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Wombat140

Red speckled rash, please can anyone identify?

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There's this rash I get from time to time; it started years ago, and was quite noticeable for maybe a year or two, and then it seemed to sort of fade out, but I still notice tiny bits of it every now and again. It's only just occurred to me to ask about it on here.

 

It appears as small circles of dark red speckles, about an inch or two across, nearly always on my arms or legs; I can't remember whether they were rings or solid circles, though I rather think they were rings. Not raised or bumpy at all, just speckled. I can't remember whether it was itchy or not when it was at its height.

That's what it was like at the time when it was most noticeable, now when it appears it's only much smaller patches of no particular shape. I would attach a photo, but unfortunately the patch I noticed the other day has gone again!

 

My mum tried putting tea tree oil on it, which seemed to work to some extent but it kept coming back, so she took me to the doctor about it and the doctor said it might be ringworm and gave me some cream called Daktacort, which didn't have any effect at all. (After that we kind of forgot about it.) Having seen photos of actual ringworm since then, I don't think it was, ringworm is far more lumpy. I honestly can't remember whether this was before my OCD symptoms started, after, or at the same time; if it turned out to be relevant, I could probably find out by asking my doctor to look up when that cream was prescribed.

 

Do you happen to know anything that causes a rash like that?

 

I'm just asking on here because you seem to know just about every infection there is, between you! There's a possibility of getting my blood tested for infections (this Wednesday, February 3rd), and I thought if there is any infection of that nature that looks like this, it would be as well to know so I can make sure to ask them to check that one. Of course, it may be some perfectly ordinary non-PANS-related fungal infection or something that my doctor didn't happen to know of, in which case it'd still be useful to know.

 

All the best,

Wombat140

Edited by Wombat140

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You may want consider Lyme disease and possibly another tick-borne infectious disease like Ehrlichia or Bartonella.

 

In some cases, Lyme disease produces a ring shaped rash called Erythema Migrans. Ehrlichia and Bartonella also can produce rashes in people however the appearance of these rashes will differ from Lyme disease. I mention these three diseases because they are common co-infections for a tick bite, and you cited your rashes appear different (rings then smaller with no shape). There is a lot of information about Lyme disease on this board for you to consider, including neurological symptoms of infection. A Lyme co-infection panel from Igenex labs is what I would pursue with your doctor, and it would show any antibodies your body is making to the three diseases I mentioned.

 

If it was ringworm, the rash would likely become itchy and scaly, and spread until treated. A dermatologist can easily diagnose ringworm and can also perform a skin scrape to confirm.

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Sounds like petechiae.

 

Petechiae rashes that come and go can be indicative of Vasculitis, an auto-immune disease.

 

Because these rashes come and go and aren't itchy or raised, I'd never given them much thought. It turns out they were key to our daughter's diagnosis and treatment.

 

Good luck.

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Thanks all three of you. I'd been doing Web searches for "babesia rash" and "bartonella rash" after I posted that, and came across some things about "petechiae", and it is indeed exactly like that. Well, at least I know what the type of rash is called now, anyway! Some of the possible variations of petechial rashes with either Ehrlichia (thanks for pointing that one out) or Babesia look quite like what I get. Doesn't mean to say it couldn't be something completely different, of course.

 

There isn't any preliminary test for that kind of thing, is there? Any way to tell whether Lyme disease or its relatives are likely to be involved or not? We can't afford Igenex just as one of many long shots - we might just be able to stretch to it if there was a really good chance that it would be relevant (AND useful), but only then. (We don't have medical insurance.)

 

I don't have any of the physical symptoms associated with Lyme disease, except this. But then I don't really have any physical symptoms at all; never have had; there's this and sometimes unexplained complete loss of appetite and apart from that it's all neuro-psychiatric stuff. (Of course, that makes it hard to be sure about other stuff; for instance, I can't tell whether I get tired more easily than I should, because I'm tired out all the time anyway from constantly doing compulsions.)

 

I don't think I can stand much more researching on the Internet, and I'm not taking much of it in or doing it very well, either. Is there a book I can get that would tell me the basics about chronic Lyme and associated rubbish? Or at least a single reliable website? That would be very helpful.

Edited by Wombat140

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I use this site often:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed

Some Lyme-related links I like:

http://www.columbia-lyme.org/

http://www.ilads.org/lyme/about-lyme.php

http://jemsekspecialty.com/lyme_detail/

 

A prudent course of action might be to record your health symptoms and pair a clinical assessment of those symptoms with any testing that might confirm a diagnosis or rule it out. For example, you cited OCD and rashes, but you also mentioned you are "tired out all the time" and have occasional loss of appetite. If you start with the basis that you are a health normal person, then any symptoms you have may be helpful in identifying a possible infection.

 

Keep a journal of your health symptoms and note the frequency and severity of the symptoms. When you see a doctor, a doctor worthy of your cause will be interested in the journal. You could also seek some inexpensive blood analysis to look for any indication of disease or infection. In my case, a simple white blood cell test repeated over time suggested a systemic and chronic infection process.

 

Pursuing a cure with or without health insurance is indeed possible, and you are already on the right path by recognizing your health symptoms and asking questions and looking for answers. Keep doing so until you are healthy. As others here will tell you, finding a cure can take a lot of time, money, and effort. Stay vigilant and good luck!

