Discussions By Condition: Skin conditions

Skin blisters, joint & muscle pain, Photos..

Posted In: Skin conditions 38 Replies
  • Posted By: stephdon
  • December 13, 2006
  • 04:34 AM

Hi there..
I am a 32 year old female, work at a vets office. about 1.5 weeks ago I was scratched by a cat. About 2 days after that I noticed a bump in my scratch, then another, and then another.. within 4 days I had several bumps inside my scratch and going up my arms. I had a mild constant headache.
Got in to see the Doc 1 week after the scratch.
I was given zythromax (4 500 mg pills to take at once) and blood work was done (CBC, RPR, EDR and Bartonella). Within 2 days I was in so much joint and muscle pain in my knees that it was hard to bend my knees or put pressure on them.. I was walking around like Michelan Man! I called back to get blood results..
Everything was normal, the Bartonella was right on the line from being abnormal. I can't recall what the normal level is, but let's say normal is anything under 465, I was 465! Yet I am having all this pain and my rash is spreading?
I went back to Dr. in a week.. He gave me more zythromax and added doxycycline, ibuprophen 800, something for the itch (which it doesn't itch much but it is sore).
He thinks perhaps it is something else.
But what?
My joint and muscle pain is now in my elbows, lower neck, knees and it feels like my bones right under my knees are sore, not a muscular ache, more deep.
My rash has spread to my neck, legs, fingers and more on my arms.
They are start out looking like a light red bump that becomes blister like, then the center sinks in making the bump look like a crater, nothing comes out.
Some bumps will develop cluters of blisters that will eventually come together to form a larger single crater.
They don't hurt, they don't really itch, and when I do touch them, they are sore.. I am thinking that when I am feeling the need to itch, it may be more coming on that gives me that tingle feeling.
It is going on 2 weeks since the cat scratch. No fever, no swollen lymph nodes.
My symptoms today are, weakness, pain in knees and elbows, I actually heard a clicking sound in my right knee earlier and it was painful when it clicked, like something was jammed in there and moving in and out of the joint as I bent my knees..
Also, my Dr said he had tests run for joint swelling? And it was normal..
This last request for blood work, yesterday 12-11-06, had MANY items listed.. I wish I had the time to write them all down.. but they were actually quick to get me into the lab for a change.. :D

Any ideas or points in some directions would be nice to mention to my Dr...
Thanks,
Steph.

4 days after cat scratch, you will be able to notice the scratchs in these photos from the lineup of lesions:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v496/primitivefixins/other/bumbs.jpg

1 week later, same arm, larger bumps and more bumps
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v496/primitivefixins/other/bumps5.jpg

Left Arm: You can see some clustering as well as some new bumps
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v496/primitivefixins/other/bumps2.jpg


Close up of blisters/bumps, whatever you want to call them:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v496/primitivefixins/other/bumpsclose.jpg

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38 Replies:

