Posted by: Tania | 2009/06/04

Could it be ringworm?

My mom had a very serious problem with her hands and feet for more than two years now. The skin forms small, extremely itchy bubbles, which when broken, bleed and get inflamed. Her hands are sore, scaly and forever inflamed. She has been to every kind of medical practitioner you can think of, dermatologists, gp' s, holistic healers, homeopathic healers. The problem only reacts to cortisone, but it doesn' t go away. Everybody tells her tyhe same thing, namely that her liver is not happy. She' s been misdiagnosed so many times, and today two years later, there is no answer. She' s had blood tests, biopsies, allergy tests, everything you can think off done. She' sbeen dignosed as anemic and with irregular shaped red blood cells. Prior to this problem, she was bitten by a dog, she was given antibiotics that she was allergic to and to make it all worse, they went on a road trip to Cape town and she had to shower in a very dodgy camp site, where se feels she could' ve picked up a fungus. No blood test confirms this. She has pets in the house (birds, a cat and a dog) and she lives in a very old house with pressed ceilings (we speculate that the old enamel paint and/or fungi on the walls could also have an effect on her) She also have some gall stones, but they are not painfull or bothering her at all. She complains about a rotten smell in damp areas on her body. We have even tried reducing her stress levels and get her some counseling. We are at our wits ends, and I pose this as a challenge actually. My mom' s money reserves are exhausted, she has no medical aid except for a hospital plan, and we need some answers. Our latest speculation is that it could be ringworm. Can anybody out there please, please help us?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Hallo Tania
Ringworm causes rings of red scaly areas on the skin that itches, but does not cause bubbles. Small blisters that itch and that has a fluid in it, is usually caused by dermatitis - a type of allergy. These things can often get secondary fungus infections on top of it. Dermatitis comes and goes, it is not somethigng one can heal permanently. Treatment is avoiding irritation ( soaps, chemicals) and using good moisturizing, bathing with UEA or Elizabeth Anne baby shampoo instead of soap. Cortisone can be used to reduce the redness and itching. Lamisil cream works good for fungal infections ( these usually have a red border and grow in warm damp areas on the body)
Dr Bets

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