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#16602 - 02/05/04 04:32 PM infected blisters
AngV Offline
Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 23
Loc: Sartell, MN
Hi everyone, hope you are all doing well. I have run into a problem that I have not experienced in many many years. I do get blisters quite a bit but they are just from clothes rubbing or from scratching too much. However on sunday I was extremely itchy and was scratching a lot on my right arm. When I woke up on monday I could feel the skin tightening and pulling - blisters were forming. Well, by the end of the day I had about 8-10 blisters from my wrist to the top of the elbow and they were infected. The skin underneath was white and around the blister was really red. I could not even bend my arm and it was just throbbing out of control. I was trying to pop the blisters to relieve some pressure but the skin was too thick and to tight. Anyway, that night I was having pains from my pregnancy and had to go to the hospital to be checked out (everything turned out to be ok) and they saw the blisters and gave me antibiotics to start for the infection. Today, I feel pretty good, the infection is out and the blisters have opened and the skin is off of them so now they are all really pink and the skin is regrowing. What if anything can I do to prevent the infection. I am used to the blistering here and there, but this infection was severely painful. Could it be that I am living in MN and the weather here has been extremely cold this winter (last week we were hitting 25-35 below zero) When I was living in VA Beach for 10 years nothing like this happened and the last time I remember having a lot of infected blisters was when I was a kid living here in MN. I know there is probably nothing I can do to prevent but I will keep hope up but is there anything anyone does to ease the pain when something like this happens? My skin has been just terrible since we have been living back here in MN and we have decided to go back to Va Beach or Florida because I notice that even though my skin was not great, it was much better there - plus I have access to the ocean's salt water. If my new son arrives with EHK then we definetly want to be in a place that we can keep the scaling under control and here in the "artic" definetly does not help any. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

Angela
_________________________
Angela

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#16603 - 02/28/04 03:26 PM Re: infected blisters
Anonymous
Unregistered


Angela,
Sorry this is such a late reply. I was wondering if the pain was from the blisters tightening up the skin and the dry weather or from the actual infection? I haven't had infections in many many years but I do remember I always ripped them open at the first sign of infection to let them breath and start to dry out. I was wondering if anyone has ever had an infection cultured to see what it was exactly? In all the years I had infections as a child no one ever contracted the infection from me in any form. My mother was always cleaning my infections and putting neosporin on them with her clean bare hands and she never had any complications from exposing herself to them. Makes you wonder if our infections are a type of bacteria that only surfaces in our type of skin?
Keith.

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#16604 - 02/28/04 05:31 PM Re: infected blisters
Hearsay Offline


Member

Registered: 01/16/04
Posts: 1449
Loc: Richmond, VA, USA
Most likely the bacteria is part of the normal flora that live on your skin. You touch the open blister and they start growing in the seeping extracellular fluid (that weepy stuff inside the blister) because it is full of nutrients. Since EHK people don't wash their hands as often as people with normal skin (dh washes his probably 1-3 times a day because it takes 15m each time!), the bacteria don't get regularly cleaned out, keep growing, and eventually cause an infection.

With EHK, your skin is thicker than normal anyway, so there is always more skin bacteria even without a blister. That is why your skin has that distinctive ammonia-like smell - it is the waste product of the bacteria as it metabolizes.

We're in Ohio, and there is a definite difference between here are North Carolina. Brian went to college down there for a few years, and reacclimating to Ohio's winters has been pretty brutal for him. He doesn't blister, but he certainly does itch!

Jennifer
_________________________
Jennifer
Ichthyosis-en-Confetti Type 2
Husband, Nathan - 10, Elliot - 7, Oliver - 4, all affected.
I also have an unaffected daughter, age 8.


email: jennifer at confettiskin dot com
facebook - find me on "ichthyosis mommy spot" or "friends of ichthyosis"

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#16605 - 02/28/04 07:05 PM Re: infected blisters
AngV Offline
Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 23
Loc: Sartell, MN
Thanks for the replies; I am still having problems with the blisters. After the first initial outbreak on my arm I have continuously gotten one blister at a time mostly on my legs from the ankle to the knee. The actual blister is about the size of a silver dollar and that part has the thick yellowish/white infection in it - the inside is definetly not clear; then about and inch surrounding the blister the skin is pulled really tight and gets really red and very sore. I have been getting only one blister at a time but it hurts really bad, throbbing like. I end up taking about 3 antibiotic pills throughout the day and the infection seems to go out of the blister then it starts to heal. I do try to pop them right away but it does not help it just turns into an open infection. I end up putting one of those non stick pads on and wrapping up my leg in ace bandage. As soon as the blister is almost healed I feel another one coming on. This has been going on for three weeks and I am not sure what to make of it. I told my ob/gyn about them and of course he does not know and put a call in to the derm dept to my doctor there but has not gotten a response yet. So for now I just keep taking these antibiotics each time a blister comes up. I am wondering if it has anything to do with the pregnancy but I did not experience this with my other two pregnancies. I just had my amnio on tuesday and should have the results in about two weeks to see if the baby will be affected; I am wondering if there is any connection if he is affected and my skin not tolerating things well? I guess I will have to wait and see what the results come out as.

