Discussions By Condition: Skin conditions

Could this be anthrax???

Posted In: Skin conditions 5 Replies
  • Posted By: Confuzzled
  • August 3, 2008
  • 00:09 AM

A few days ago, I first noticed a few bumps on my ankles and behind my knees. They were very itchy, and my biggest challenge seemed to be not to scratch them. But over time, several of them started increasing in size, became large pea sized water blisters, and would almost constantly ooze. Add to that the fact that I was still accidentally scratching them, and they have become quite nasty. The biggest change has been in the last 36 hours however, as I started applying tea tree oil and trying to air the areas out. (Before I was covering them with bandaids so I could protect the areas when dressed). Now they are scabbing over with large black scabs. Two are still leaky, one of them appears to be drying up but it's the largest and strangest looking of them all.
In total, I have 6 of these things. The first probably appeared 2 weeks ago, but it was behind my knee and I didn't pay much attention to it, and scratched the dickens out of it. It got nasty after awhile, but again out of sight, out of mind. It now has a small, thick, hard scab. Then there are 2 others that aside from getting itchy still on occasion, seem to be rather benign and don't give me much trouble. Neither of them ever progressed, and they look just like mosquito bites on the mend.
I have been on the internet scouring for information. At first I thought they were cysts, then spider bites, but now the only description that seems to fit is cutaneous anthrax. Has anyone had any experience with this??? I would have loved to see a doctor by now, but it was impossible to get in with one on such short notice, so the earliest I can be seen is this monday.
Thanks in advance for any feedback!

~Confuzzled~

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5 Replies:

  • sounds like it could be poison oak; have you been hiking? I imagine if you really think it's anthrax that you'd be seen my a doctor already. Do you have pets or around pets with fleas?
    Monsterlove 2921 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thanks for your response! I just did some research on poison oak. I had not taken any hikes in over a month, however, I have been out to a property twice recently that had very long grass out in the country. The first trip would've probably been a little over 2 weeks ago, so the timing is right. However, I don't wear shorts, and in fact wore long pants with socks and sneakers in anticipation of the overgrown yard. I can't see how anything could've gotten in there at all to irritate the skin, especially to this magnitude! Another question about poison oak or ivy, it appears from my very brief research that it typically has a pattern and it's usually pretty concentrated in one area. Mine are circular, and appear individually in different areas. 1 on one ankle, 1 on another, 1 behind one knee and another on the side of the same knee, and 2 behind the other knee. It hasn't inflamed the surrounding area (though there has been itchiness in the surrounding area), there is no redness or swelling aside from the blisters. ~STILL Confuzzled~
    Confuzzled 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • Get something to dry it up specifically over the counter until your doctor visit. The grass could have been sprayed with an insecticide and this could be a reaction to that. It could have poked through your pants, which seems more logical than antrax on the legs. Are you a postal employee or do you work for the government? Why would you think you are exposed to anthrax? On the other hand, second stage syphilis breaks out with a rash on the feet and elsewhere on the body.
    Monsterlove 2921 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thanks, what type of product would you recommend to dry them up? I have no experience in this area whatsoever. I've just been applying tea tree oil to the weepy ones and hydorcortisone to the ones that aren't open but still itch. After reading up on athrax, it's actually a disease common in livestock and that's where most cutaneous cases come from. It was the only blister description that actually fit at first. I hadn't been handling any hides or been around any livestock but who knows what had walked through that grass. But now the appearance has changed a bit on all of the blisters (none of them have the black covering anymore after this morning's shower), which leads me to believe they were scabs instead of ulcers. Anyway, I still have no idea what could've caused them, or what it is. I'll let the doctor have a look-see tomorrow and post the results of the visit on the board. ~Confuzzled~
    Confuzzled 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • As you stated, you wore long pants and covered everything. Anthrax only gets in through a scratch (unless you inhaled it--then you'd have breathing problems and be dead by now) and you didn't give it that opportunity. I'm glad you're going to a doctor for a diagnosis. If it's not poison oak/ivy, fleas, hives, syphilis then we'll all be waiting for what the doctor says.
    Monsterlove 2921 Replies Flag this Response
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