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I have suffered with allergies of one kind or another my whole life (27 now) Eczema, psoriasis, pollen, animals, yeast, dairy etc... So I like to think I know a bit about these things and this latest is affliction is odd.

I moved into a new flat not long ago and after a slow period of feeling a bit itchy in the flat I broke out in terrible hives (can't sleep, concentrate etc....) Got cream from my doc - shock - did nothing. After six weeks of suffering I got prescribed steroid pills. Spent a month on the pills, stayed with my girlfriend for a month and the rash had gone. Back in my flat and within 12hrs back with a vengeance. This started in Feb so itís been 7 months so far.

Ok. In the month I was out the flat I removed the old carpets, underlay and glue from the floor and re -fitted new underlay and proper wool carpets. (Amazing not allergic to wool) I also painted the majority of the flat (99 percent sure its not the paint.) As I have suffered food allergies, pollen, dust mites my whole life I can tell this is a different reaction.

I feel the rash flair as soon as I walk through my door from work, it just basically gets worse until I leave the flat again the next morning when the rash subsides throughout the day. It seems to help abit if I leave all the windows open. One big problem is it just gets a bit worse everyday until I literally cant work and have to move out the flat for a week or so to let it calm down. When I stay in the flat I fall asleep through exhaustion about 2 to wake up unbearable itchy about 5. I lie in bed getting angry till about 5.30 when I just get up. Lack of sleep is obviously hitting me hard.

The scary thing about this is that in my final year at uni the same thing happened (the flat I moved into for my final year) I was never diagnosed and all that would calm it was steroid tablets and these are only usable in the short term. It got so bad after just the first term that I had to move back to my folks and distance learn. This was bad enough at uni.........I have bills to pay now.... This is really getting me down.

To reiterate, this is not food, pollen, dust, washing powder, aerosols, shampoo, soap or air fresheners - All the obvious triggers have been removed and the flat well aired. It must be something airborne that has been in common with two top floor flats (both with lofts if thatís relevant.) I can only think that it must be sort of material used in the build - cavity or loft insulation maybe plaster. I have been doing some reading up and think its worth me getting tested for a formaldehyde allergy as this is a relatively common environmental chemical.........I am fast running out of ideas and have read most of the message board and no one seems to have the same sort of problem, my doctor tends to just shrug and up my antihistamine (trebling my dose at the mo) and my dermatologist (who i have to wait six months to see) just gives me moisturiser - MOISTURISER!!!

Seeing my dermo in a week and am in a queue for the allergist, experiance tells me not to hold out to much hope.

Would love to here from anyone with ideas or especially anyone who has had the same thing. All posts welcome.

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