  • Any guesses? I'm still getting new lesions daily.. I have 5 new ones on my hands, more on my legs and arms.. One is in a scratch I received from a piece of metal that had healed with just the faintest notice that a scratch was there and now I have a small red bump that I know will get big and nasty in just a few days..Any ideas on how long it should it take antibiotics to start killing bacteria if that is what this is?I have been on the Doxycycline for over a week now and on the zythromax for 5 days, which I also had a large shot of 2000mg Zythromax at my first visit on Dec 4th.. Thanks for any help...
    stephdon 10 Replies
    • December 16, 2006
    • 06:56 AM
    • 0
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  • Hi there..I am a 32 year old female, work at a vets office. about 1.5 weeks ago I was scratched by a cat. About 2 days after that I noticed a bump in my scratch, then another, and then another.. within 4 days I had several bumps inside my scratch and going up my arms. I had a mild constant headache.Got in to see the Doc 1 week after the scratch. I was given zythromax (4 500 mg pills to take at once) and blood work was done (CBC, RPR, EDR and Bartonella). Within 2 days I was in so much joint and muscle pain in my knees that it was hard to bend my knees or put pressure on them.. I was walking around like Michelan Man! I called back to get blood results..Everything was normal, the Bartonella was right on the line from being abnormal. I can't recall what the normal level is, but let's say normal is anything under 465, I was 465! Yet I am having all this pain and my rash is spreading?I went back to Dr. in a week.. He gave me more zythromax and added doxycycline, ibuprophen 800, something for the itch (which it doesn't itch much but it is sore).He thinks perhaps it is something else.But what?My joint and muscle pain is now in my elbows, lower neck, knees and it feels like my bones right under my knees are sore, not a muscular ache, more deep.My rash has spread to my neck, legs, fingers and more on my arms.They are start out looking like a light red bump that becomes blister like, then the center sinks in making the bump look like a crater, nothing comes out.Some bumps will develop cluters of blisters that will eventually come together to form a larger single crater.They don't hurt, they don't really itch, and when I do touch them, they are sore.. I am thinking that when I am feeling the need to itch, it may be more coming on that gives me that tingle feeling.It is going on 2 weeks since the cat scratch. No fever, no swollen lymph nodes.My symptoms today are, weakness, pain in knees and elbows, I actually heard a clicking sound in my right knee earlier and it was painful when it clicked, like something was jammed in there and moving in and out of the joint as I bent my knees..Also, my Dr said he had tests run for joint swelling? And it was normal..This last request for blood work, yesterday 12-11-06, had MANY items listed.. I wish I had the time to write them all down.. but they were actually quick to get me into the lab for a change.. :D Any ideas or points in some directions would be nice to mention to my Dr...Thanks,Steph. 4 days after cat scratch, you will be able to notice the scratchs in these photos from the lineup of lesions:http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v496/primitivefixins/other/bumbs.jpg 1 week later, same arm, larger bumps and more bumpshttp://img.photobucket.com/albums/v496/primitivefixins/other/bumps5.jpg Left Arm: You can see some clustering as well as some new bumpshttp://img.photobucket.com/albums/v496/primitivefixins/other/bumps2.jpg Close up of blisters/bumps, whatever you want to call them:http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v496/primitivefixins/other/bumpsclose.jpgDid he mention cat scratch disease. You really should see a dermatologist if you haven't yet. Family physicians are not the greatest with skin conditions as so many of them look alike and have the same symptoms.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 20, 2006
    • 08:12 PM
    • 0
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  • Oh yes, my cat scratch disease test came back a hairline positive, anything under a 465 is neg and I was 465.. He does not think it is all related to csd due to the number of lesions, no fever, no lymph node swelling..They were trying to find an infectious disease dermatologist in the area and none worked with IDs so they kept calling the OSU infectious diease clinic for an appt and never got a call back.On Jan 3rd I got a call from OSU but by that time the lesions went away and left scaring so they didn't feel it necessary to see me. On Jan 9th I noticed a bump coming on in one of the previous lesions and now it has grown.. so it's back and no new answers.. I'm waiting to hear back from my Dr as to what to do now.. I hope it doesn't take so long to get an answer from OSU this time around. Does the rash look similar to anything anyone has seen before?What types of testing should I make sure is done?
    stephdon 10 Replies
    • January 12, 2007
    • 04:37 PM
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  • Hi, Several days ago my cat scratched my leg and it started to blister. Many blisters formed and joined together. Yesterday I noticed a rash some of them beginning to blister now spreading out from the infected area. I am itching real bad unlike yourself that did not itch. The strange thing is that the rash has spread to my other leg that was not injured. The area of contact is one solid red mass of blistering sores. It's the weekend so if it isn't better by Monday, I will need to see the doctor. How are your skin blisters doing now?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 21, 2007
    • 06:05 AM
    • 0
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  • Wow.. that sounds alot like how mine did.. started in the scratch, spread from there, went across my neck and then went to the my other arm and then to my right upper leg completely missing my stomach, chest and back..My blisters went away and left what appears to be scarring and then about 2 weeks after they went down I noticed one coming back right on top of a scar and today there are 2 more new bumps..I went back to the Dr a couple days after seeing the first one come back and I'm back on zithromax for another 2 weeks..It has me wondering if it isn't related to something else.. I haven't see any cases of Cat Scratch Diesease having this type of derma type effect besides the classic lesion in the cat scratch itself.. My Dr thought it might start to itch and had rx me something for itching but I never had to use it..I would get to the Dr asap because you could get a severe case and have your lymph node(s) swell with infection.. If I do indeed have CSD, then getting put on the zytromax in the early stages probably prevented me from getting swollen nodes..which I have read can last for up to a year!Keep us posted and if you have photos, I'd like to see them..I would also be interested in hearing what your Dr said... Thanks
