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Nurse Susan
Nurse Susan, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1085
Experience:  RN, BSN, MSN-ED, Nurse Educator whose passion is helping people understand their health and wellness
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I need to know what is wrong with me...or if it is anything...right

Resolved Question:

I need to know what is wrong with me...or if it is anything...right before my period, I get small blisters on my back or on my ear. They itch. They tend very small inches that spread to an area of about 1 1/2 inches. This month, I was actually able to see them because they were on my side. I've had blood tests to determine if I have some disease, but my tests come clear. They last for about three days. If I get them on my ear, they hurt until my period begins. The only time I see them is about a week before my period.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Nurse Susan replied 4 years ago.

Hello Customer,

 

Id like to try to help you, but need allot more information; specifically, I would love to see the picture you took of these lesions. You can attach it by pressing the "tree" icon in the toolbar, above. Also, when you mentioned you were tested for "diseases", which ones specifically where you tested for?

 

Thanks for clarifying,

Sincerely,

Susan

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I requested that I be tested for AIDS and Herpes. That was about five years ago. I was never able to show the doctor the lesions because they were gone.
I do not see the "tree" icon in the toolbar above.
I am using a mac, so I don't know if that makes a difference.
Expert:  Nurse Susan replied 4 years ago.

Hello Customer,

 

I have some more questions for you. Do you remember what the herpes test showed; did it show any antibodies to herpes, and if so, do you recall what type and the levels and reference range of that laboratory?

 

How long have you been getting these blisters, before your period? Ever since you first started menstruating or did they come a few years afterwards? Since you cant upload the picture, can you please describe these blisters in as much detail as you can? Do they hurt or just itch? What color are they? Are they a different color then the flesh beneath them?Are they filled with fluid? They go to different locations each month? Same size each month (about an inch is affected)?

 

Have you had the chicken pox already?

 

Thanks for clarifying,

Sincerely,

Susan

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I do not remember the results other than it was negative. I started getting these blisters when I was pregnant with my son. That was 22 years ago. I now get a period about once or twice a year, so they only come them, but sometimes. This time, they came on my side, so I was able to see what they look like.

They itch. They do not hurt. They area is red. I can count 20 little blisters. They are small. I popped some of them to see what was in them. It was not pus, but clear like water. I guess if I scratch them, they leave a scar. On my back, I can see the dark marks where they used to be.

Each time they come, they go to a different area. And they are roughly about the same size. When they come on my ear, it is always the same spot. When on the ear, I actually have a tenderness in my head. If I touch the top of my head, I feel it in my ear. They eventually get a scab on them,

I believe I had chicken pox when I was a young girl.

When I looked on line at Shingles, they sort of look like that, but they are not every where...they are just in one spot.

Is there another way I can send the photograph?

Thank you,
Expert:  Nurse Susan replied 4 years ago.

Hello Customer,

 

I hope I can help you with this. Online of course, no one can say with any certainty what anything is, all we can do is offer our best guesses based on what is written.

 

Its interesting that you say this rash started with your pregnancy, as there are specific rashes that occur in pregnancy, and most of the time, they go away shortly after the baby is born. Such rashes include pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPP), pemphigoid gestationis (which was once called herpes gestationis but as it had nothing do to with the herpes virus the name was changed), impetigo herpetiformis, papular dermatitis of pregnancy, and prurigo gestationis.

 

Reading about these, it may be possible to eliminate some based on the characteristics of the rash. Of course, I cant state its NOT these, but it may be less likely. For instance, impetigo herpetiformis is typically accompanied by a fever and feelings of illness and malaise, and PUPP resolves after pregnancy and does not usually recur. And, PUPP is known for appearing in stretch marks/ striae. Papular dermatitis of pregnancy is an itchy rash that looks almost like insect bites, and some of the areas may even be crusted over.

 

It may be possible that your rash might be pemphigoid gestationis. It is associated with fluid filled blisters, and may recur from, time to time after the baby is delivered. It is thought to be related to an auto-immune process; thats when the body's white cells attack the body mistakenly, believing it to be a pathogen. However, the blisters of this condition tend to be rather large affecting wide areas; your description is small blisters, and affecting about an inch in area. Treatment is more symptomatic here; aimed at relieving the discomfort. Mild cases can be treated with hydrocortisone creams and antihistamines. Here is more information on this condition: There are three pictures of this in this article; of severe cases; the second one of the rash behind the ear may relate to you. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1063499-overview

 

I asked about chicken pox as shingles was a brief thought of mine, but shingles tends to appear in dermatones, along the path that nerves follow, and your presentation doesn't quite match. Shingles can also take weeks to resolve, and can be associated with intense pain as well as itching.

 

If you've not consulted a dermatologist, it may be wise to so; even if you don't have the rash at the time of the visit, you can tell him the story behind it, and show him pictures of the rash. A dermatologist may be more familiar with rashes of pregnancy than a general practitioner.

 

I hope I was able to help, and thank you for this interesting question. I hope you can get a diagnosis soon; it certainly is annoying to have recurrent rashes.

 

Here is more information regarding pregnancy rashes in general: http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/womenshealth/facts/skinrash_pregnancy.htm

 

Sincerely,

Susan



Edited by Nurse Susan on 9/26/2010 at 7:26 PM EST
Nurse Susan, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1085
Experience: RN, BSN, MSN-ED, Nurse Educator whose passion is helping people understand their health and wellness
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