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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, General pratice
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 31228
Experience:  Years of outpatient experience treating dermatological problems
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My husband gets a rash at the end of the summer into Fall

Customer Question

My husband gets a rash at the end of the summer into Fall that doesn't go away until Winter. It starts on his ankle/foot. His ankle swells, the rash oozes, itches and hurts. Then he gets red bumps on his upper torso and most recently between his fingers. Taking allergy medication helps with the itching, but his ankle looks awful. He has seen several doctors and was referred to a dermatologist who did an allergy test on his back and prescribed some steroids. The rash went away, but then came back worse after the steroid had run its course. The allergy test he took only indicated that he had a skin allergy. They never told him what he was allergic to and, in fact, said he'd need more testing. My husband was frustrated and refuses to pay more money to a doctor only to be told they don't know what causes it. I'm frustrated because it looks painful, I know it causes him embarrassment, and quite honestly, it is wearing us both out. Help!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dermatology
Expert:  Dr. SH replied 1 year ago.

Sorry to hear about your husband

Do you have some pictures that you could share with with me on here.

Kind regards

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've attached copies. I should also tell you that we have tried modifying his diet. He tried eating gluten free for about 3 months and it made no difference. He currently also has little red bumps on his torso, arms and beginning to form on his forehead. He's had a biopsy done, which revealed he had an "allergy." Very frustrating.
Expert:  Dr. SH replied 1 year ago.

Can you please attach more clearer pictures of the rash in better lighting so that I am able to give you a better opinion.

Kind regards

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I believe the rash on my husband's ankle area is separate from the new bumpy, itchy blisters he has gotten on his upper body. The weather is cooling off and I purchased liquid fabric softener recently. I think that might be causing the new rash. His ankles though-that is the mystery. We are hoping that with the freezing temps expected this weekend, that he will get a break from this frustration.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 1 year ago.


The other expert opted out of the question

Was a biopsy taken of this?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
A biopsy was done. He was told it was an allergic reaction to something. He was given an antibiotic, a round of steroids and told to have an allergy test run. They did the test on his back and it came back inconclusive. I have Googled and searched and seen pictures I wish I could un-see. We have tried modifying his diet, changing shoes - everything we can think of. It keeps coming back each Summer.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 1 year ago.

OK--did any of his doctors do any specific blood tests related to this?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He did not have any blood tests run specifically for this, just routine blood tests run during his yearly exam.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 1 year ago.

OK Kym

I suspect this is something called cutaneous porphyria

It's a hemoglobin metabolism problem and it's diagnosed with specific blood, urine, and stool tests.

It's treated with periodic blood draws, Plaquenil, and beta-carotene

I suggest he talk to his doctor about the tests

Let me know if you need more information please

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
His ankles never see the sun and the rash on his upper torso starts in the early Fall. There may be a blood issue, but I don't believe the one you suggested is it. This is a fairly recent issue -4 years or so.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 1 year ago.

Even without sun exposure that still could be the problem

And it doesn't have to be a life-long condition--it can take place at any age

The other possibility would be an autoimmune dermatitis and I would also screen him with antinuclear antibody, rheumatoid factor, sed rate, and C reactive protein