    stephdon 10 Replies
    • January 22, 2007
    • 01:38 AM
    • 0
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  • Hi, Its very possible you may have been bitten by a tick with out knowing it. Since you have been around cats. Bartonella usually makes, red, stretch mark type rashes. Get tested for Lyme and its other co infections, like babesia. The joint and muscle pain is a big factor in it.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 22, 2007
    • 00:25 PM
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  • I have been tested for lymes when the rash was in the worse stages and with confirmation that I am not only around animals all day but also live in the country and have contact with deer...but I do realize that there are many tests that can be used to test for Lymes, some better than others.. I will ask about the babesia...Do you know which test renders the most accurate results for lymes?
    stephdon 10 Replies
    • January 22, 2007
    • 01:24 PM
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  • My wife has the same exact rash that you have in your photos and severe joint pain and swelling. She just went to the doctor and started blood tests a few days ago. They have not got them back yet, but the doctor seemed to be stumped and I think she does not have a clue what it could be. Meanwhile my wife is getting worse. The blisters are spreading further and she can hardley walk. They gave her naproxen but it is not working for the joint pain. She is going back on thursday for the results, if they find any thing out I will post her results. If you find any thing out from your doctors I would really like to know, any info may help. Hope you feel better.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 24, 2007
    • 04:34 AM
    • 0
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  • Has she had a cat scratch recently? Maybe have had a deer tick with the past month without knowing?Also, maybe not relevant.. but has she ever had Stephens Johnsons Disease?
    stephdon 10 Replies
    • January 24, 2007
    • 05:09 AM
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  • We own a cat, but she was not scratched by it. We also live in a wooded area but she says she never found any ticks on her. She has to go back to the doctor on thursday to go over the blood test results I will let you know if they find any thing out.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 24, 2007
    • 03:17 PM
    • 0
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  • Thanks, I really appreciate it..As for ticks, the deer tick is very tiny and most do not even know they had been biten by one! If I have, I don't know it.. The bartonella Henselae virus lives in the cats saliva so if she was bit, she could also get Cat Scratch Disease.. Fleas carry the bacteria and can pass it on from cat to cat, but it's not clear if they can pass it on to humans.. I have found another site where there is at least 1 other person that has what I do but not sure if I can post the link to the board here?
    stephdon 10 Replies
    • January 24, 2007
    • 03:32 PM
    • 0
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  • I have multiple health issues. One is autoimmune disorders. Your symptoms sound so much like mine. But the pictures are not.Shingles- is what first came to my mind until I saw the pictures where the blisters are so large. However - because I have had to discover so much of my medical thru personal research, I have found that everyone is different. I have muscle spasticity constantly. If I am having an attack- it may start in my foot where even a drop of water can be excruciating, and travelling up my body to break out in a couple of days. Sometimes it starts on my arm..Stress can trigger, and it can be a physical stress similar to your cat scratch. A blood test should show the virus active tho.But then I have fibromyalgia and CFS, and currently I am concerned with CREST or scleroderma. It is not as tho I continue to think something else is happening (like a hypo) - but more of over the years, as I have continued to see doctors, more and more chronic symptoms appear.I don't know if this is at all helpful, but because people all have different type reactions, and these viruses and autoimmune disorders are 'mysteries' or not recognized by some, I wanted to write.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 25, 2007
    • 11:38 PM
    • 0
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  • I'm a hospital RN. So, I only see the worst of the worse. These all look a lot like staph infections. "Cat Scratch Fever! Driving me crazy!" :confused: Once these infections get into the bloodstream or lymphatic system (systemic)they can grab a hold of any spot they darn well please. Bones, joints, or any internal organ can be a spot for infectiuos opportunity. I am absolutely amazed that I'm not hearing about PICC lines, central lines, IV antibiotics, steroidal Anti-inflammatories. Please, tell me they at least did blood and wound cultures. Eeeeek! Take care all, I pray for you, SharP.S. If your primary doc isn't being assertive in your care, find a new one, quickly. You can not be replaced in the lives of your loved ones.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 30, 2007
    • 07:07 AM
    • 0
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  • Have you been checked for nocardia? It can come from animal scratches, can form "blisters" that spread, can become nodules - quite painful, really.If your doctor thinks its worth checking, the lab has to know ahead of time as it hard to detect by simple testing...Good luck to you...cheryl in florida
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 30, 2007
    • 10:53 PM
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  • Thanks everyone for the wonderful help and advice!I am going back to the Dr tomorrow and all skin lesions have vanished again, leaving scar tissue which I do think will fade with time.. I'm not sure everything I have been tested for.. I have had blood drawn 4-5 times and all results were normal except for the bartonella hensalae (sp?) coming back a hairline positive..I have a ton of question to ask him tomorrow.. Although my lesions are gone, I do still have some symptoms of joint pain that comes and goes in my knees and elbows with added abdominal pain which is light, and stomach burning.. And I also have noticed that I always have to clear my throat, something I never had before this..I didn't think it was related, but now I have my doubts..It's like I always have a thin film in back of my throat..My last does of zythromax is tonight.. I'm so worried these are going to pop up again after a week of being off of the meds..I guess we'll see... Thanks again,Steph.
