I've had the joy (aka: miserable, horrific, AWFUL, painful; the antithesis of joy) of having chronic hives for exactly one year now. They haven't gone away no matter what I do to encourage them to leave. The only time I was rid of them for a few weeks was when I was on a very high dose of prednisone. I also ate constantly because steroids suck.
Imagine if you will, large red welts covering various parts of your body for months at a time. Then add to it the worst itching you can possibly think of. Now live every day like that. Here's the kicker- you aren't supposed to itch. You try not itching unless your asleep; then you wake up with holes scratched in your arms, legs and torso because you didn't realize what you were doing - you were asleep. Feel what it's like for just a moment to have your clothing rubbing against your skin and irritating it further until you have 1/4 inch welts along your sock, pant, undergarment, and sleeve lines. Every day.
Now go out in public. When you look like you've got the plague, people treat you like you've got the plague. No one talks to you, they run when you start down the isle, and checkers actually sanitize their hands as you leave their lane.
Even my friends shy away from me when I come close.
Hives aren't contagious. They're an allergic reaction to some allergy or stress or both. Some people just have them. They suck. You CANNOT contract them by touching them. It's impossible.
I had a brilliant (aka: stupid to the nth degree) idea in September. I love oil of oregano. It helps with any upper respiratory thing I've ever had; so I thought, "if it helps with a cold, why not hives?" I rubbed it all over my arms and legs. What did I have to lose? I already repulsed everyone who saw me - I couldn't really get worse, could I?
Here's the thing you have to know about oil of oregano. It burns like acid. Usually when I take it, I chase it with a nice tall glass of fruit/veggie juice. You can't really do that on your skin. It burns. Badly. Fruit juice just makes your skin sticky. As the tears were streaming down my face and thoughts of death by oregano flitted through my head, I scrubbed my skin clean.
It took a few hours but my skin actually looked better. It wasn't perfect, but at least people would talk to me in public again. I was cured!
Or so I thought.
The hives have spread to an extremely sensitive area that I never actually thought could actually get hives. I oregano-ed them today. Screams could be heard in the next town.
I've inadvertently discovered the best way to torture someone. One drop of Oregano Oil on a mucous membrane will have you telling secrets you never even knew you had. Cut the skin and let the oil under the surface and I can practically guarantee the end of any other torture device known to man. And - it's ALL NATURAL so doesn't actually hurt you - it just feels like you're going to die.