Dealing With Urticaria and HS
Last updated: November 2022
Urticaria (commonly knows as hives) is like a skin rash. It could get triggered by various factors such as food, weather, flora, fauna, insect bite and so on. Many of these allergens are harmless to most people. But it had caused sever itching on my face, throat, chest, stomach, hands, and feet. At times, I would even use a butter knife or a comb to rub my skin. Worse, this irritation would last for hours, recur frequently over months, and had continued for years. They would leave a red mark on the skin that would pop up and in about half hour, disappear quickly.
This wasn’t a life-threatening condition, but a sudden outburst of constant itching affected the quality of my sleep and had caused a big hinderance to my social life. Anti-itch creams, cold compressors and loose-fitting clothes reduced the intensity of the symptoms, but the distress had continued. A GP had recommended that I start with antihistamines. These tablets were available over the counter at pharmacies. They provided great relief but made me drowsy. I chose to ignore the slumberous lethargy and continued with the medication.
More trouble for the skin
For years, I somehow kept myself afloat. Application of various herbal pastes made with neem leaves, aloe vera pulp, turmeric, honey and sandalwood calmed the burning sensation and lightened the red dots that had blotched my skin. However, I depended heavily on the antihistamines to resist the urge to self-harm. I needed the tablets more than oxygen itself. As if this reaction wasn’t enough, my skin decided to cause more trouble for me.
At 22, I was diagnosed with hidradenitis suppurativa, an inflammatory skin condition with deep-seated nodules and draining tracts appearing in the apocrine gland bearing areas of the body. A surgical drainage only provided short term respite. Over-the-counter pain relivers didn’t help as much. With time, I learnt that a prompt, and effective way to deal with HS was a wide excision. Large areas of healthy skin around the growth also needed to be removed.
The cause for both of my conditions were frustratingly elusive. There was no known way to prevent it either.
Healing through Sujok
By then, I had been through many skin-prick tests, blood tests, steroid injections, and medications. Several suggestions started pouring in on various alternate practices that would focus on stimulating the body’s ability to heal itself via energy alignment. I had heard of the miracles that acupressure and acupuncture could do to treat symptoms and ultimately cure the condition, but a friend had been persistent that I try Sujok. Initially, I was hesitant to experiment with any form of treatment as my body had been through so much shapeshifting. The medications I had consumed over the years had caused such psychological clout that everything seemed hopeless.
Reluctantly, I started sessions with my therapist. Before he began, he learned about my sleep patterns, diet, exercise, and bowel movements, and he relied less on X-rays and blood reports. This was something new for me. But somehow, I let faith take over and went ahead with the treatment. It was also interesting to observe that he used something that resembled a clear crystal wand and held it like a pencil to apply pressure on key areas of my hands, feet, stomach and back. I could feel a gentle prink on those points.
Seed therapy was also part of this healing process. Seeds, of suitable shapes, sizes and color are considered natural stimulators that supply extra life force to facilitate healing. I would come home with green gram seeds plastered onto the treated points. It created a slight dent on my supple skin. Nevertheless, it seemed like something was beginning to change for the better.
Relief from chronic hives
Granted, a lot of therapies available in the healthcare system sell false hope, but the only way to find respite from prolonged suffering (specially from a chronic recurrent disease) was to give various solutions a try. Pairing it with dietary and lifestyle changes had helped improve quality of life.
Much to my surprise, I had begun taking antihistamines on alternate days and in just a few weeks, I needed them only thrice in a week. It took my therapist only four months to eradicate urticaria completely from my body. After this miraculous recovery, I had hoped that HS would disappear too. But the stubborn lesions refused to subside. It became even more challenging for my therapist to understand the complexity of this disease. Before he could plan or proceed any further with my treatment, COVID-19 entered cities across the world, forcing even my therapist to shut shop.
When you need to vent about HS, who do you turn to first?