I really do think that this weather has some factor in it. This has been a severely cold winter here and my skin is in terrible shape. It is thick all the time even in areas that is usually is not as bad. I assume because it is so bad that the thickness just harbors bacteria and makes me more prone to these infection but it is just wierd how it just came about all of a sudden and wont seem to end. Never had this happen before where the blisters continuously come back. I guess I will just have to make an appointment with my derm but it seems I find better info from you guys than anywhere else. Thanks again.
_________________________
Angela

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#16606 - 02/28/04 08:35 PM Re: infected blisters
Hearsay Offline


Member

Registered: 01/16/04
Posts: 1449
Loc: Richmond, VA, USA
Ang - I just remembered something: A friend of mine developed PUPPP - it is a rash that develops in late pregnancy that there is no known cause for, itches like hell, and goes away after you deliver. I wonder if that is what you are experiencinb, but because of the EHK, your itching is causing it to blister.

Your OB may have some ideas about that.

Have you tried cortizone on the itchy spots (watch how much you use, as it is a steroid that can cross the placenta - the cream on the skin in small spots won't hurt the baby.)? Also, you might want to try the neosporin that Keith suggested.

Good luck!

Jennifer
_________________________
Jennifer
Ichthyosis-en-Confetti Type 2
Husband, Nathan - 10, Elliot - 7, Oliver - 4, all affected.
I also have an unaffected daughter, age 8.


email: jennifer at confettiskin dot com
facebook - find me on "ichthyosis mommy spot" or "friends of ichthyosis"

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#16607 - 03/25/04 10:17 AM Re: infected blisters
milomilk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 16
Loc: Melbourne,Australia
Hi AngV,
Sorry to hear about the trouble your having with your skin infections.I have been thru.very similar myself a year ago and like you couldn't believe how painful they were and resistant to treatmentthey were.I had to change my antibiotics a couple of times before I got any response.The other thing I commenced and have continued to do is have a weekly bath in a strong anti-septic rinse to clean any surface bacteria off my skin.My dermatologist said that the thicker the skin,the more potential for bacteria to sit in the cracks b/w the skin.On the days I shower I also wash in a really strong anti-bacterial wash.I also work really hard to keep the thickness of the skin down.This routine has really kept my infection under control.While my skin becomes thicker in winter months ,I don't thick the cold weather makes my infections any better or worse.Good luck and hope your blisters clear up .

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#16608 - 05/05/04 06:38 PM Re: infected blisters
Glori Offline

Member

Registered: 08/14/00
Posts: 499
Loc: Elk Rapids, Michigan
I am suddenly having a recurring bout of infections myself lately, that's why you haven't seen me on.
My doctor prescribed Vioxx for the swelling, prescription Benadryl for the itch and swelling and even gave me a painkiller to keep me from being totally miserable. We sort of skipped the antibiotic this time because I have taken enough of those over my lifetime and instead just stuck with Neosporin topically.
At last I think I have found the correct combination of pills to keep the infections from totally debilitating me.

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#16609 - 05/06/04 01:13 PM Re: infected blisters
pauline5 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 913
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Hi Glori,

Good to see you back, but not so good to hear of your infections... Wow, do you remember a long time ago, I was perplexed as to why our occassional severe feet/blister pain, was uncontrollable with pain killers?

And I asked you why they are sooo intense...and impossible to burst? Well you told me it is because of the swelling that causes the pain. And guess what? I told my doctor about that, and he prescribed Vioxx for me also... for the swelling...WOW...it is the first painkiller of any sort in all my life which gives pretty much instant relief from this excruciating pain, and I don't use words like excruciating lightely...

So thank you Glori, you have been a complete lifesaver for me...so you are totally off antibiotics now hey?

I have just started on a permanent course, for the last 12 months now, and they seem to keep the daily blistered feet at bay...only blistering with excess walking...hence the vioxx...

So thanks again...
Pauline.

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