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GlutenFreeAustinite

Weirdest Skin Thing Happened Today

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So today, I noticed what felt like sharp muscle pain in my left armpit. I have a history of shoulder problems, so I did some exercises, tried to loosen the muscle, etc. No luck. Midway through the day, I check to see if there's anything there, and sure enough, there are three, red, painful bumps in a nearly straight vertical line. They are extremely painful and seem to cause the muscle beneath to swell. Ibuprofen helps a ton. It almost looks like one or two more are forming but I can't really tell.

I called the doctor and have an appointment tomorrow morning. The nurse thought that it sounded like shingles, but I have no fever, no other signs of bumps, and none of the rash-type stuff. Does anyone know if this could be gluten? I've been eating gluten for roughly 2 months in order to get tested.

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Hmmm....it might be shingles, or it might be Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH). Both are "herpeslike" in their presentation in that the tissue around and underneath the lesions is also affected. If it's shingles, you'll know soon enough, and if it's DH, good luck finding a doctor who is able to biopsy it correctly. I think, in this case, only time will tell...

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I admittedly thought of DH, but I thought that mainly itched, and if it was painful, it was secondary to the itch. This just hurts like hell.

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Though a hallmark of dh IS intense itching you have to realize dh takes many forms & presentations AND it is also known to be in some cases very painful, can be a strong burning sensation in addition to or apart from the itching. This may be a pre form of dh. OR it could be shingles. As rosetapper said, if it's herpes, you'll know soon enough.

And finally, with celiac disease comes a whole host of skin problems which can present.

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Just got home from the doctor. He doesn't think it's shingles, but instead diagnosed me with folliculitis, essentially a bacterial infection of the skin follicles. :( He deliberated for a while on DH, but didn't think it was given its appearance (looks like a mosquito bite, honestly) but really was unsure. Luckily, I see my dermatologist in a week and maybe she'll have answers. He put me on another antibiotic, because the one I was taking should have prevented it, but obviously didn't. This sucks.

EDIT: I should also mention that there are now five of the bumps, not three. :(

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Hmmmm.... we with dh get what we call "bites" which are like insect bites in looks & they are much milder than the blisters in duration ect.... It's interesting that the antibody didn't prevent it. Hmmmmm..... dh anyone?

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Hmmmm.... we with dh get what we call "bites" which are like insect bites in looks & they are much milder than the blisters in duration ect.... It's interesting that the antibody didn't prevent it. Hmmmmm..... dh anyone?

Hmm, interesting. Is DH usually symmetrical in nature or can it be just in one place on one side? And the antibiotic didn't prevent me from getting impetigo last week, so I'm not really sure.

They still hurt, though the skin around them itches. Still wicked painful to touch.

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DH can be symmetrical OR it can present as singles or multiples on one side. I think a lot of it depends on the "stage" an individual is at in their "dh-ness". Way back in the very beginning when I had no clue my dh would present as a single blister on one hand or one leg --- like that. It might be followed in a couple/3 days by one on the other leg or hand OR it might not. That was years ago. Then when I had the big mother of all breakouts it was ALL symmetrical. Now that I'm gluten-free 6.5 months they show up either symmetrically or not, either blisters or bites or both. There is so much that is not known or documented yet about dh. There are so many ways it presents that is not shown in photos.

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I don't know what they are. I'm hoping my dermatologist has more answers. They do feel itchy, and are sort of looking more like tiny ant bites (red tip).

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I know. It's hard to know. For a couple/3 yrs. I would get bumps in my armpits that were like ant bites & they were painful --- I think the location is a big factor in the pain there. I thought they were maybe bites b/c we had a lot of mosquitoes where we lived & they did itch a lot but the predominant factor was pain in that location. Then somewhere along the line I realized they weren't bites but still didn't know what they were. I just attributed them to some kind of passing irritant --- maybe razor rash in a small way. I knew no doc was going to take it seriously! NOW I know what they were & I still get them but thankfully not horribly in my pits. We have 1 member who got dh in THE worst way in her pits. She SUFFERED big time!

See what the derm says & hope the derm is really, really good!

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Austinite, how long did the doc say you were to eat gluten & how much per day?

