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Oatmeal Baths, Crushed Berries and Everything In-between

From berries to oatmeal baths, our bloggers have tried it all. Read what they have to say about the interesting things that end up on their skin.

There are many experiences that people living with chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) share with each other – especially when it comes to what feels good or bad on their skin. In this article, we asked our Skin to live in bloggers how certain things feel, and included their answers on everything from daily items, to some bizarre ones. Maybe you can relate!


Touch: a sense we sometimes forget how integral it is to our daily lives. We don’t always notice it, but our skin is always touching something (most likely the clothes you’re wearing right now, unless you just got out of the shower and are reading this naked…OK, let’s not go there).


When living with CSU, touch takes on an entirely new meaning. It’s a fear that puts a lot of CSU’ers in an uncomfortable position: If I touch this, how will my skin react? Will I have a breakout? Not to mention, since the cause of breakouts is still a mystery,[i] everything, and we mean EVERYTHING, is mulled over before it hits the skin of someone living with CSU. 

Take clothing, for example. Most people don’t have to think twice about whether or not their outfit will make them break out in hives, but those with CSU are very careful about what they wear. Our STLI writer Luke explains:

“Anything that is tight on me, or has an itchy consistency - like wool - bothers my skin. So, if you think about it, holiday sweaters are my worst enemy. They are constricting, itchy and they make me break out. Bah humbug, indeed!”

Clothing isn’t the only thing that may have people living with CSU feeling uncomfortable. Something as simple as warm water can cause a great deal of discomfort.

“I discover hives I didn't know I had when I get into a hot tub or take a bath,” explains Shelly. “The worst case of this is when a public bathroom has a motion-censored sink that doesn’t let you control the temperature. More often than not, the water that comes out is pretty hot, and if you have hives on your hands, it is like washing them under a lava flow.”

Now for the unusual. We’re sure that anyone with a skin condition has heard some wild remedies for CSU, and some of these were covered in our recent article [Ask the Derm link].  Now, we can’t say whether or not the below ideas actually provide any benefit, but remember, always talk to your doctor before trying anything new in your routine. Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the most unusual things our STLI community members have tried for their skin condition:



“I have tried soaking in an oatmeal bath like they recommend when you have chicken pox. I thought, ‘both chicken pox and CSU itch so it must work, right?’ Unfortunately, that was not the case and it made my breakout worse because of the heat.”



“When I was at a yoga bookstore, an employee convinced me to buy crystals to help my breakouts. Yup, rocks. He explained to me how these rocks would help heal my skin, if I simply placed them by my bedside at night. Well, the crystals did not work, but at least I got some pretty cool rocks out of it.”



“The most bizarre remedy that I`ve ever tried was rubbing kokum on my body. Kokum is a fruit sometimes used in Indian cuisine. Would I recommend it? No. There`s not a whole lot of things you can do with crushed berries smeared on your body. You’re pretty much stranded wherever you decide to put them on. Also, it gets VERY sticky.”


Whether it feels good or bad on your skin, sharing your experiences with your doctor is definitely important. They are best suited to recommend what could be beneficial for your skin, and may be able to give you their perspective on some things to stay away from as well. So, are you still thinking of that oatmeal bath? Try talking with your doctor instead!

[i] Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) website. "CIU and You" Accessed July 2014. Available at: http://www.aafa.org/page/ciu-you.aspx

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