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I agree with documenting symptoms and medications (along with photos of these rashes). I would also put infection-hunting on the back-burner for and visit a Rheumatologist asap to discuss these rashes (ideally one who specializes in AE). Petechiae rashes can be idiopathic, infection-caused, autoimmunal or even medication-caused. Regardless of root cause, you could ultimately be dealing with a form of CNS Vasculitis. A Rheumatologist should order an MRI with contrast and, ideally, with ASL to check blood perfusion -- especially perfusion to the basal ganglia (the constriction of which can cause PANS-like symptoms), and the neuro radiologist should have specific note to look for (and rule out) blood vessel inflammation in the brain. Most MRIs and neuro radiologists will miss this unless they are looking for it because MRIS look for more structural differences vs. blood vessel nuances. If you find Vasculitis in the brain, the treatment path ahead is crystal clear.

 

Good luck.

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Thanks very much for the links, msimon3. I'm aware of PubMed (I'm a recent science graduate, anyway, you can't help falling over it), but like I say, I'm just so tired... it's not that I don't know how to hunt for odds and ends of information, I just can't remember any of them or synthesise them into any kind of picture, they just dance around my head. I can't concentrate on all this stuff on a screen for any length of time, I never could anyway. I'm just so tired. I'm going to print out the Jemsek one, and the Latitudes "Your Child has Changed: Could it be PANDAS?" one which I've just downloaded, and read them that way. Thank you all so much for trying to help me.

 

I can't include tiredness in the list of symptoms, I'm afraid; what I said was that I'm tired out by all the violent compulsions I have to constantly do - so I can't tell whether or not I'd have been tired otherwise! So I'm down to occasional appetite loss and this insignificantly tiny rash. Oh, and I do overheat ridiculously easily with the least exercise; again, that may be because I'm doing compulsions all the time, or it may be my brain making a fuss about nothing (which it undoubtedly does), but I'm not sure that entirely accounts for it all. If nothing else, even if the physical symptoms don't prove anything in themselves, keeping note of when they appear or disappear would be useful as a clue to whether things are getting better or worse internally, I suppose.

 

Albymom, interesting but surely I'd first need to have some kind of symptom or evidence of an infection to get referred to a rheumatologist? The rashes are less than half an inch across, cause no problem in themselves, and only appear from time to time; unless petechial rashes are considered much more alarming than I knew, I very much doubt if I'd get a referral to a specialist just for that!

 

As for MRIs, useful to know that they're relevant in such a case, thanks, but I happen to know there's a 6-month waiting list for that on the NHS, or was a few years ago; it'll be worse now, all waiting lists have got much worse since the right-wing government got in. We've once gone private (my dad, he was in agony with what turned out to be a slipped disc and the doctor wanted an MRI straight away in case they damaged things further by doing the wrong thing), but that cost several hundred pounds, so again, at the extreme limit of what we can afford.

 

(I should say that the whole of the UK isn't like this for medical treatment! The trouble is I live in Rochdale which is almost the Detroit of the UK. Our NHS district never, ever has any spare money.)

 

Sorry, I'm making unnecessary protests there - it just never ceases to amaze me how airily you lot say things like "Go to a rheumatologist straight away", as if that was easy! Is it so easy, where you live?

Edited by Wombat140

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I'm so sorry, Wombat140. I didn't mean to cause a problem. I am guilty of not thinking globally about access. I understand what it is to feel tired, and usually in my case it's both tired and overwhelmed with trying to find the right treatment path for our daughter. Petechiae can be evidence of Vasculitis, which has many forms ranging from minor or serious. Our experience is probably rare, but in any case now you've got this info in your back pocket in case it becomes useful. I wish you all the best.

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That's fine. You weren't causing a problem, you were just standing in the way of a problem that is yelling wildly all over the place :D Overwhelmed is the word, I know exactly how you feel, hope you're getting on OK yourself and not currently needing to boggle yourself with too much research stuff! Horrid, isn't it?

 

I suppose the situation with our doctor is more embarrassing than it needs to be, because she thinks I should do SSRIs and CBT (the standard treatments for OCD, at least in this country), so I feel awkward about trying to get her to help with anything else when I haven't tried those yet.

Her position is that she hates to see me wasting my time and energy on all this stuff when SSRIs and CBT are much more likely to help. My position is that I'm terrified to the ends of my toes of SSRIs because I have bad reactions to everything I take and SSRIs have a particular reputation for often making things worse instead of better if you're unlucky, and for a particularly long time (sometimes permanently), and especially for PANDAS cases. I've heard from some people on here that if you start very small and stop immediately if things seem worse (rather than persisting for weeks as you're supposed to) it does go away again quickly, but then it often takes days with my OCD to be sure whether it's worse or not as it's variable anyway. Some days I think I could bring myself to take the risk, others I can't. And I can't see that CBT will get anywhere right now, because in the current state of my symptoms trying to go against my OCD in any way or to discuss it will just result in screaming ab-dabs and beating myself over the head, I know that, and I can't bear the thought of putting my parents through that just to prove a point. (Besides, my doctor seems to have been trying to find an OCD specialist in the area and she can't get hold of one anyway.)

 

That doesn't require an answer, I'm just thinking aloud really, trying to work out what the situation actually is.

Edited by Wombat140

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I found the best doctor for troubleshooting these type of issues "shooting from the hip" is the dermatologist. 9 doctors couldn't figure what was happening with my sons rash and diagnosed everything all wrong. His dermatologist did a skin test and found he was having an allergic reaction to his medication.

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