Every so often, I get a rash on my fingers and/or toes. I've had it on and off for about 15 years (I'm 28 now) and I have no idea as to the cause of it.
The rash is concentrated around the joints and will usually start on my index fingers and spread to other fingers/toes/thumbs depending on the severity of the attack. The rash consists of small bumps (around 3mm wide) which are not fluid, pus or air-filled - they are like mosquito bites only much smaller. They are red and slightly raised and sore to the touch. Because they are on the joints, they get aggravated a lot. If they are knocked, they tend to form blood blisters under the skin - however you cannot lance them to release the blood.
The bumps have a tendency to cluster. If I'm lucky, I'll have just two or three bumps; if I'm unlucky, around a hundred. It can be as little as a week to up to three months before fully healing.
My doctor has no idea what they are. I have had blood tests which show I have anti-nucleoid (??) proteins in my blood. Therefore I was referred to a rhemutologist, who helpfully asked me to look my condition up on the internet as he had no idea what was wrong.
My circulation sucks - my doctor also had me sent to a blood flow studies test where you plunge your hands into freezing water to see how quickly your circulation gets going again by watching your arms through an infra red monitor. In an 'ordinary' person this will take about 2 minutes; 10 minutes later, blood was still not flowing properly to my arms.
I have been prescribed anti-histamines which do nothing. I was also put on some steroids which are meant to lower blood pressure - these caused me to be massively dizzy and caused me to faint. I also got horrendous chilblains (to the point where I couldn't walk because they were so painful) - this may just have been coincidence, however I have never suffered from chilblains before or since.
At present, I have had this rash for just over a month, mainly on my toes. They feel like they are encircled in holly and are horrifically painful and itchy. Most of the bumps are located on the underside of my toe joints meaning every time I walk, I'm aggravating them.
Has anyone got any ideas what this might be? I think the rhemotologist suspects rheumatoid arthiritis and although I do have sore hips sometimes, I disagree as the nodules don't look like rheumatoid nodules and I don't present enough symptoms other than the blood marker. I'm late twenties, good weight for my height, eat sensibly and relatively healthily and otherwise in good health. I have wondered if it is some form of food allergy however I have tried cutting out different foods with no success.
Any pointers or ideas that anyone could give me would me greatly appreciated. The rash is a PITA to photograph well however here are two photos: