Friday, December 21, 2012

Mysterious rash

About 2 and 1/2 weeks ago I developed a rash. It started just below my collar bone and spread very quickly over my neck, face, upper chest and arms. At first we were concerned that it was Chicken Pox, as the red marks were beginning to form tiny blisters and getting very painful and itchy. And since I don't have a regular doctor we went to our local Urgent Care center.

The doctor at Urgent Care was unable to confirm Chicken Pox, and was unsure what else it could be. So I was given a referral to a Dermatologist. I would have to wait 2 days for an appointment, but that would at least give the rash time to develop more and make confirmation of Chicken Pox easier. That night (2nd night with the rash) I started having quiet a bad fever. We never took my temperature, but it definitely got high enough to concern Rob. We were sure that whatever was causing the rash I was ill, and Rob stayed home from work to look after me and the boys.

After the 2 day wait it was finally time to see the Dermatologist. It was not Chicken Pox, and he didn't think it was anything contagious. However what else it could be was a mystery. He took 2 biopsies to send for testing and ordered a long list of blood tests. He seemed to think that the rash was a photosensitive reaction due to the rash only being present on skin that is normally sun exposed. I was prescribed an anti-viral and an antibiotic as a precaution and Prednisone for the actual rash. I was them instructed to keep my skin completely covered when outside in daylight. I live in South Florida. The sun shines almost all year here, and it rarely gets cold enough to wear more than a t-shirt. I owned 1 long sleeved maternity shirt, and yet I was supposed to stay covered up.

I started the medications, went shopping for a few extra tops and light-weight scarves and started trying to avoid the sun. After the weekend I went for the blood tests. The rest was a waiting game.

Last Monday I went back to the Dermatologist to have the stitches removed from the biopsies, and to find out my test results. The stitches were removed easily, but the test results were not. After being kept waiting for an hour and a half I finally saw the doctor. Other than showing the anemia that I already knew about (I've been anemic for over 10 years) none of the tests could show any cause for my rash. The doctor had asked the pathologist to carry out some more detailed studies on my biopsies, but that would take more time.

The one thing that the biopsy did show, as explained by the doctor, was that the type of dermatosis (medical term for the rash) I had was neutrophilic, although there was no sign of infection (or bacteria induced dermatosis.) This basically means that they do not know exactly what has caused the rash. It is probably not linked to my pregnancy, but they cannot be completely sure of that unless they can identify an actual cause.

So we continue to wait for the new detailed biopsy results, and meanwhile hope that the rash doesn't flare back up.


  1. Wow. So sorry to hear that. I'll be praying for you!

  2. You don't suppose you had a reaction to some new food you are eating on the plan?