Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Severe Itching and Staph Infection.

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 6 Replies
  • Posted By: wmscottdale1
  • July 12, 2007
  • 02:50 AM

My grandmother is 79 years old and 8 years ago, she developed a very bad problem with itching. She has been to several dermatologist, but none of them have been able to help her. She constantly scratches, and I don't mean a little scratch. I am talking about arm and leg length strokes. Her skin is very frail and she is always very cold, even though it is almost 100 degree here in MS.

No doctor can diagnose the problem. They are saying dermatitis, and this makes sense to me. We are currently on Hydroxyzine, Rozerem, Steroid Lotion, and a few other things. She has the kind of Staph that is resistant to antibiotics. She is in a horrible shape. She has open sores all up her arms, legs, and shoulders. I apply the creams and lotions three to four times per day and I wrap her arms and legs like a mummy.

We don't know what to do or who to turn to. Nobody understand the severity of this problem.

Reply Flag this Discussion

6 Replies:

  • Make sure she has her nails done!!!
    Monsterlove 2921 Replies Flag this Response
  • Have her kidney function checked. She may be uremic. This is a build up of uric acid in the soft tissues of the body and causes severe itching. One a lighter note, she may have allergies to the soap that is either being used on her or on her clothes.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I would recommend continuing to ask doctors about your mom until you get someone who can diagnose and treat her, of course. But I wanted to mention something of my personal experience just so you would have something to try "in the meantime" while doctors don't seem to yet be getting at the root of the problems.One thing I know for sure about body itching... in ME, it landed me in the hospital once because it was due to an allergic reaction to a new brand of dryer fabric softener sheets I had begun using almost two weeks prior to the worsening of the symptoms. After a few weeks of using those softener sheets, my reaction worsened, and my airways started closing up. No one at the hospital could help me figure out what the cause of the reaction was, but my family helped me to retrace my steps from the past few weeks, and we thought about my buying of the new softener sheets a few weeks ago.Since then I have had several more rounds of allergic reactions to laundry-related items. The bare fact is: if you are allergic to a component of a laundry-related item, you will have a difficult time figuring out that's what it was in the first place. It's just something you'd never expect.Then once you figure out it may be laundry-related... the best thing you can do is stop using the current detergents, softener sheets, etc.I am no doctor, but until you rule out the possibility that this reaction may be from an allergy... I'd recommend using no softener sheets or fabric softener whatsoever. (In the past, we've narrowed down my allergic reactions to softener sheets and softener ingredients, most of the time.) I'd also recommend changing detergent. Choose a very plain detergent without fabric softener additives, without color bleach, without any other "included item" except plain laundry detergent.Liquid detergents have seemed to cause me less allergy problems than powder detergents. (Sometimes the companies will change at random the "filler" material they use for powder detergents... and several times the filler has seemed to be the culprit in my problems.)When you wash her clothing, wash it the first time with your new detergent, and wash it a second time with no detergent at all, to try to rinse out as much detergent as you can (just in case she has an allergy to something in the new detergent too).Do remember that everything you've washed in the past months (or however long she's been itching, with a few weeks added to that amount of time), may STILL contain traces of the product which causes her allergy. Complete rewashing will be necessary, for sure. Don't forget: underwear, bras, socks, gowns, panty hose, shirts, pants, shorts, all other clothing, sheets, blankets, pillowcases, towels, washrags, anything that could possibly come into contact with her skin.(For me, the only detergents which have consistently cleaned well AND not caused any allergic reactions in me were Fab and Purex, the good part is they're some of the middle-priced ones here, so that saves a bit of money. I am not saying they will help you or your mom... the thing I'm allergic to may be totally different than the thing she is allergic to!)Get a doctor to evaluate her for allergic reaction. But don't necessarily trust that a doctor is going to do much except laugh when you tell them you think she may be allergic to detergent. Many of my docs have laughed as if I was crazy. But now I know I'm not crazy because time has proved that this is a serious issue for me! Make sure they take you seriously, and make sure they help you rule out allergy as the cause of the problem.The above stuff was aimed at the immediate "now" kinda thing to do. For the long term, if this does turn out to be an allergic reaction, you're going to want to figure out what specific item she is allergic to. (It's not just "that softener sheet" she's allergic to, it's probably one or perhaps two chemicals that trigger the reaction in her.)
