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Please help diagnose rash.

May 21, 2008 - 11 comments

Facial Rash

6 weeks ago my 12 year old daughter woke up with what looked like a rug burn on her cheek.  The next morning, there was another spot on her other cheek.  Basically, for 6 weeks her face keeps getting new spots. We have seen 2 peditricians and 2 dermatologists. They do not know what it is. She was on Keflex for 10 days, Duricef for 10 days and Cipro for 10 days. We have been using Bactroban ointment continuously until this week when we started using Altabax ointment. Still, no improvement. When one spot is almost gone, she will wake up with a new spot. It has been a never ending cycle. She had a negative strep culture. That is the only test they have done. It does not itch or burn. There are no blisters but she can usually feel clear liquid seeping from her skin the night before she wakes up with a spot. Please, any advice or ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Avatar universal
by Sarah122474, May 21, 2008
I would have them do a blood test to find out what her strep level is.  I recently had strep but no sore throat and the test was neg.  The only reason they found it was blood test showed my strep level at 200.  Normal is below 200.

Did your Doctor check for any of these:Childhood illnesses such as chicken pox, measles, roseola, rubella, hand-foot-mouth disease, fifth disease, and scarlet fever.

I would also suggest checking for Lupus

I found this info on the internet:
Is the person a child or an adult who had a fever and then developed a bright red rash covering the cheeks?
This could be FIFTH DISEASE.
Use cold medicines to treat symptoms

A simple rash is called dermatitis, meaning inflammation of the skin. Contact dermatitis is caused by things your skin touches, such as:

Chemicals in elastic, latex, and rubber products
Cosmetics, soaps, and detergents
Dyes and other chemicals in clothing
Poison ivy, oak, or sumac

Impetigo -- common in children, this infection is from bacteria that live in the top layers of the skin. Appears as red sores that turn into blisters, ooze, then crust over.

I would see another Doctor.

Avatar universal
by jenniferd812, May 22, 2008
Thanks for your input. They did do a blood test for strep and it was fine. They initially said it was a staph infection but then said it was scarlet fever. After the tests confirmed it wasn't scarlet fever, they have just basically said they don't know what they are treating and just keep telling us to put the ointment on it and "wait and see." I have made her an appointment with another ped dermatologist but they can't get her in until July 1!  I have asked them to culture the spots but they say they don't want to do that because they will have to cut the area open and it will scar, so they would rather "wait and see." They don't feel it is any of the typical childhood diseases either. I thought it must be something she is allergic to but have not been able to figure it out yet. I have tried different soap, shampoo, detergent, everything...but it still continues. She doesn't wear make-up or acne meds or anything else on her face. The lupus suggestion is interesting and I will mention that to the doctor and see what she thinks. Thanks again.

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by Debbie999, Jan 27, 2009
My 3 year old daughter has a red rash with white bumps in it all over her body.  Does anyone know what this might be?

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by turkey4, May 16, 2009
Did you ever get  diagnosis.  My 7-year old daught has been having a similiar rash.  Goes away after steriod orally and ointment, then reoccures 6 weeks later.  Her eye swelled bad also.  The rash is red, hot and mildly itchy.  Dr. thought poison oak or sumac.  It does not have bubbles or oozing.

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by jenniferd812, May 17, 2009
NO, still no diagnosis. She had been rash-free for several months until last week. Now it is back and worse than ever. We live in Indiana and although she has had poison ivy in the past the doctor's don't think my daughter's is poison. And, although it looks bright red it is not hot to the touch, nor is it itchy. She does have a clear liquid ooze from her face the night before a new area pops up the following morning. I am sorry to hear your daughter is suffering! Do you have any pictures of your daughter's rash?

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by bp123, Jun 23, 2009
I've read your post about your daughter and almost felt a sense of relief.  I have the EXACT same lesions on my face that she showed in the pictures.  I've had them for two years now, have been to literally 7 different doctors and no diagnosis.  I had one Derm try to convince me it was acne and she put me on Accutane.  The rest of the docs were nice enough to not beat around the bush and said "I really dont know what is causing it".  I have spend thousands on trying every cream, pill there is and NOTHING has come close to working. It has basically ruined my social life and i feel like I can never go out in public because I dont' wear makeup and these sores are not something you can cover up easily anyways.  My next step is to get tested for Lupus. At this point ANY form of a diagnosis would be welcomed just so I could have a name for what this is.  The spots take MONTHS to heal and when they even remotely look like they are closing up another one appears.  They are flat rug burn looking sores that ooze clear liquid and are extremely red.  Has your daughter had any luck getting to the bottom of her syptoms?

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by mborecki, Jul 21, 2010
This may or may not help, but here is a suggestion: maybe it is an allergy to a food.

