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I am scared...possible Primary HIV infection rash or allergic contact r...
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I am scared...possible Primary HIV infection rash or allergic contact rash?

Dear Doc,

I have tested HIV negative 4 months after my last exposure, and Dr. HHH and everyone else says it is conclusive. But I can't stop thinking about the rash I got right during the time frame for ars symptoms. I have had acne since I was 13, now I am 22. I use a lot of various things on my face, and I am not sure if it weakened my epidermis which is why I got this rash.

Anyways, I am not sure who touched my face or what I put on it, but let me tell you about the rash. It started as very very small blisters on my left cheek, and when I shaved my face, it popped the blisters. Afterwards, I put Hydrocortisone on my face, and it made it worse. My left cheek began to swell, and it felt hot. A few days later, the rash appeared on my right cheek, but there were no blisters, it just appeared as a single red irritated spot. A few days later, the rash showed up on my forehead, and it became really red, especially the side of my forehead, where the skin is very thin, it seemed there was a bit of swelling. In the meanwhile, the rash moved down from my face to the neck, with a rash all around my neck starting from under my ears. Also, my earlobes and eyelids also had the rash, and it was a bit itchy. The rash resolved in about 2 weeks, but the skin on my left cheek became darkened, and thick, and it took a lot of scrubbing with exfoliants to remove the thick skin.

Does this sound like the rash associated with acute HIV infection, or allergic contact dermatitis? Please doc, help me.
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This sounds like atopic dermatitis, or eczema, which acts exactly as you describe.  it sounds nothing like HIV-related rashes.  So you should do two things: 1)see a skin doctor who will tell you for sure what you have and treat it; and 2) forget about HIV and figure out why you're so worried about it even after you've proved that you don't have it.  If you need to change your sexual practices or obtain counseling, you ought to look into these.

Take care.

Dr. Rockoff
Also Doc, I am wondering why it only affected me where my skin seemed to be the thinnest, such as the eyelids, earlobes, side of forehead, and my left cheek, which has been very dry and irritated from all the acne medication i put on. Also, this rash happened when the weather was changing into winder mode, because I live in Switzerland.
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