I am the caregiver for my 80 year-old husband who is transfusion dependent and has late-stage myelodysplastic syndrome. He receives 3 units of blood every 2 weeks. Last week his hemoglobin was 4.5 before the transfusion. Yeah, I know that a really horrible number, but he compensates! He has had a bilateral deep reddish-purple skin discoloration (I hesitate to call it a rash) in his inguinal area extending to below the scrotum, for the past 4 months. It is very itchy and Hospice has given me some powder to put on it to relieve the itching. What do you suppose is causing this - it has clearly defined margins? Is it common and is it caused by the breakdown of something in the blood? His hematocrit can get to 14 or 15 before a transfusion.
The deep reddish-purple skin discoloration with associated itchiness could be a fungal infection. The areas (inguinal, scrotum) you mentioned are particularly susceptible to a fungal skin infection since those areas can be moist especially with warm weather. Also, patients with myelodysplastic syndrome are immunocompromised. They are susceptible to opportunistic infections like a fungal infection.
You can bring him to a dermatologist for further evaluation and management.
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