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Forum Name: Dermatology Topics

Question: Body Rash


 pasqualine - Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:04 pm

Hi, I have had a rash for about four months now. It began on my elbows and spread to my armpits, fingers, back, under my breasts, stomach, knees, and butt. I also have itching in my pubic area. The bumps are small and red and some are in strait rows of five or six. You can see them much better after I take a shower, and they don't itch as much during the day.

I've been to the doctor three times and a dermatologist once. The first doctor said it was an allergic reaction and told me to use an otc cortizone cream. I did that with no success. The second time the doctor did a skin test and it came back as either an allergic reaction, a tick bite, or a fungus. Since my son had the same rash, she concluded that it must be a fungus. We did the otc anti fungal and it did not work. In fact, the rash spread. Next, we went to my sons pediatrician and she said it was scabies. We used the permethrin cream and washed everything in hot water. The old rash went away, but a few days later I noticed new bumps. We did it again two weeks later and it went away on my son, but I got new bumps where my bra goes. Now it is spreading again and I saw a few bumbs on my sons stomach and under his chin. My husband shows no signs. Last week I went to the dermatologist and he said it was eczema. I have never had alergies or any skin disorders before. He perscribed a strong cortizone cream. He did not think it was scabies, but he rushed me and I did not have a chance to tell him the whole history (about how the permethrin got rid of it the first two times but it came back). The cortizone hasn't worked yet, but I am still using it.

Is is possible that the permethrin cream is not getting everything and I am not getting rid of them? And can scabies get in your labia? Is there a safe medication other than permethrin that a nursing mom can use for scabies? If it is eczema, how long does the cortizone take to get rid of it? Please help, I am getting depressed about this. Thank you.
 Dr. L. Chu Go - Thu Sep 22, 2005 6:15 am

Hello Pasqualine,

Aside from the chronicity of this skin lesion, can you describe in detail the character of the rashes that appeared over time? what are the sizes/how big are these - is it similar to a pimple (i.e is it elevated, flat, does it contain pus/yellowish discharge)? aside from redness, are these skin lesion having crusts or scales (i.e. like dead skin cell falling off)? If yes, can you describe it? Do these rashes appear in the area or near the hair follicles? Do these rashes itch more when you sweat or not? Do these rashes occur when weather changes occur? Do you or any of your family members (ones who are affected also) have any allergies to soaps or body wash or food (seafoods, chocolates, chicken, etc)? I ask these questions because each dermatologic rash has somehow a distinguishing characteristic. This will make it easier for your doctor to distinguish your skin rashes.

As for your question about scabies, this may occur anywhere in the skin area, particularly where it is warm. THe characteristic finding of the skin lesion would be the presence of burrows on the skin and most importantly, severe itching most noted at night. Yes, scabies can be transmitted easily from one person to another having close contact.

In the meantime, it is advisable to continue proper hygiene, use a mild/unscented hypoallergenic soap (baby soaps are the mildest), avoid foods which might trigger an allergic attack for the meantime. You have mentioned that most of your rashes appear in between skin folds (i.e. underneath your bra line, etc), this may be intertrigo (but then again, you gave a vague description) so, in the meantime, keep these areas free from moisture (you can use hypoallergenic baby powder to keep these areas dry).

Dermatologic rashes differ in character as well as differ in microorganisms involved, sometimes it may be a hypersensitivity reaction. Therefore, the modality of treating each type of rashes may vary. As i have mentioned earlier, the questions i have posted here will eventually make a more conclusive diagnosis. Thank you.

MD

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