How to cure Spongiotic Dermatitis
? For the last year, I have suffered from a variety of skin conditions and have been to two different Dermatologists a collective total of 5 times. My last and current Dermatologist performed a skin patch test as well as extracted a patch of skin to test / examine under the microscope. Her diagnosis contains several parts. She believes I have Spongiotic Dermatitis and that I am prone to having "Id Reactions" where other parts of my body react / over-react to the initial reaction to an allergen. The skin patch test revealed that I am allergic to colophony and that specifically, I am allergic to methylchloroisothiazolinone (commercial name "Kathon CG"). I've been using the same laundry detergent, shampoo, and body soap that I have been using for years with no prior reaction prior to this past year, so I'm not sure what new substance I may have come in contact with that would trigger my dermatitis outbreaks. I've not contacted the personal care products manufacturer I use most (Melaleuca International / Idaho Falls, ID) to see if they have altered the formulation of their laundry soap / dryer sheets, body soap, or shampoo / conditioner, however their entire company is based on using safe, natural ingredients that are hypoallergenic and not supposed to trigger allergies. I will follow through with them to see if they've started to incorporate Kathon CG in any of their body and wash care products.
While spongiotic dermatitiis may typically affect abdomen and buttocks, the outbreaks I have are most severe along the front of my shins as I wear shorts most every day in this hot, humid, subtropical climate of south Texas where it never snows. And the outbreaks on my shins appear much like insect bites at times, then at others along my abdomin sides and outer thighs like a hazy rash. Then at other times, the symptoms come on suddenly like patches of hives, particularly around my belly, lower back and outer thighs.
And then I have also suffered off and on from tinea cruris in the perianal region -- a problem I cannot seem to get to go away permanently but have achieved some progress lately with over-the-counter powder sprays (Lotrimin).
I bathe regularly and sometimes perhaps too often when the itching becomes so intense, I cannot sleep and the only thing to stop the itching (at least for about 3 hours) is a bath soaking in wather with natural oils as an additive. I've alternated between Melaleuca bath oil to Mineral Oil, Baby Oil, and a combination of natural oils including Neem oil to treat a case of scabies that I suffered from (and finally beat) about 6 months ago. But even bathing with natural oil additives to the water and applying anti-itch lotion with menthol or oatmeal added, my skin will dry out and then the dermatitis itching gets combined with dry skin itching, prompting me to bath no more than once a day to let my skin's natural ph and oil balance return, and then just go without sleep when the itching at night becomes the worst when laying still under the covers. But then lack of sleep leads to other health problems I won't get into here at present.
I've been through the gauntlet of corticosteriod creams beginning with triamcinalone, then ketoconasole, and am currently applying the highest potency corticosteroid clobetasol under my Dermatologist's supervision. She also gave me a 1 week supply of oral Prednisone which provided the most healing relief I've experienced thus far, but of course one should not take Prednisone on a long term maintenance or prophylactic basis due to the complications with this steriod (risk of cancer, I believe). And after the initial healing from the first Prednisone 1 week dosage, the dermatitis and itching returned in the following weeks, much as my Dermatologist predicted.
My health care is through the VA and there are special procedures I must follow to get to see my Dermatologist (a specialist) which usually involve delays of 1 to 3 months (e.g. must see my regular primary care physician first for specialist approval which itself involves a 1 to 3 month wait for an appointment.) So I am looking for some other treatment and hopefully cure for my Spongiatic Dermatitis beyond just continuing to apply Clobetasol and going back and forth intermittently to hopefully get approved for another week's worth of Prednisone.