Getting Closer to a Diagnosis

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Warning: Rash pictures below.

When I started breaking out in a rash on my arms, I hated it but thought it wouldn’t get worse. Through each day this week I got bigger bumps. They also grew in number so that my forearms (pictured below) have twice as many. This itchy rash is so miserable and seems to be a more painful one than I’ve ever had.

The inside of my forearms broke out in itchy red spots and then legs, lower back, hands, backside, and feet. I’ve used ice bags, creams, lukewarm showers, and tons of Benadryl. In the past one 25 mg pill would knock me out for hours. I’m now taking 50 mg every 4 hours and it just barely takes the edge off of the itching.

What on earth is this rash? Last week the dermatologist took a shave biopsy of a bump on my arm and a clear spot that was very close to it. I check my patient page on MyChart quite often waiting to see what they found.

When the doctor said that her first response was that it looked like Celiac. I’ve been consulting Dr. Google while I scratch my skin off. My rash does look exactly like Dermatitis Herpetiformis, but it’s not related to Herpes. It is a very itchy rash that is seen in some Celiac patients.  Of those diagnosed with celiac disease, 10% to 25% also have dermatitis herpetiformis

I’m not sure if this is what I will be diagnosed with, but it really itches.

These pictures aren’t very clear, but I think you can tell the difference. It’s discouraging to deal with, but when it rains it pours.

Four days ago I turned my ankle. It is a common thing for me to feel and hear a pop or even feel a joint partially dislocate. Usually these don’t cause me pain, but not this time. That first day I felt no pain.

The next morning I could tell that I was hurting and had a tiny bit of swelling. As the day went on I was swelling more and more. I used ice packs on it. That helped the pain and a little bit of swelling went away.

If I stood up or walked around (especially the stairs) I would notice more and more swelling. I’ve been elevating but it only helps a little. If I really have Dermatitis Herpetiformis, I’ll be fighting it forever. If I stay on the Gluten Free diet, it should be controlled. There is also a medication that can help with itching.

So I will keep hobbling along and scratching (even though I try not to) until this nasty illness subsides. As with all of my chronic illnesses, I know they are here to stay. What makes it easier to deal with is that God gives me the mental strength to not go crazy. God, please help me to get through this time of misery. Amen.

Disclaimer: I’m not a medical expert and this post contains my opinions and experiences, and is not meant to be taken as medical advice. If you have a medical concern, please consult your personal physician.

@copyright, Lisa Ehrman

4 thoughts on “Getting Closer to a Diagnosis”

  1. Have you been prescribed a steroid? I live with skin problems because everything that touches me causes a problem as I get older.

    1. It’s awful to get these health problems! I have a running prescription for steroid get, which I use 2 weeks on and then 2 weeks off. The gel keeps the skin from getting too dry, but I can’t tell that it’s making any improvement in the rash.

  2. Oh no! That rash sounds awful and so uncomfortable. Do things like oatmeal or baking soda baths help take away the itch at all?

    1. The doctor who did the biopsy said it was Psoriasis. He’s prescribing Otezla, but it’s $4600. per month. If he gets me on the assistance program, I should be able to afford it.

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