Monday, July 2, 2012

An Itch You Can Scratch.

You may or may not be familiar with my bouts of poison ivy earlier this spring (if you follow me on Twitter, you are probably tired of hearing about it). Anyway, a cortisone shot (which nearly killed me, thank you, Nurse Ratched) and two rounds of prednisone later, it cleared up, only to be replaced by another weird rash on my arms and legs that started mid-May. In the nearly two months I have had this rash, I have tried every prescription (hydrocortisone, topical steroid cream), nonprescription (calamine lotion, Fungicure, IvyDry, moisturizer), and homemade (baking soda paste, oatmeal scrub) remedy to get rid of it to no avail. I finally broke down and made an appointment with a dermatologist. Mainly because I knew if I went back to the family physician, he would just refer me out anyway.

This particular dermatologist is in a different time zone, which makes scheduling a little tricky, but I managed to get in as one of the first appointments of the day. Still had to wait 45 minutes before I was called back, so I'm glad I got in early! I described the problem to the nurses. The doctor came in soon after, took one look at me, and gave me his diagnosis: Nummular Neurodermatitis or Nummular Eczema. I've never heard of it before, but he said I have a classic case. He couldnt pinpoint the cause, but it may have been triggered by my allergic reaction to the poison ivy. Here are three reasons why this condition sucks:

1) There is no cure. It can recur at any time. Forever.
2) Triggers can be stress (um, hello, type A perfectionist with perpetual stress about everything here), hot tubs (damnit!!), hot showers (double damnit!!), or swimming (yeah, on a lake).
3) It is a rare condition that most often occurs in...wait for it...elderly men.

Yep, that is awesome. I have a chronic skin condition most often found in men over 60. Lucky me. The doctor made sure to stress this point, and about how he wants to do a recheck in two months because I am not in the "typical age range" for this condition. Maybe by then I'll have some age spots he can take a look at too.

(Seriously though, I am relieved to finally know what is going on, and that in the grand scheme of life and skin ailments, it is not serious.)

Then to top off the day, I come home to a vomiting 4 yo. Sooooo, today has been fun. How has yours been?

- MortarBored Mom 


  1. I'm glad you finally know what it is, even if there's no cure. :P

  2. Sexaaay! ;-)

    I kid, I kid. I don't know if I told you, but after my pneumonia bout a year and a half or so ago, I ran into something similar (maybe??). They prescribed me Augmentin (with no provocation whatsoever - why I needed an enhanced antibiotic instead of just good ol' amoxicillin or something is beyond me!), and after a few trips to the ER for diphenhydramine IVs to open my throat back up, it turned out my system was so ravaged from the Augmentin that EVERYTHING gave me hives and caused nasty reactions. (So treatment became, "Well, we can't give you anything, so I hope the pneumonia doesn't kill you!" Uh, thanks...)

    Result: I now have to take a loratadine every day or I break out in itchy red hives. Glam, huh?

    I have no idea whether my nonsense is anything like what you have, but I'm sorry we're both medically-induced lepers with unsexy skin problems, and I love you even if your fingers fall off in my soup! :-D

    1. He have a prescription for a topical steroid, which I like to call "miracle cream."