Ask The Allergista: Reader Update, OTC Meds and the First-Ever Photo Submission!

Q:
I finally broke down and took 2 Benadryl and lubed up on steroid cream. That seemed to be the break from the itching. I really try not to take many meds or use the cream, but sometimes it is necessary. When I do have a breakout, it comes with a headache. If he (your doctor) suggested anything for headaches, that would be great. I thought Zyrtec wasn't good, but I'm glad you said otherwise. That was one I was questioning.
The photo is actually a couple of months old. It's to the right of my navel:
dermatitis
I've just gotten up the nerve to send it. It is much better now, thanks to all of your guidance :) My doctors here have been little to no help. They just truly don't understand it or know anything about it. It is funny that you posted the list the other day. My doctor was actually on the list, which is shocking seeing as how they know so little. I think it is just so rare that few doctors specialize in it.
A:
I'm glad the itching subsided! Being itchy is the wooorst. Well, maybe not the worst, but it sure does a little number on your brain.He didn't tell me anything about meds for headaches. He actually had to rush through our appointment because he had so much to tell me. He never imagined I'd be allergic to that many things, LOL. In regard to OTC (over the counter meds), I'd stay away from the gel caps in general and read the labels for everything else. I've found some vitamins that are OK in gel cap form, but that's it.That really made me smile - reading that I helped your stomach improve :-) Love it. That makes me SO happy - you have no idea.
Thank you for sending that photo as well! That looks exactly like what my skin looks like after I scratch the irritations off. You're itching like crazy at night, huh? You're brave for sending that photo along :-) You're the first person to do so! I hope more people do as well. We all deserve not to feel any sort of shame or embarrassment.WOW to the fact that your doctor was on the list for allergy patch testing!!! I think there are different patch tests that can be done, though. I had the smaller, generic one done first.... gosh I can't remember the NAME.... But Dr. Scheman told me that test is from the 50's or 60's and is pretty irrelevant to this day and age. Maybe that's the test your doctor has the ability to do? I see my allergist coming up on the list and I KNOW she doesn't do all of the patch testing Dr. Scheman does. I think they must be referencing that older, more basic  test...So, I was told that so few doctors specialize in what Dr. Scheman does because it's so expensive to have all of those allergens on file all the time and ready to go. He tests dozens upon dozens upon dozens of things, so I can only imagine how many there actually are...
Keep truckin' and keep me posted! :-)