I'm a healthy 21 yr female. Two weeks ago, I went to the beach and developed something that I thought was a sunburn. However this "sunburn" was just on my knuckles and on both hands. At first it didn't hurt, but then it started itching really bad, swelled up, turned bright red, and all the lines in my hands became deep and defined (like an old woman's hands). Whenever I exercised or got in the sun, the rash would blister up in huge water blisters. About four hours after I exercised or got out of the sun, the blisters would go away. Then they would come back again if I did those activities. Now the rash has turned dark red like a bruise and is peeling (but it seems to be peeling off too much skin because its leaving big raw areas). The joints in my hands also feel soar and stiff, like I have trouble opening water bottles. I went to my family doctor and she thinks it is a sign of an autoimmune disease. She took my bloodwork and it came back normal. However, she still wants me to see a rheumatologist. Does this sound like an autoimmune disease? Is it serious? The rheumatologist can't see me for 2 months and I'm worried. I just graduated college and was planning on moving across the country and taking a job that didn't have that great of insurance. However, if its serious, then I would need to go back to college just to keep my parent's insurance. I don't know what to do. I'm scared it is dermatomyositis.
From the symptoms it looks like a severe sunburn. Chances of an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis are less. Another possibility to be ruled out is a peripheral vascular disease or Raynaud’s disease. Raynaud’s disease is a vascular disorder that affects blood flow to the extremities which include the fingers, toes, nose and ears when exposed to temperature changes or stress. This causes blueness and swelling of the skin.
I feel that a consultation of a physician will be the best. Other causes like peripheral vascular disease also have to be ruled out. It is very difficult to precisely confirm a diagnosis without examination and investigations and the answer is based on the medical information provided. For exact diagnosis, you are requested to consult your doctor. I sincerely hope that helps. Take care and please do keep me posted on how you are doing.
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