Wednesday, October 03, 2007

But it Itches!

Poor kid. If he looked sick, I'd have taken him to the doctor. His only symptom was rash that, over the course of a week, spread from his chest to his back, shoulders, and then started to creep down his legs. Tiny bumps (papules) bright pink initially but fading so that you couldn't see them well at all any more. He knew they were there, though.

And they itched. Not that I wasn't sympathetic, but he only seemed to itch at bedtime. So we tried benadryl -- at least he could sleep. He probably itched the rest of the day, but he was too busy to complain. He's always doing something.

Besides, I figured self-limiting, probably viral. Not much point in going to the doctor for that. But it wasn't my rash and he insisted. So we went.

Funny thing is I was only wrong on one point. The pediatrician called it exanthem (aka exanthum) -- IOW, itchy rash, probably viral in origin. He did do a throat culture to rule out Strep, but he thought that was unlikely. Solution, atarax to help control the itching until it goes away in a few more days.

The culture was negative. He's still bumpy and itchy, but at least he believes someone cares. Maybe not his mother, but at least his pediatrician does.


BillyBob said...

My best friend had a rash like that, and it spread like lightening, and she had 6 doctors at the teaching hospital here in Denver, and none of them diagnosed it correctly. I now believe that rashes don't just "happen", and hers turned out to be dermatitus herpitaformis caused by celiac sprue disease.

Judy said...

There is always some cause for a rash. His spread more slowly than your friends and, as his pediatrician promised, has faded with a few days of not scratching -- courtesy of the itch relief from the atarax prescription. So probably viral, certainly self-limiting, but relief is a legitimate reason to see the doctor.

If the rash persisted, and the pediatrician couldn't figure it out, he'd refer us to our dermatologist.

I'm glad your friend was able to get a diagnosis. Some rashes are tougher than others and I've heard that celiac disease is one of the tougher ones to figure out.