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Rash
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Rash

Hi there. I was just diagnosed with hep c about a month ago. Thank god my husband and kids are negative. I'm thinking that I contracted it about 12 to 15 years ago, when I was a IV drug user (been clen for about 11 years). Anyway I don't know what stage I am, go to see the specialist on 9/01. But I have this rash...little red bumps that were on my right arm. Went to my doc and he gave me a cream. But now I have what looks like small bug bits on my chest and left are and everytime I itch them it's like the blood vessels around them break. It's gross. Has anyone had this???? HELP!
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87972_tn?1322664839
So sorry to hear of your diagnosis. If you haven’t begun treatment for HCV yet, this might be something called ‘PCT’ or ‘Porphyria Cutanea Tarda. It typically manifests as blisters on the upper body, particularly in those areas that are in contact with the sun. it is also strongly associated with Hep C.

It involves iron management by the liver, and may require phlebotomy, or bloodletting, to help resolve it. Look for small blisters on sun-exposed areas; they may leave small scars as they heal over. Does the skin tear at the lesions?

The following is from wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porphyria_cutanea_tarda



“…Typically, patients who are ultimately diagnosed with PCT first seek treatment following the development photosensitivities in the form of blisters and erosions on commonly exposed areas of the skin. This is usually observed in the face, hands, forearms, and lower legs. It heals slowly and with scarring. Though blisters are the most common skin manifestations of PCT, other skin manifestations like hyperpigmentation (as if they are getting a tan) and hypertrichosis (mainly on top of the cheeks) also occur. PCT is a chronic condition, with external symptoms often subsiding and recurring as a result of a number of factors. In addition to the symptomatic manifestation of the disease in the skin, chronic liver problems are extremely common in patients with the sporadic form of PCT. These include hepatic fibrosis (scarring of the liver), cirrhosis, and inflammation. However, liver problems are less common in patients with the inherited form of the disease…”

And

“…Since PCT is a chronic condition, a comprehensive management of the disease is the most effective means of treatment. Primarily, it is key that patients diagnosed with PCT avoid alcohol consumption, iron supplements, excess exposure to sunlight (especially in the summer), as well as estrogen and chlorinated cyclic hydrocarbons, all of which can potentially exacerbate the disorder. Additionally, the management of excess iron (due to the commonality of hemochromatosis in PCT patients) can be achieved through phlebotomy, whereby blood is systematically drained from the patient. Finally, due to the strong association between PCT and Hepatitis C, the treatment of Hepatitis C (if present) is vital to the effective treatment of PCT. Chloroquine and venesection can be part of a management strategy..”


Check with your doctor, and see if he feels testing for porphyrions is indicated. In the meantime, it’s probably prudent to avoid sunlight… to the point that it might be good to wear hat, gloves, etc, until this is straightened out.

All the best to you—

Bill
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87972_tn?1322664839
Just a few pictures of PCT involvement…

http://tinyurl.com/madpnm

Bill
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475300_tn?1312426726
Bill, your information was very good but.......I had / have PCT and it started with blisters filled with clear fluid.  me979 describes red bumps.  I used to pop the blisters before I knew what I was dealing with and there was never any signs of redness and the blisters were filled back up within hours.  There are a few pics on my home page.  Also the skin tears easily, usually starting on the hands, little scabs that one has no idea where they came from.

Denise
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Thank you all for the very informative info. And it sounds like your right on the money. It's almost like they come out of no where and then itch them they pop and the blood vessels around them break. I had a stron feeling that it was due to the Hep....but wasn't sure. I'm going to see a specialist 9/01...so hopefully he will be able to "diagnose" it.

Thanks again....
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87972_tn?1322664839
Me979,
I wish you good luck with your appointment, and hope you can resolve this one day soon. Do let us know how things work out—

Bill

Denise,
I reacted to her description of the rash being on areas that were sun-prone such as her arms and chest; perhaps I didn’t read her description thoroughly. As always, it’s nearly impossible to guess what conditions a person has over the internet but maybe this gives her something to bounce off her primary care doc. The PCP is often unaware of associations with HCV/Porphyria; this might help? I dunno :o). Be well—

Bill
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475300_tn?1312426726
No problem, You are right about PCP's. mine told me it was an allergic reaction to dryer sheets NOT.  A lot of dermatologists don't have a clue either, thank goodness mine specializes in infectious diseases which I didn't know at the time.

I'm pretty sure Trin said that if it itches it most likely isn't PCT.

You always have great onfo which I enjoy reading "-)))
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