Nummular Dermatitis - A Painful Allergy Rash

Posted On: 2010-06-24

When my son was born April 14, 2009, I immediately began breastfeeding and stuck with it until just after his first birthday. While there were benefits of breastfeeding there were also complications such as mastitis infection of the breast from bacteria or lack of emptying the breast of milk.

In August 2009, the first night of having this infection I experienced a fever like I had never had before. At some time during the night the fever caused profuse sweating and to my dismay the next morning I woke up with a rash on my upper thigh/buttocks. Rashes are not new to me at all, I grew up having different types of eczema, psoriasis, and other skin issues surrounding its acidity. However, this rash was different and needed to be looked at by a professional.

The rash is red, small, and circular with scales around the outside. It itches like crazy and even after scratching it, it still feels good to scratch it more. It leaks a liquid when it gets dried out and gets really itchy just before it tries to heal.

After having the rash for several months with no luck of it going away, in fact it was spreading, I went to my doctor. I tried several different potential remedies including Lamasil, an over the counter cortisone cream, and a special expensive prescription cream specifically for psoriasis. None of them worked and just seemed to make the rash red and worse. By mid December my doctor referred me to a dermatologist that wouldn’t be able to see me until February 1, 2010!

At Christmas time I was standing in line at the mall to get my son’s first Santa picture and the rash was at its worst… it was leaking a fluid and sticking to my pants, then when I moved it would rip off skin and make it leak more. It was extremely painful to sit, stand, or do anything for that matter.

Finally, February 1st came and I saw the dermatologist who used a tool to scrape some of the scaly skin from the rash. After the biopsy she returned to give the diagnosis: Nummular Dermatitis aka Nummular Eczema.

Google Health’s definition of Nummular Dermatitis is: “an allergy-related disorder in which itchy, coin-shaped spots or patches appear on the skin. [It] is a long-term (chronic) condition. Medical treatment and avoiding irritants can help reduce symptoms.” Other sites state that this is most commonly found in older men over the age of 55. All the symptoms listed are exactly what I have. I was prescribed a strong steroid liquid called clobetasol that I mixed with a tub of Cera-Ve lotion and was to apply it twice a day.

Since I became pregnant again I figured the steroid cream was not usable and have been applying the non-medicated tub of Cera-Ve instead which isn’t helping at all. Yesterday when the weather finally cooperated with the season, my rash began getting very uncomfortable and leaking non-stop.

I really hope I do not have to deal with this rash throughout the summer and this pregnancy. I have no idea what may have caused the allergy, as I am already using non-scented/hypoallergenic everything. It is still a mystery but I have a follow up appointment with the dermatologist for a month from now and I see my midwife tomorrow, she may have a natural remedy that I can try. Here's to hoping I can sit comfortably until a new solution can be implemented.

I am sharing this for two reasons. The first is that you might be suffering from the same thing and/or it could happen to you and it's better to have a heads up. The second reason is because it is another reason why this blog is late, it has been too painful to sit at my desk :-(

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