Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Thursday, June 18, 2009 Mom136, Community Member, asks

Q: I have swollen lumps on my head that do not hurt, accompanied by a very itchy body rash

I had the initial outbreak at the end of February, and initially, it was the following symptoms: swollen non-painful lumps on the back of the head , an extremely itchy area that made a U shape at the base of my neck and went behind my ears (on my scalp), as well as an itchy rash on my groin area. All of this occurred after using Coast soap-whether its a mere coincidence, I don't know. The rash persisted, and I went to the Dermatologist-I was prescribed prednisone and an anti-itch cream. The rash completely went away, and the lumps disappeared. About 2 days following the end of the prednisone, i broke out REALLY bad all over my torso under my breasts, around my waist, and under my arms.

I then applied the cream until the rash subsided about a week or so later. Following this, I was rash free for 3 weeks. Just 2 weeks ago, the rash is back, but looks completely different. Instead of the red itchy bumps, I have larger almost pustule looking bumps that I cannot identify on any picture on the web. The rash not only looks different, but is affecting different areas of my body-the back of my legs, somewhat on my breasts, theighs, and buttocks.

I take Claritin during the day, and lots of Benadryl at night. MY entire scalp at this point itches, and has several large lumps that don't hurt. I have avoided every eczema linked food allergy, and can't seem to figure out what this is.

For whatever reason, the rash seems to intensify in the later afternoon and just before bed, after I've ben on my feet all day. It's much better when I wake up in the am.

I am desperate for help, and feel like I'm going to go crazy if I don't get some control over this. I have no health insurance, and am already in debt for what I've spent on meds and Dr. visits this far, without any definitive diagnosis or effective treatment plan.

I'm afraid this may be a much more severe problem. I've had an executive panel done recently-and all bloodwork was normal. However, I've seen info. on Hodgkin's and know that it MUST be identified by MRI only.

Please, Please, Help!

Thanks SO much. Mom136

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Answers (2)
Cisky, Community Member
6/24/09 12:20pm

Please go to a board certified dermatologist immediately and demand to be tested for dermatomyositis.  Early detection can save your muscles.  I certainly wish I had been diagnosed early.  Your symptoms are nearly identical to mine.

 

Dermatomyositis is an autoimmune illness and if left to advance without treatment, it will cause a lifetime of debilitation.  If the dermatologist will not do the necessary testing then you need to see a rheumotologist.  Good luck.  Make your appointment today. Please.

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Mom136, Community Member
6/25/09 11:52am

Thanks for your response. I am returning to see the Dermatologist next week for a biopsy, and will ask to be tested then. Can you please tell me what symptoms we had in common?

If you could also, please tell me what other symptoms to look for-I do not currently have any muscle weakness; Did you early on?

Please list any other symptoms you had that may help.

Thank You,

 

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momof3, Community Member
10/15/09 10:57pm

How did this turn out?  4 weeks ago I began itching on my pubic bone area and the back, lower portion of my scalp, up to around my ears.  I've tried everything.  It is not lice.  It does not appear to be dry, though I tried using a dandruff shampoo. I have changed detergents and hair products...still is it coincidental that both areas itch, I highly doubt it.  My scalp has some VERY itchy areas that are about the size of a mosquito bite, feel somewhat the same too.  I have not changed my diet, and I eat very healthy. I am a runner and do not feel muscle weakness.  I have had melanoma skin cancer and just recently had the thought that this itchy rash could be linked to a type of skin cancer, so that is how I found you.  I am getting worried, and the earliest i can get in to see my family doctor is one week away still.  I can't take this.  Any insight please.

 

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Mom136, Community Member
10/16/09 12:54pm

Hi Mom of 3-

From all of my 8 month long research, and visits to a GP, 2 Derms. and an Allergist/Immunologist, my very best guess (and it's a good one) is that you have Eczema or Hives, both of which can exist in many forms and affect the scalp and body.

 

Do the itchy bumps come and go suddenly, or do they last for weeks?

I have both Eczema and Hives (as if suffering with one isn't enough).

The Eczema is the better of the two, as it comes on strong and then clears gradually.

The hives however, are no fun at all.

 

They are chronic, and can last up to 6 weeks.

They usually affect my waistline area, as well as tender spots at the auxillary area of my arm. They are SO itchy, that Ive been put on Cymbalta to keep me from going crazy (and it has helped tremendously)

 

I find it disconcerting that of all the Doctors Ive seen, no one ever mentioned the top culprits for Eczema and Hives.

Hives reactions can have no link at all, and can be from simple stress issues.

Allergic Hives are most linked to cow's milk, nuts, dairy, etc. You can gogle this for more info.

I have stopped cows milk, and gone to Silk Light Soymilk, and it has really helped a lot.

 

I am most certain that my Eczema has hormonal connections. (this you can also Google) It appears sometime before my menstrual cycle, worsens, and then goes away following.

 

This was all a sudden onset for me, at a very stressful time, so I believe this is a combination of causes. (perhaps for you too)

From my experience, no Dr. acts like Hives or Eczema is any big deal-contrary to your great suffering.

 

The best thing you can do is to be your own advocate. Search the web and try cutting WAY back on foods that cause skin irritation, as well as bathing tips. I have found that Dove Sensitive Skin unscented and luke warm bath water helps a lot.

 

I also take the following to control itching, and my condition is MUCH better now:

 

In the Am- Zantac 150 and Allegra (yes, Zantac helps with itching)

 

Lunch Supplements- VItamin C-Women's Multivitamin- Cod Liver Oil- Caltrate +D

 

Night- Zyrtec 10 + Zantac 150 (or 50mg of Benadryl if I'm very itchy)

 

I hope this helps, I'm sad to say Ive had this condition for 8 months now-and NO Doctor or skin biopsy or blood test has been able to conclude the cause.

Stress can do awful things.

 

Let me know if you have any other questions :)

I hope you find relief soon!

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jolly padrida, Community Member
2/27/12 10:49pm

momof3, I have been experiencing practically identical symptoms--minus the prior melanoma.  It is driving me crazy; lice were ruled out, but there's still no clear cause.  I have been thinking it is a new way for my body to express allergies; or is molluscum or some other infectious agent; or some invisible mystery bug biting me.  Dermatologist prescribed an anti-itch uguent, but just as symptom relief; nothing to prevent the "outbreaks."  How did your own situation turn out?

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quaiz, Community Member
7/13/09 2:03pm

Could be Angiodema. Diagnosis can be confirmed via routine blood count, electrolytes, renal function, liver enzymes. The hereditary form (HAE) often goes undetected for a long time, as its symptoms resemble those of more common disorders, such as allergy or intestinal colic.  HAE do not respond to antihistamines or steroids. Alcohol and cinnamon can increase the possibility of an angiodema epispde, although the onset may be delayed overnight or by some hours. Consumption of bromelain in combination with turmeric can help in reducing symptoms.

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By Mom136, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/20/14, First Published: 06/18/09