Discussions By Condition: Skin conditions

Recurrent Rash - Tinea Versicolor or something else?

Posted In: Skin conditions 4 Replies
  • Posted By: Snowbum
  • December 5, 2010
  • 08:13 PM

For the past 5 years, I've had a recurrent rash appear on my back during the winter months...and only during the winter/spring months. It starts up around late October/November and goes away in the summer. It's crazy because it seems tinea versicolor is supposed to get worse when it's hot, whereas I feel my rash "hates" the heat and goes away during the summer with no treatment.

I am a half asian half caucasian 24 year old male, 6' tall 160 lbs.

The rash is basically a cluster of small reddish bumps that are very itchy. They cluster at the top of my back as well as a patch in the middle of my back (See pictures).

The first year I got the rash (2006) I went to a college campus health clinic and the dermatologist there said to me "wow, I've never seen anything like this before."

I ended up using Cortizone-10 ointment for the itching and the rash ended up going away in the summer.

Basically repeat the next 3 years.

In 2009, I went to another dermatologist, got a biopsy off my back, the results came back as "spongiotic dermatitis," which apparently is pretty vague, because ANOTHER dermatologist laughed at that biopsy result. That dermatologist took a skin scraping and said it was tinea versicolor, gave me a topical ketoconazole foam and sent me on my way.

Unfortunately, this rash is very resilient. The foam treatment didn't do much, and I started using a combination of the foam, Cortizone-10, and Head-and-Shoulders Intensive Treatment shampoo.

I ended up leaving on the shampoo overnight...which lead to a chemical burn. I went to a family doctor and of course they said "wow I've never seen anything like this before." I basically had a chemical burn on my back combined with this weird bumpy itchy rash. The doctor prescribed some oral 200 mg ketoconazole pills, take 2 once a week for 2 weeks. After the chemical burn went away, surprisingly my skin actually cleared up extremely well. I figured it was from the pills.

Fast forward to present time.

During the summer, my back had been completely clear of any rash/bumps/irritations. 3 weeks ago, I noticed a small, itchy, red bump in the middle of my back...I thought to myself "I am NOT going to let this thing spread." So, I got another tube of Cortizone-10 ointment, along with a bottle of selenium-sulfide shampoo, AND refilled my prescription for ketoconazole pills...

I started out just using the ointment and it just got worse. When I would sleep at night, I would accidentally start scratching my back because of the extreme itching, this obviously didn't help and it has now spread even worse (see pictures). 10 days ago I took my first 400 mg of ketoconazole pills, figuring it would kill it once and for all...rash kept getting worse.

I started using the shampoo, plus the ointment, plus I took another 400 mg of ketoconazole pills 3 days ago and nothing is stopping this beast of a rash.

Is this a misdiagnosis or should I just give it some time? Any comments appreciated. Thanks.




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