Certain individuals can have so-called irritant contact dermatitis from soaps, detergents, and cleaning products. These reactions are similar to allergic contact dermatitis but the skin does not have an allergic reaction but rather is directly irritated, leading to loss of normal barrier skin function and painful rash. These reactions can be slightly less itchy that allergic dermatitis. A common situation is a new rash that comes up after changing or using unfamiliar bath or cleaning products. The treatment for irritant dermatitis is similar to allergic contact dermatitis, except that steroids are less often needed and antihistamine creams don’t typically help much.
For more information on the Allergen of the Month feature, see the overview , and check out the previous post on Poison Ivy (and less obvious ‘relatives’).
Education is a wonderful thing, but too much knowledge can be frightening. Back in the days when no one had heard of Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC), a red spot on the breast that looked like a bug bite didn't worry anyone. Of course, some women died because they didn't check with their doctors, but most of the time that bug bite cleared up in a few days.
Now many women have seen a TV news story about IBC in which two patients described their initial symptoms as looking like bug bites, and they write or call in panic afraid they have cancer. I talked to one frightened woman on a toll-free IBC line where I volunteer from time to time. As we talked, it turned out that she had just returned from a camping trip and had mosquito bites on her breast.
Others have Googled a description of their rash and gotten hits for breast cancer along with a world of panic. The breasts are subject to all kinds of rashes, most of which are not dangerous, so how can you tell what you have and when to c...
Definition Porphyrias are a group of rare disorders passed down through families, in which an important part of hemoglobin , called heme, is not made properly. Heme is also found in myoglobin, a protein found in certain muscles. Alternative Names Acute intermittent porphyria; Hereditary coproporphyria; Congenital erythropoietic porphyria; Erythropoietic protoporphyria Causes, incidence, and risk factors Normally, the body makes heme in a multi-step process. Porphyrins are made during several steps of this process. Patients with porphyria have a deficiency of certain enzymes needed for this process. This causes abnormal amounts of porphyrins or related chemicals to build up in the body. There are many different forms of porphyria. The most common type is porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT). Drugs, infection, alcohol, and hormones such as estrogen may trigger attacks of certain types of porphyria.
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