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 10, 2008
    • 06:06 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I would recommend continuing to ask doctors about your mom until you get someone who can diagnose and treat her, of course. But I wanted to mention something of my personal experience just so you would have something to try "in the meantime" while doctors don't seem to yet be getting at the root of the problems.One thing I know for sure about body itching... in ME, it landed me in the hospital once because it was due to an allergic reaction to a new brand of dryer fabric softener sheets I had begun using almost two weeks prior to the worsening of the symptoms. After a few weeks of using those softener sheets, my reaction worsened, and my airways started closing up. No one at the hospital could help me figure out what the cause of the reaction was, but my family helped me to retrace my steps from the past few weeks, and we thought about my buying of the new softener sheets a few weeks ago.Since then I have had several more rounds of allergic reactions to laundry-related items. The bare fact is: if you are allergic to a component of a laundry-related item, you will have a difficult time figuring out that's what it was in the first place. It's just something you'd never expect.Then once you figure out it may be laundry-related... the best thing you can do is stop using the current detergents, softener sheets, etc.I am no doctor, but until you rule out the possibility that this reaction may be from an allergy... I'd recommend using no softener sheets or fabric softener whatsoever. (In the past, we've narrowed down my allergic reactions to softener sheets and softener ingredients, most of the time.) I'd also recommend changing detergent. Choose a very plain detergent without fabric softener additives, without color bleach, without any other "included item" except plain laundry detergent.Liquid detergents have seemed to cause me less allergy problems than powder detergents. (Sometimes the companies will change at random the "filler" material they use for powder detergents... and several times the filler has seemed to be the culprit in my problems.)When you wash her clothing, wash it the first time with your new detergent, and wash it a second time with no detergent at all, to try to rinse out as much detergent as you can (just in case she has an allergy to something in the new detergent too).Do remember that everything you've washed in the past months (or however long she's been itching, with a few weeks added to that amount of time), may STILL contain traces of the product which causes her allergy. Complete rewashing will be necessary, for sure. Don't forget: underwear, bras, socks, gowns, panty hose, shirts, pants, shorts, all other clothing, sheets, blankets, pillowcases, towels, washrags, anything that could possibly come into contact with her skin.(For me, the only detergents which have consistently cleaned well AND not caused any allergic reactions in me were Fab and Purex, the good part is they're some of the middle-priced ones here, so that saves a bit of money. I am not saying they will help you or your mom... the thing I'm allergic to may be totally different than the thing she is allergic to!)Get a doctor to evaluate her for allergic reaction. But don't necessarily trust that a doctor is going to do much except laugh when you tell them you think she may be allergic to detergent. Many of my docs have laughed as if I was crazy. But now I know I'm not crazy because time has proved that this is a serious issue for me! Make sure they take you seriously, and make sure they help you rule out allergy as the cause of the problem.The above stuff was aimed at the immediate "now" kinda thing to do. For the long term, if this does turn out to be an allergic reaction, you're going to want to figure out what specific item she is allergic to. (It's not just "that softener sheet" she's allergic to, it's probably one or perhaps two chemicals that trigger the reaction in her.)
    lillamae 3 Replies
    • January 10, 2008
    • 07:15 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Make sure she doesn't have scabies and have her blood sugar checked. Is she having a reaction to the antibiotics for the MRSA?
    rad-skw 1605 Replies
    • January 11, 2008
    • 00:38 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I know it's been months since you wrote this. How is she doing? They do need to give her massive doses of something for the staph infection, so I hope that is controlled by now. It may indicate a hormonal problem and she may need a complete hormone/glandular screening...also, it could be coming from her kidneys, so they need to run blood work on them, too.
    Monsterlove 2921 Replies
    • January 11, 2008
    • 05:49 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
Thanks! A moderator will review your post and it will be live within the next 24 hours.