Discussions By Condition: Skin conditions

Skin Problems after visiting Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Posted In: Skin conditions 2 Replies
  • Posted By: NoraLee&Me
  • December 3, 2007
  • 04:14 AM

My Mother and sister had visited Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic in June of 2006. Within a week of their return, my Mother who seemed to have a somewhat severe sunburn on her upper back began to start scratching her back, (but could not see it) thinking it was only the sunburn drying up and itching. Within days, when I saw her back, I mentioned to her that there were these small to medium circular red sores just below the sunburn/suntan line. Ironically, my sister who had traveled there with her, and who I also saw within days of their return, was scratching her arm, and she told me this area on her arm itched incredibly, and that she was trying to keep it from spreading by putting Calamine lotion, rubbing alcohol, anything she could think of to make it stop itching. I immediately said HMMM...Mom has the exact same type of rash/sores? on her back, and she is itching incessantly! My sister said that she was concerned about it spreading and that she forced herself not to scratch and kept putting the alcohol, etc.. on her arm. But my Mom was a different story. She continued to scratch and did not really apply anything to it, and slowly but surely, this rash/sores/scab-like condition started to make its way down her back and onto her arms. It took several weeks to get to the point where she just couldn't stand it anymore, and went to her family Doctor, who basically gave her a generic diagnosis of dermatitis, (non specific) and prescribed some anti-itch creme and maybe some antihistamines. This did nothing. By now, my sisters rash had subsided and was not a problem for her. After trying the medication and still not getting any relief, my Mother was referred to an actual Dermatologist. This time, a biopsy was taken, it showed nothing significant, and more steroid type creme was prescribed with NO results. My mother has now been to 5 Dermatologists including ones at the Cleveland Clinic. She has had biopsies of her lymph nodes, biopsies of her skin, has been treated for scabies, (even though they did NOT suspect scabies) she has tried 10 different steroid cremes, she has had bloodwork done to determine auto-immune diseases, she was put on Prednisone and after no real relief after several months of taking this started to have bad side effects, she has tried coconut oil, vaseline, oatmeal baths, etc.... to try and relive the itching. This last Dermatologist had prescribed Clyndamyacin antibiodic and it seemed to calm down the rash/sores for a week or so, but it never really left completely. She is at her wits end, and has become depressed over this situation. She is now 77 yrs. old and is very active for her age, (is a greeter at Wal-Mart, but this rash caused her to lose weeks and months off from work trying to find the right diagnosis and just from being so miserable from itching and burning.) Because her family DR. has no idea what to do next, she has referred her to U of M University in Ann Arbor, MI. We do not feel very optimistic at all. We have told each and every one of these Doctors that she DID NOT have this problem BEFORE she went to Punta Cana, AND that my sister had the VERY same skin problem on her arm after traveling there together!!! They ALL IGNORE and MINIMIZE THIS FACT!!!!! Does ANYBODY have ANY idea or suggestion as to WHAT or HOW or WHO we can turn to??? Any ideas or suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated by me and my whole family. I will provide my email link: nikileelee@yahoo.com

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