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Question regarding rash

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Old 09-05-2007, 08:41 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 72
lgr014 HB User
Question regarding rash

I've read about different types of rashes on this board and wanted to ask you guys a question - about 2 - 3 weeks ago, I noticed a spot on my upper arm - thought it was a small bruise as it looked purplish and later I noticed a yellowish color around it such as a bruise will get when healing. And I do have a tendency to get bruises out of nowhere! However, it has not gone away and now it is red with a clear center. It isn't really what I would call a rash though - not raised and when I run my hand across it, I can't feel anything such as a bump, etc.

Anybody have any ideas about this?? It doesn't itch or hurt at all - in fact, if it weren't for seeing it, I would never know it was there. It is smaller than a dime.

I'm also still dealing with pain in my leg, knee along with headaches and neck pain...ALL on my left side.....

Thanks for listening!

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Old 09-07-2007, 09:53 AM   #2
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VeeJ HB UserVeeJ HB UserVeeJ HB UserVeeJ HB UserVeeJ HB UserVeeJ HB UserVeeJ HB UserVeeJ HB UserVeeJ HB UserVeeJ HB UserVeeJ HB User
Re: Question regarding rash

Hi. After a long list of problems from childhood onward, in my early 40's I had 4 years of "papules" (red raised bumps, painless & not itchy) on upper arms & back; they'd appear & recede about 4 times a year. Then the papules started to expand into perfect circles with clear centers, before expanding outwards & losing their circularity. In this "annular" (meaning circular) form, they still didn't hurt or itch; and they faded without scarring. Each episode brought more rashes over larger areas; and I felt ever worse as the rashes came on: joint pain, hair loss, fever, disrupted sleep, neuro-like tingling, urinary & bowel problems, migraine-like headaches, severe fatigue, etc.

I finally got a Dx: SCLE = subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus, which is a "subset" of systemic lupus. I think my ANA was ALWAYS negative, which happens sometimes with the anti-Ro antibody, I was told. I also was told that the early "papules" were the immature form of a SCLE rash. The mature SCLE rash is either annular (like mine) or papulosquamous (looks like psoriasis but isn't).

You could search for more info on SCLE. I've found articles including pics of it in its early stages & in the mature annular or papulosquamous forms.

So... is this the one & only tiny, targetlike thing you have? If it IS, then maybe it's only a reaction to a bite or something along those lines? But if it ISN'T your one & only---and ESPECIALLY in light of your headaches, neck & joint pain---maybe you could ask your dermie or rheumie to take a good look & to consider more tests. Plus, if lupus is even a possibility for you, it's never too early to find out if your dr. knows the various "faces" of lupus! My suburban drs. were clueless & at least 20 years behind, knowledge-wise.

Just give a yell if any of this rings any bells, OK? Meanwhile, best wishes! from Vee

Old 09-07-2007, 07:15 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 72
lgr014 HB User
Re: Question regarding rash


Thank you so much for replying to my post. Your kindness, knowledge and understand mean a great deal.

I keep thinking this "spot" is going to fade away. Last night I noticed it looks as if it has another circular area, larger , forming out from it...but then I thought "maybe it's not really....maybe it's just the lighting...maybe it's just the freckles on my arm"......maybe I'm just going crazy!

I'm 40 years old and, frankly, I don't know what the heck is going on anymore! Sort of like my body no longer belongs to now belongs to...well, someone else, and it does pretty much what it wants to do!

Anyway, thanks for listening to a crazy person.... and take care!!


Old 09-08-2007, 02:11 AM   #4
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VeeJ HB UserVeeJ HB UserVeeJ HB UserVeeJ HB UserVeeJ HB UserVeeJ HB UserVeeJ HB UserVeeJ HB UserVeeJ HB UserVeeJ HB UserVeeJ HB User
Re: Question regarding rash

Hi, Lisa. Funny, but you & your post didn't strike ME as crazy... Here are a couple of other thoughts:

(1) In lupus, bloodwork, including specialized autoantibody tests, may not be positive in the beginning. Erin has posted about this recently, too. I was told that anti-Ro can "mask" ANA results. Plus, lupus can come on slowly, and ditto with photosensitivity. Also, people with "subacute" problems (meaning no major organ involvement) can look a whole lot better than they feel, which can make getting answers harder.

(2) Skin tests, like deep punch biopsy, may strike you as being foolproof, but they aren't. Among the mistakes my various local dermies made: ignored lab's recommendation to do full lupus testing; failed to call for immunofluorescent stain tests in addition to the basic microscopic findings; failed to request that I return for followup & further testing. (FYI, Dr. Daniel Wallace mentions immunofluorescent skin tests in his lupus hardcover, which may be found in most libraries & bookstores.)

(3) A dermatopathologist (= dermatologist who does his own pathology work) may be a really helpful consult.

(4) You could take pics of your rashes. Even if a rash is deemed too old to test, at least a dermie could perhaps get a sense of your rash & tell you exactly what to do if a new rash starts to bloom, as in "Return immediately for further testing!"

At first I got rashes several months after summer or vacation sun exposure. Then I reached a point where I got new rashes quickly, on top of fading ones. At that point, my arms displayed every stage of the SCLE annular rash: papules that hadn't expanded, new tiny circles, medium-sized vivid perfect circles, and fading & irregular-shaped shapes. Textbook stuff, I found out later.

Anyway... let us know how you are faring, OK? Thinking of you & hoping you can make progress on all this, Vee

Last edited by VeeJ; 09-08-2007 at 02:14 AM. Reason: spelling

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