Monday, May 4, 2009

The Rash Bash

"Hey Gin,

I was wondering if you have any advice on rashes. I get them alot but they aren't always there.


Gahhhh. Rashes.

I chose this question today because last week my daughter had a rash. And I mean... a HUGE rash. From the soles of her feet to the top of her head, covered in blotches of all shapes and sizes. She received no less than three diagnosis by three different doctors and what I believe she really had, was a severe allergic reaction to her antibiotic.

When I asked the doctor why no one could give me a straight answer, he said "Rashes are hard".

That still makes me giggle, but it is true none-the-less. When my daughter broke out in her hives, I went online to look at pictures so I could try to tell myself whether it was chicken pox, fifth disease, or hives. Almost all the pictures looked the same, and the variations of each condition made it hard to pin point.

Fibro works the same way. Each one of us has different symptoms and intensities. So guess what that means for our rashes too.

I wish I could say: "Oh, rashes with small red bumps could be 'such and such' and you treat it by and oatmeal bath."

What I can do is give you ideas and hints that I have employed or heard about.

Seborrheic Dermatitis. If your skin is flaky and red, (face, ears, nose, scalp) area, you might have this condition. You can get a cream from a dermatologist and it clears it right up. There's even a shampoo called loprox (I could be totally screwing up that spelling but you get the point.) and it really does help. It isn't something you get rid of, it is something you keep at bay.

The itchy bumps! Sometimes they are red, sometimes they are white...for me they plague my biceps and I scratch like mad. Also my chest is itchy as well.

I should go to a dermatologist but it comes and goes and lately I have been unfortunate in the timing. It's like my rash knows I'm trying to get rid of it and it vanishes on Dr. Day.

I soothe the itch by either oatmeal baths or oatmeal paste (equal parts of pulverized oatmeal or powdered oatmeal and water). I also keep a bottle of Dermarest Eczema medicated lotion about and it helps really well.

I have little red circles around tiny patches of dried skin that pop up too in random places and nothing I have tried helps them much. Sometimes neosporin.

What causes the rashes? Stress. Pain. Medications. Allergies. You name it! Your best bet is to try to keep track of the medications you take and the days your allergies flare up and see if there is a correlation. As far as stress and pain...well we have Fibro so that is a little harder to track. LOL

The best thing really is to go to a dermatologist instead of a general practitioner. They are the people who know the most about the skin and the funky things that can happen to us. Of course, like treating Fibro, it is most often a "try this" "okay now try this" hit-or-miss diagnosis but it's all we got.

I wish I could be more helpful on this subject but all I can say is "Rashes are hard".
All my wishes for 98% (itch-free) days,

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