Why do I think this? My daughter was 3 weeks old when she started not sleeping, but crying all night. Docs said it was colic. After 3 months the "colic" remained. She ended up getting a rash on her arms, especially right around her wrists when she was 9 months old. Docs said she must be allergic to something, but no worries, she will grow out of it by the time she's 3. She didn't. She (and we) didn't sleep for 3 years. We lived in Chicago, Ann Arbor, MI, and Utah, and went to many doctors, ALL of which told me it will be best if I just keep giving her benadryl until she grows out of it (but benadryl never worked). None of the doctors had any clue what was going on, they just kept telling us to use steroids, but it felt wrong to put it on for weeks at a time!

Finally, a family friend who had many years of anguish told me that she believes she is allergic to wheat, b/c it was so similar to her history. I didn't believe it. Couldn't believe it. Wheat? No way. No one in my family had any allergies (or so I thought), but for my friend I said I would try it for two weeks. After 4 days I knew that it  was a miracle. The rash was gone, and we began to learn how to sleep through the night.

When I was pregnant with second child (four years after child one) I did not eat wheat or dairy. I continued this while breastfeeding. When she was 1 and a half months she got a body rash on her entire body down to her knees. The doc said "yes, it's eczema, but there's nothing you can do besides giving her some antihistamines." I told him I think it is a food allergy, something beyond wheat and dairy (since i wasn't eating any). "Unlikely" was his answer, but he said I should try some 'allergion-free' formula (I was breastfeeding!). So I tried for approx. 6 hours. Luckily, about 6 hours before going to the doctors I had looked on-line and began an elimination diet. I began to breastfeed again and ate only a handful of foods, all of which have little to no allergic potential.  Within 5 days the rash was gone and stayed gone while I was on the elimination diet. When I introduced certain foods the baby would get a rash, and I knew I had to wait before introducing that food again.

The rash in the picture above looks like the eczema my daughters had (and I had many cases to become familiar with it), just on a different part of the body. Although my daughters had it mostly on the neck down, my niece has this also, but hers is often on the neck and on the face, so I know it can show up in various places. My first daughter had it almost exclusively on her arms, my second daughter had it in various places over her body. Sometimes it was itchy, but sometimes not at all. Also, I've realized that American doctors are not trained to cure an ailment without the use of drugs or surgery, so this type of allergy is non-existent b/c there isn't a medication to prescribe.  I wish someone warned me of that the first three years of fighting with this, and thinking that I need to settle down, that the drama of it was in my head, and that it's not that bad. YES IT WAS THAT BAD, but medicine was not the answer, eliminating an allergic food was.

Anyway, look up the elimination diet, try it, and see if that helps. If that's not your thing, then remember that the biggest culprits are wheat, dairy, nuts and strawberries (they seem so harmless!). Forgo one, or better yet, all of them for at least a week and see if the rash disappears (or reappears if it happens to be gone). If it disappears while your not eating these, then it's probably one of the eliminated foods, but if it doesn't... then keep experimenting until you know what triggers it.

Hope this helps.

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by ajc27781, Nov 03, 2013
Did you ever find out what was the cause of the rash on your daughters face. Our daughter has the exact same rash on her face and the doctors are baffled? Red sore lesions that weep and once one lot clears another re-appear. So far all blood tests and biopsy are clear.

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by mikewachal, Feb 29, 2016
We have the same problem with our girl.  She is 11 years old.  Did you find out what it is and is there a cure.  We are desperate.  Please respond if you see this.

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by Midtown_gal66, May 23, 2016
I'm suggesting this because my father had a very bad rash on both of his arms that took MONTHS and MONTHS to diagnose. What it turned out to be is an allergic reaction to sunlight!!!! We only figured it out after MONTHS and careful monitoring on when it would appear and then disappear and now he has special shirts he wears (even in the summer) that cover his arms and block the damaging rays but allow his skin to breath. Long sleeves in summer are not fun. After seeing NUMEROUS dermatologists who were baffled and who doled out various ointments and meds that did nothing, we finally found out through research that it was due to sunlight and a very weird reaction he now apparently has to it. Like I said, after we found special long sleeved shirts for him to wear, the blistering rashes went away. It always appeared in early spring with first hints of sun exposure (and was NOT sunburn) after months of no sun exposure and it would only take a few minutes outside to appear. His arms would literally get beet red all over and visibly inflamed with the oozing ultimately too. Thank God we finally figured it out. Have a search of pics on the web related to allergic reactions to sunlight and see if your rashes match the pics and descriptions others have for this very unusual reaction to sunlight. I had never heard of it before either! Thank goodness others posted what was happening to them with their pics that matched exactly.

I'm not sure this is what is happening to others here but if this helps one person, it is worth sharing!!!!

Good luck all.

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by DanKellyjr, Jan 01, 2017
methylisothiazolinone allergy. It is a chemical called Methylisothiazolinone. Its now in most all liquid products like soap, shampoo, body wash, dish soap, shaving cream, etc. The rash can be a run off from the shampoo on the face. Even the "free and clear" soaps and shampoos have it. Check all labels. Doctors are clueless about this chemical that is now widely used, even old products you have always used may now have this ingredient. Hope this helps. It took me a year to figure this out on my own. Forgot to say that bar soap generally won't have this chemical, but the liquid or body wash versions will... even from the same company.

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