    stephdon 10 Replies
    • January 31, 2007
    • 01:16 AM
    • 0
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  • hello.... I'm hoping that you receive this in time.... I can't believe the doctor doesn't realize it's the Zithromax!!! what your experiencing is a severe allergic reaction to the popular usually well tolerated antibiotic, which would probably explain why nobody has investigated.... here is proof.... look at the rare side effects.... "Stop taking this medicine and get emergency help immediately if any of the following side effects occur : * More common (for injection form only) o Pain, redness, and swelling at site of injection * Rare o Abdominal or stomach cramps or pain (severe); abdominal tenderness; diarrhea (watery and severe, which may be bloody); difficulty in breathing; fever; joint pain; skin rash; swelling of face, mouth, neck, hands, and feet" you have the joint pain, and there are several websites which go into more detail about how Zithromax can cause joint pain all over your body.... and the fact that you have to keep clearing your throat kind of worries me, because that could be a sign of another severe reaction.... swelling of the throat.... if I were you I would definitely consult a new doctor, this guy doesn't sound too bright.... when he's gone to school for years just to put lives at stake, meanwhile somebody like me, who just happens to do a lot of research can explain what is most likely to be the cause in moments, but seriously, see a different doctor, talk to them about the severe side effects of zithromax, this would really explain why your other problems are gone except for the joint pain and throat congestion, the antibiotic probably killed the bacteria that was initially causing you problems, but your also allergic to it.... but either way good look, and see if I'm correct....
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 18, 2007
    • 09:15 AM
    • 0
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  • Thanks for the info :) I am still getting lesions while off any antibiotics and I practically begged to be referred to a dermatologist so he did do that for me..I got next month (March), I hope I have something for him to see so we can get to the bottom of this.. This is what my referral says:32 y/o, cat scratch exposure: Linear papular-initially erythematous, now fading + violaceous perscribed doxycycline & azithromycin treatment, but new lesions are starting, neg ESR, neg CBC, neg RPR, b. Heneala (I think they spelled it wrong) titers equivocal, lyme titers neg. Also has knee arthralgeas, patient works with animals, please evaluate.
    stephdon 10 Replies
    • February 19, 2007
    • 06:08 PM
    • 0
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  • hopefully the dermatologist can shed some light on what your experiencing.... but zithromax will stay in your system for about two or three weeks after the last dose.... while you may need antibiotics.... it's still possible that the joint pain and possibly other symptoms are being caused by the type of antibiotic you were using.... try drinking plenty of water, and or tea, that's usually the best way to detoxify yourself of things that your body doesn't agree with, tea is especially helpful since not only does it taste great *my opinion : )* but it is also a diarhetic... meaning it flushes out your body and like water causes frequent urination.... so it might help you.... but of course if the joint pain and other symptoms don't stop you would definitely want to speak with some kind of proffesional in that field.... I hate that I don't know more about medicine and symptom relationships.... but I hope you can figure this all out... but I really would make sure that whoever you see knows that you were on zithromax and that they know that it can be a rare side effect.... either way, good luck, and I'll check back to see how things are going... God bless.....
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 19, 2007
    • 09:42 PM
    • 0
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  • :confused: Hi Stephdon,I too have those bumps on my arm and back.I also have what looks like excema or psoriasis on my chin. Mine started with what I thought was impetigo. I work in a institution for developmentally disabled adults. One of the clients got it and I got something that started out as a weepy looking pimple on my cheek. I went on vacation for 2 weeks from work, meanwhile thinking this was a pimple and putting multiple medications on it. It spread to my chin and started on one side moving to the other. I went to the dr. and got a topical antibiotic for what was thought to be impetigo. It just made it worse. I went back to the dr. and got oral antibiotics. This has been going on since September 25th,2006 and it is still going on. I have flucanazole for yeast infection now and I am on accutane. It doesn't itch so much on my chin but it is unsightly. My back and arms are driving me crazy. I take benydryl just so the itch calms down. I think the yeast infection meds are helping the itch. I am also taking garlic tablets and plan on getting some burdock, echinacia, and dandelion herbal medications. I am trying to not eat sugar as it makes yeast grow. It is kind of strange that we have the same looking rash yet live far away from eachother. I am in Washington state. I have read somewhere that skin rashes and other skin related problems are going up since our soldiers are in Iraq.I thought it might be psoriasis but I don't know. I don't think the dr. knows either. I have the same crater type lesion. I have never had a pimple like that. Please post what you find out and I will check back and keep you informed. One thing I know for sure is I am sick of going to the dr.
    teresa45 5 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have been up all night researching my symptoms. I remembered what my Dad told me about growing up in Iowa in the 40's and getting bed bugs. I checked it out online. My rash looked like other people's that had posted pictures. I went in and started to tear my bedroom apart and lo and behold, there was a bedbug up on top of the shaker bed rail over where I sleep. I caught him and squished him (cuz I wasn't sure if he was a spider-I don't like spiders) and he is a bed bug. They don't bite my husband or anyone else. I have had this since about the end of October 2006. They cause allergic reactions, intense itching about 8-9 hours after the bites. They are nocturnal and hide in cracks and will migrate to find blood. The adult can live up to 18 months without feeding on blood. They will bite animals also. Check it out! Gotta go- have a lot of cleaning to do. :mad:
    teresa45 5 Replies Flag this Response
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