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<p>Tuesday morning, I noticed I was breaking out in hives, and it's still getting worse.  By Tuesday morning, they were on my breasts.  By Tuesday afternoon, I noticed them on my scalp and the back of my neck.  By Tuesday evening, it included my stomach.  By Wednesday morning, my arms and back.  Wednesday evening, my legs and a little on my face.  This morning, there are more on my face, but maybe the rash on my breasts is a bit better.  If I don't scratch, it's mildly itchy, but if I scratch at all, it becomes really red, puffy, and itchy where I scratched.</p>
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<p>I've never had a food allergy in my life and never had an allergy that covered my entire body like this (besides chicken pox, but that was different).  I have no other symptoms of illness or allergy such as fever or difficulty breathing.  The discomfort is significantly reduced by Benadryl, but the rash is not.  I am only taking it minimally since I am breastfeeding.  If Benadryl helps, that would imply that it is an allergic reaction of some kind, would it not?</p>
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<p>Here's my brainstorm of culprits:</p>
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<p>Striped Marlin (fish): This is my best guess.  I'm not allergic to other fish as far as I know.  We have sushi on Sunday evenings, and this was the new one in the mix last Sunday.  The only thing strange is that I didn't notice a problem for over 24 hours after eating it, and it's still progressing 4 days later.  Could this really be it?</p>
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<p>Mushrooms: This is my second best guess.  They are farmed locally, not wild.  I know we have bought that particular type before, and I though I had eaten some previously, but I can't be sure.  My husband eats more of them than I do.  I know I had a few on a salad on Sunday afternoon.  That's even longer before I had a reaction, though.</p>
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<p>Water cress: This seems unlikely.  I'm pretty sure I've had some before, but it's not a regular part of my diet.  I used it as the base of my salad on Sunday.</p>
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<p>Collard greens: I know I've eaten them several times before, but I've been eating them a lot more lately as part of a preconception diet.  I had some on Sunday afternoon, none on Monday, some on Tuesday, and none since.  I also had them Friday and/or Saturday.  It seems strange that I would not have a reaction to them before and then I would have a big reaction starting a day and a half after eating them.  Previously, I would eat them once every few weeks, so it's not like they were foreign to my diet before.</p>
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<p>Lotion: I recently started using a new lotion.  It's just an herbal blend.  I've been using it a couple of weeks on my hands only, once a day in the evening.  This doesn't really make sense either.  I could have touched my hands to other places on my body and reacted there, but there's no way I got the lotion all over my whole body.  My hands and face were some of the last places to react, not the first.  I did not use the lotion last night.</p>
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<p>All the other foods I've eaten and products I've used recently are things I normally have.  I'm very confused, but I know a lot of you mammas here know a lot more about allergies than I do.  TIA for any insight you have.  Can symptoms of an allergy continue to get worse over the course of 4 days and not be noticed until day 2, even though there are no more exposures to the allergen?</p>
 

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<p>Could it potentially be a viral rash? I'd say there's a chance it's one of those foods/products, and there's a chance it's a random thing and you'll never know the cause.</p>
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<p>A few months back, I started getting a rash on my wrists, which eventually spread over my arms and abdomen. It spread slowly, over a bunch of days, and I thought it was getting worse because I was still eating/using a problem food/lotion. I do have a (small) history of food and chemical sensitivities. I removed all the suspects and it went away, but I've eaten/used everything since with no problems.</p>
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<p>If it were me, I'd take all your suspects out, then add them in one by one. If you don't react to any of them, just stay alert for another reaction, but hopefully it's nothing.</p>
 

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<p>I thought about a viral rash, but I had no hint of a fever or other signs of illness, so it seems unlikely to me.  I read somewhere that digestion takes 3-4 and sometimes 7 days, and my rash got worse for about 3 or 4 days and then got better and was gone by 7 days.  I'm really thinking it's something I ingested since the rash got to the point that it covered pretty much my entire body.  I've added back the lotion and will probably add back the collards soon.  I think I'll skip the marlin and maybe those mushrooms.  They're not really important to my nutritional plan, and my reaction was bad enough to not take a chance again.</p>
 

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I'd still wonder about the lotion. I had a similar reaction to nail polish: when I became pregnant, all of a sudden it made me break out in hives. It took me months to figure out because like you, my hands were impacted later and it was definitely not tied to places where I had touched. The skin on your hands is thicker, which may explain why it didn't show up there first, and your description of the itchies sounds like contact to me.
 
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