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I had a staph infection back in August 2015 and because it…

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Hi! I had a...

Hi! I had a staph infection back in August 2015 and because it wasn't treated properly, I have now developed lichen simplex chronicus - the itch scratch thing. I can't get any relief despite seeing 6 dermatologists. It's taking over my entire life.

Doctor's Assistant: What are all the symptoms you're experiencing (e.g. loss of appetite, fever, rash)?

I have this condition on my forearms and the bottoms of my legs. I struggled with eczema as a kid but not very much in my adult life and I'm 46.

Doctor's Assistant: What seems to make the symptoms worse or better? Have you noticed any swelling?

Yes there is swelling. Nothing seems to help. There has been some swelling from where I've scratched.

Doctor's Assistant: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?

I have HSV-1 but rarely get a cold sore on my lip.

Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: Medical
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
10/3/2017
Doctor: Dr. Bob, Medical Doctor replied 10 months ago
Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Medical Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 5,787
Experience: 20 Years in Internal Medicine, Neurology and Sports Medicine
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Hello. As you are probably already aware, not scratching and rubbing the affected areas is key to healing. Cutting fingernails very short and applying ice or an anti-itch preparation several times every day can be helpful in preventing scratching. In some situations, there is an allergic component to LSC and performing patch testing to look for allergens and then avoiding those substances can help.

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Doctor: Dr. Bob, Medical Doctor replied 10 months ago

Like most types of eczema, lichen simplex chronicus (neurodermatitis) benefits from moisturizers to calm and protect the damaged skin. Heavy moisturizers may also help protect the area from rubbing and scratching. The important factor here, however, is to soak the skin in water until it puckers, prior to applying the moisturizer. The "moisturizer" doesn't really moisturize but it does lock in moisture that is already there.

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Doctor: Dr. Bob, Medical Doctor replied 10 months ago

Similarly, covering the skin (also known as occlusion) with socks, gloves, and even gauze wraps may also help the skin heal by disrupting the itch-scratch cycle and allowing the moisturize to deeply penetrate and stay in the skin. Unna boots (gauze impregnated with zinc oxide paste) are particularly helpful for lichen simplex chronicus (neurodermatitis) of the feet and lower legs.

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