Here's a thought....you just might have luck getting the derm to biopsy for dh.

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Ugh, the neverending battles. I'm starting to think it is DH, though of course I'm not sure.

The doctor said at first one month, but I stayed on it two, and he agreed it was ultimately best. I think he said 1-2 slices of bread a day, but I've probably eaten more than that per day.

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Dh hurts like hell, burns, stings, can be linear, symmetrical, or mosquito bite like in appearance. Can be itchy or not.

I was diagnosed with impetigo many times....guess what? It wasn't.

It just doesn't make sense. Impetigo is easily treated by antibiotics.

I bet you have DH.

It doesn't have to itch. It can just hurt like the devil. It can flare and subside...you can have large swollen bumps to pinpoint blisters and they can be red or flesh-colored. They can be hive-like in appearance.

I think you have the beginnings of DH.

Read the pinned article at the top of the DH section and you get some idea of the appearances.

Does it hurt worse at night?

Since you are eating gluten....butter a slice of bread and put iodized salt on it and eat it.

You should know loudly within 3 hours or so.

Try to get the dermatologist to biopsy you since you are eating gluten.

Oh wow. I'm hoping it's not, but I'm betting it is DH.

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Could you take a photo of it & post it for us?

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@EatMeat4Good...thanks, I'll try the iodized salt/bread thing. I'd actually rather it be DH than what I've been diagnosed with, as it would mean I already know the cure...gluten-free life. :P But still, not pleasant. The impetigo actually cleared up but now I have what's tentatively being called folliculitis in my armpit.

@squirming itch: P1010069

I've never used flickr before, so if it doesn't work, let me know.

Also:

EDIT: sorry my armpit is so gross! I can't shave right now.

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It's really hard to determine what you have from the photos. If it's folliculitis, it doesn't seem red enough to me. Usually that's caused by staph--what antibiotic was prescribed? Only certain antibiotics work against staph (usually Keflex or Erethromycin). Also, unless you pressed your armpit against something that contaminated it, folliculitis usually occurs when the immune system has been compromised, since staph is usually present to some degree on our bodies at all times. If it clears up with the antibiotic, though, then that's probably what you have.

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It's awfully hard to get those babies to show up on pixels like they look in real life isn't it? But knowing that & knowing how mine look I would say there's a darn good chance it's dh. Now, if the derm does a biopsy --- OUCH! And ouch for a while too b/c that's a bad place to have a biopsy done but perhaps it will save you a lot of pain in the long run.

On the subject of impetigo ---- when I was a kid all the moms used gentian violet for it & it works real well. Only thing is, it will stain anything it gets on but then with today's stain removers...... also straight rubbing alcohol might remove it

http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/de-la-cruz-gentian-violet-first-aid-antiseptic-liquid/ID=prod1550372-product

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR600723

http://www.(Company Name Removed - They Spammed This Forum and are Banned)/Humco-Gentian-Violet-1-liquid/dp/B000QTG3ME

I might add that if you have dh then Tylenol can make it flare like rip b/c of the salicylate content. just something for you to remember down the line.

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@rosetapper: I know, and I'm sorry. I didn't have a ton of time, and I was challenged to get them to show up as, you're right, they aren't very red. His thought process was that they were so recently developed, they hadn't had a chance to really swell up and turn red. I was prescribed clindamyacin, but I'm also on doxycycline. Not sure on the first one, but I know doxycycline is used to treat staph. My immune system has been funky for a number of years...I got staph two years ago after a week-long backpacking trip. Hygiene wasn't so great all around, but I was the only one to get an infection. I felt, honestly, that my doctor was making an educated guess. He did say folliculitis can be caused by clogged pores, and that is somewhat likely. But I don't know.

@squirmingitch: YES it is terribly difficult. And I'd dread that biopsy too...had one on my leg and it hurt really bad, I can't imagine on my arm. :( I did actually get the impetigo to clear up with the doxycycline so seemingly no worries there. If it clears up, yay, if not I'm pretty sure I know what it is.

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I'm almost finished with the third day of 1200 milligrams of clindamycin, and absolutely no change. I know it could turn at any point, but I feel like I should be having some sort of relief. The burning is just as bad, and the bumps are still there.

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