No, it’s not contact dermatitis

standard January 7, 2010 3 responses

Some three months or more ago I had an itchy scratchy patch on my belly. I did nothing about it. Then it grew. And I still did nothing about it. Then there was a second patch. And a third. So I went to see a dermatologist.

I know, you’re going to be shocked, but she told me I had contact dermatitis*.

I took the cortisone cream she prescribed and went my merry way.

A month later I was back in her office. The rash was now all over my stomach and back. 

We graduated from “contact dermatitis” to “Huh. I don’t really know what that is, let’s try this steroid lotion.”

Cost of steroid lotion: $375.
Coupon helpfully handed out by dermatologist: $50.
Cream bought by me: none. 

A month later I was back in her office. The rash was now all over. Back, stomach, legs, arms. The works.

A tube of steroid lotion to the person who guesses what the dermatologist said…

That’s right! Good job. Sorry, I never bought the lotion, can’t have any. 

She said: “Wow. That is interesting. But I still have no idea what it is. Let’s try this other cream.”

I didn’t go back to see her again. That was over a month ago and, surprise surprise, my rash is still as bad.

So tomorrow I’m trying something new. I’m going to see an Internist. I’m not holding my breath, I doubt I’ll come home miraculously cured, but at least this one might resist rolling her eyes when I mention that I might need a blood test or something. I mean, a girl can hope, right? Because if things progress at this rate I’m going to be a shoo in for a role as a lizard in the next season of V.

*Dermatologist speak for “you have a rash.”

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3 responses

  • poison oak?
    I have a great dermatologist in marin if you feel like driving an exceptionally long distance for another expensive cream…

  • I don’t know if you recall, but this fall I missed for days of school and had two visits to the ER due to a rash on my arms. My husband now thinks it’s a chemical burn.

    Two ER docs and my own “regular” doc were consulted during this painful week and then some. I did not see a dermatologist…steroids (pills), benadryl, and other medicines did the trick. Also, I used Aveeno lotion which dried it up big time (peeled worse than after a sunburn–left my DNA everywhere…) and helped with the itching. (Staying cool helped too…)

    This doctor may help you. I have great hope!

  • I don’t know your position on herbs (I am new to your site) but Quercetin is really good for stuff like this because it is a natural anti-histamine and a natural anti-inflammatory. I get mine at

    Also, if you don’t know this, heat will raise your histamine levels and create a more severe breakout. So, cool showers, no sun-tanning beds, etc will usually help reduce the inflammation.

    I hope you get better soon.

    My sister is struggling with hives that come and go like the wind. Recently, when she had an episode where the hives spread into her eyes. That is why I know the above information because I have been trying to find a solution for her.

    I really like your blog. I have been enjoying it very much.

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