger it more than others.
     For example, I know for sure that alcohol and stress have a direct effect, so I assume inflammation plays a part. I do experience a lot of stress but I’ve pretty much given up alcohol completely.
     I suspect that sugar and inflammatory foods may contribute as well. I’ve done diets that focus on whole foods and anti-inflammatory foods, which led to some improvement, like an average dropping of 1 point per day on the pain scale, but it’s hard to continue such strict diets when the improvement in pain is so little.

     I take Zyrtec D almost every day and a Benedryl about every other night. These take the burning and itching sensations away but do absolutely nothing for the pain.
     Sometimes when the hives refuse to go away I take a steroid for five days. This does nothing for the pain but helps the appearance. Topical steroids seem to have no effect.

Other Medications
     I have been taking a low dose of the generic version of Ativan for anxiety as of about 8 months ago. However, it hasn’t really affected my skin condition much (though it has helped with anxiety).
     I am on birth control (desogestrel-ethinyl estradiol).
     I just started taking a daily vitamin.

     I got really sick with influenza in my early twenties and I’ve experienced this skin problem and pain consistently since then. I had zero skin problems before getting sick.
     I’ve seen a dermatologist once but she didn’t really know what it was and just called it “hives” and said I should take allergy medicine… but I am taking allergy medicine already every single day.
     I also had blood work done - several tubes - and they didn’t find anything. This was years ago so I don’t remember the details well. The only thing I remember them finding was that my cortisol levels were high.
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Avatar universal
Update: drastic improvements on the tingling, some improvements on the itch. Message me for details.
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