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Why do I get red face and hives like pattern on leg after shower or drinking alcohol?

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Practicing since : 1979
Answered : 920 Questions
When I shower, and when I drink alcohol (even 3 sips), I get red in the face, knees, and almost hive-like patterns on my legs, but that aren't raised—just warm/hot and large blotches. What could this be a symptom of? I'm not necessarily looking to take any medicine, unless it's a big concern. I just can't figure out why. Also, my showers aren't that hot. I am prone to inflammation and want to get to the root of it. I'm not sure this falls in the asthma/allergy section, but it seemed to fit the best. I'm worried it's an autoimmune problem or something endocrine. • Chronic, low-grade, (seemingly) full-body inflammation (varies day to day), but not related to injury, which is often, extremely warm to the touch and expresses most in hands, feet, joints, and muscles. • Rashes and hives, varied in type, and seemingly unrelated to stimulus (sometimes, with hives, when under stress, lasting up to three or four months). • Hypersensitive: stress, food, perfumes, etc. • Psoriasis, diagnosed as a child (but in remission or misdiagnosed). • Possible continually high histamine level. ALSO I have frequent fungal infections, which, also, expressed in a number of ways— • Persistent-to-chronic (over three months) vaginal yeast infections • Ringworm, on and off since childhood. • Skin fungus, not ringworm, mostly in groin and axillae presenting on and off for last two years. • Dandruff. AND one last strange component: In addition, I have persistent belly fat that doesn’t respond to diet and exercise in the
way I would expect, and know that this is a leading cause of may health problems. I
have always eaten a very balanced and low-calorie diet and engage in regular exercise.
My persistent belly fat also confuses my personal Pilates instructor. I had a two-hour
glucose tolerance test come back with elevated results, but my A1c1 was well within the
normal range, 4.7. This leads me to questions of— • Insulin resistance •Glucose tolerance versus A1c1. •Thyroid problems — My thyroid has been often tested, with no indication of hypo/hyperthyroidism. Yet, I have an extremely bad family history, with almost every XXXXXXX family member (my seniors) with hypothyroidism. Its obvious enlarged nature and correlating symptoms have been a cause of concern to most every medical practitioner I’ve encountered since toddlerhood. (My Grandma’s was removed because of goiter.) •Cortisol levels. • (and once again) Inflammation.
Posted Sun, 4 Nov 2012 in Asthma and Allergy
Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal 1 hour later

Thanx for posting your query on XXXXXXX

From your description, it appears that you could be having atopy. Atopy means that a person may be prone to developing hypersensitivity or allergy to an environmental antigen when exposed to it. In your case it appears to be to alcohol and ?warm water or some allergen in it. So far it does`nt seem to be very bothersome and you may not need any medicine. If it becomes bothersome you may need some antihistaminics or a short course of steroids depending on the severity. However, you may keep in mind that a person with atopy is prone to develop other allergic conditions like asthma, eczema, allergic rhinitis etc. You may get a blood test done for IgE levels which will help in establishing the diagnosis of atopy.

Consult a skin specialist for various fungal infections.

Abnormal GTT means that you have latent diabetes or you are a prediabetic. Though at present your blood levels and HbA1C are normal but you may develop diabetes during stressful conditions. You have to be under regular medical care and adopt a healthy life style like avoiding high carbohydrate diet, be physically active, manage your weight and consume high fibre diet which should include appropriate fruits, vegetables and nuts.

I do not think you have hypothyroidism at present but in view of the family history you will have to get your thyroid levels checked regularly.

Abdominal fat has to be managed by exercise and diet. You may consult a plastic surgeon for the option of surgically removing it.

I hope i have been able to answer your query.

Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Why do I get red face and hives like pattern on leg after shower or drinking alcohol? 17 minutes later
My question regarding belly fat, which is know to be the most XXXXXXX fat, is why would I be "clinging" to it, when I eat and 80% vegetable diet (with the other 20% whole grains, some indulgences like dark chocolate, and meat) and regularly exercise—cardio and resistance/Pilates training. I feel like it's a medical problem. Not a lifestyle one. I'm not interested in plastic surgery, one because of the expense and also because I'd like to understand and combat the root cause, not cover/cut away the evidence of a problem. Any insight as to how to approach/understand this medically, not cosmetically?
Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal 33 minutes later
Localized fat esp around abdomen may be seen in some hormonal disturbances like cushing`s syndrome but from your description you don`t seem to be suffering from it. You may still have to consult a surgeon/plastic surgeon regarding this if you are not overweight and if diet and exercise are not helping.

Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Why do I get red face and hives like pattern on leg after shower or drinking alcohol? 28 minutes later
I guess we just disagree about this. I don't think that is good advice. I think understanding and addressing the problem is much better than cosmetically changing it. Also, I, like most Americans, cannot afford, what would be considered, elective cosmetic surgery and do not make enough money to pay for that, if I were so inclined, which I'm not.
Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal 1 hour later

Thanx for posting your views. This is best i could offer you but i can also understand your concern and i respect your views. You may seek a second opinion if you wish.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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