ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have idiopathic allergic reaction?

Question

Why do I have idiopathic allergic reaction?

I am a 53 year old female and I started having severe allergic reactions about 10 years ago and didn't know what was causing them. I do not have any other health problems and had never had any type of allergies. I went to an allergist and they tested me for everything and couldn't find one thing I was allergic to. I finally figured out that it would happen after I took a certain medication that containd naproxen. I no longer take that medication and have had no problems with the allergic reactions. I still, however, have very mild reactions for no reason at all. It seems they happen when I am under stress or worried about something. The symptoms are knots that come up on my head and behind my ears that are red, swollen and itch. It hasn't gotten any worse than that, but it is very annoying. Can you tell me why this happens?

Answer

You are posing a tough question to answer. I would be very interested to see these knots to get a better sense of what they are. From your description, I can give you a few possibilities. Since this is a skin issue, and it is not clear what is causing them, I think the best type of physician for you to see is a dermatologist. One possibility is that you are developing skin and soft tissue inflammation called erythema nodosum (meaning literally red bumps). These small areas of inflammation can appear for no reason at all, or they can be signs of underlying diseases. One example is inflammatory bowel disease, though I doubt you have this because you aren't having any diarrhea. Since these knots itch, it is possible that they are hives. Hives usually appear during allergic reactions, but can appear without cause in people with very sensitive immune systems. I would suggest that you schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. I don't know if this is the right type of doctor to treat what you have, but I do know that they will be able to identify the knots. From there you can get treatment, or direction to what type of doctor to see next.

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