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#16516 - 09/30/03 12:24 PM skin rash

Has anyone here with EHK ever gotten poison ivy or poison oak? I was up north a couple weeks ago and came back with a terrible itching, mostly the right side of my chest and right bicep. Those are the two worst areas, I have literally scratched all the skin off my chest and upper arms. My skin seems to be red and inflamed with tiny little bumps that seem like little blisters. It seems to be spreading, I am getting extremely itchy all over now. I've tried benedryl for some relief, but it obviously isn't curing anything. I've washed every piece of clothing and bedding in the house thinking it may have been something in that. I'm kinda freaky about sleeping in other peoples houses thinking I'll get an infection from it, and a couple weeks ago I spent 3 days at my inlaws house, thought maybe I got some creeping crud there but no one else has this rash. I also accompanied my wife to a doctors appointment where I sat in the waiting room, might be something someone else brought in??? I also thought maybe I was becoming allergic to me epilepsy medicine again, but the symptoms are totally different then before, no swelling of the face or welts on my body. I have no idea what it could be and I'm going to the doctor today, except my regular doc is on vacation so I will have to see someone else. You all know what that means, I'm going to get a doc that will be blinded by my ichthyosis and be able to focus on my rash, or not be able to tell I even have a rash. I've tried antibacterial and salt baths, both provide temporary relief, but soon after I start scratching myself raw again. If anyone has any ideas or have had any similar experience I'd appreciate any help.

#16517 - 10/04/03 02:59 AM Re: skin rash

I had a similar experience a few years back. I got a rash on my inner thighs and inner arms and tried everything to make it go away. I finally had a skin biopsy which only said that I had ichthyosis. I found out (several months later) that the new brand of laundry detergent I bought caused it. I got it again later from a liquid fabric softener. Strangly it only effects those two areas probably because my skin is more delicate there.
I also get those tiny rash bumps on my wrists if I wear nickle plated bracelets or watches.
Does your rash ooze like a typical poison ivy rash? Some of that Aveeno oatmeal bath might help. Yeah, you can add oatmeal to your salt bath and have breakfast while you bathe. [img][/img]

Good luck.

#16518 - 10/06/03 02:09 PM Re: skin rash
Chandra Offline

Registered: 11/20/00
Posts: 707
Loc: Grants Pass, OR
Hi Keith,

It sounds very similar to the rash I had earlier this year. It took about 3 months to go away and pretty much one solid month of using steroid cream. The steroid cream was not fun as one's skin gets very addicted to it, and when I stopped using it, my skin got worse for about 10 days before it got better.

What I had was contact dermatitis. I'd had it only in a few patches for a very long time, then when I got a skin infection all through my system, the dermatis went almost 100% all over. I still get the dermatitis once in a while, but it's very isolated and has remained isolated for four months now.

We never found out what caused it, but we think stress, both physical and emotional were huge contributors. I know if I feel a little sick, or am overwhelmed by something, the isolated patches that still have the dermatitis flare up right away and take about a week to calm back down. Fortunately, I don't need to use the steroid cream anymore, but an Aveeno oatmeal bath always is a good idea to sooth any itching due to the dermatitis.

My derm instructed me to make sure I never wore clothes more than once before washing them, change bath towels and washcloths daily, and change the sheets 2-3 times a week, more often if I could manage it. She also had us go through the house and get rid of almost all cleaning products except for bleach and vinegar, and to use only liquid dishwashing soap as a detergent for my laundry/sheets/towels. Her reasoning was that she wanted to reduce every possible skin irritatant I was coming in contact with. While it didn't seem to reduce the dermatitis in any way that we could immediately tell, we did notice that after my skin recovered, keeping up with her instructions has made my skin look and feel a lot better. I'm much paler now (I used to look soooo red) and have a lot less peeling.

Oh, the doc also put me on doxepin, which was originally manufactured as an anti-depressant. However, a big side-effect is that it relieved itching, and made me really sleeping, so if I was having a hard time sleeping because my skin was hurting, or it was daytime and I was hurting so bad I couldn't do anything, she'd have me take one doxepin with the option of taking one every four hours. I found that just taking one in the evening, and then one at bedtime helped a lot, and I was then able to function during most of the day time with less discomfort. Making sure I get a full night's rest has always been important for my skin, but it became a top priority while I had the rash. If I didn't sleep very well, the rash got much worse.
I am female, and was born in 1972 with Lamellar Ichthyosis.


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