I can’t be allergic to cats, can I??

My right hand was red and a bit itchy yesterday, but the rash didn’t really bother me. It went away overnight and everything was normal today. However, the rash was back when I returned from my daily shelter visit.

cat allergy rashI took this photo 2 hours ago and it’s become better in the meantime. I still have some red spots, but they’re neither itchy nor very visible. I don’t have any other symptoms, and the rash is only on my right hand. I’m afraid the cats have caused the rash. I’ve tried very hard, but I can’t come up with any other explanation.

I’m now afraid I’m allergic to cats. Whilst most allergy suffers are (also) dealing with coughing and wheezing, skin rashes are a common reaction as well. I’m surprised, because I’ve been with cats earlier and I never had any allergic reaction.
However, it’s possible that allergies develop over time. The cat’s saliva seems to be the most common reason for allergic reactions. I’m wondering if I’m having a very mild cat allergy; meaning that I don’t react to saliva on their coats, but if the cat directly licks my skins. Both cats have been doing this, mostly on my right hand. (AND yes, unfortunately, I know that allergies can develop; so even if I only have a mild allergy now, it could become quite bad)

I hope the rash is caused by a combination of reasons. A) It’s still cold here and my skin is very dry. (Cold alone doesn’t explain the rash though) B) The cats have been intensively licking my right hand. Maybe my skin couldn’t handle both at once.

I’ve to make a doctor’s appointment next week and hope for the best. If I’m allergic, the only good news is that the cats are still in the shelter. I’d be horrible if I had to give them away after they had moved in. Now it’s only my personal nightmare, but the cats will be fine. I’ll still visit them during the weekend though.

I’m feeling so empty and sad. I’m in denial. I’m too tired to freak out, and I’ll try to focus on other things. I’m thinking about having a cat-free Internet weekend. Let’s see. There’s nothing I can do about this before Monday. (And yes, of course I’d like to rush to the emergency right now!). So chances are that I’ll be offline in the feline Internet, but I’ll write at the latest an update on Monday.