Early this year I started having a physical problem that I was too ashamed to talk about publicly. It was painful, embarrassing (it was on my ass), and scary (I didn’t know what it was). It basically was a horribly itchy painful rash near my anus that spread up to my lower back. It wasn’t your average rash. At times it would weep liquid (at one time soaking through my pants at work). Other times everything was dry and cracked and the skin would bleed.
I did see a doctor. A lot of ideas were bandied about. Some of the ideas were scary, others were not. Here were some of the early guesses:
- Yeast (would have easy to treat)
- Herpes (how?!)
- Cancer (eek!)
- Fungal infection with secondary bacterial infection (ugh)
Most of these were eliminated with testing. One, herpes, there isn’t a sure-fire test for. That bothered me. Then the nature of the rash changed a bit, and wasn’t herpes-like at all.
My doctor suggested a visit to a dermatologist. I made the appointment. About a week before the appointment the rash went away completely, other than two small dry patches on my upper buttocks area. So, I cancelled the appointment.
A few weeks later it was back with a vengeance. It had spread around to the front too <<shudder>>.
I’ve mentioned that I have depression issues. Unknown, seemingly chronic, health issues, especially painful, embarrassing ones, really add to depression. I really hated life for a while.
The strange thing is, this really didn’t cause a huge problem with cycling. Cycling was no more uncomfortable than sitting at my desk at work.
Sleeping at night was miserable.
Eventually it cleared up, back to the two small patches of dry skin. Apparently those are the key. I had another doctor appointment yesterday.
It’s either contact dermatitis, basically an allergic reaction to something, or eczema, which I had as a kid. There is no test to easily verify this. It’s basically ruling out everything else.
Why would this pop up this year? I have a few ideas. I got married last year. Things changed in the household.
- Laundry soap
- Fabric softener
- New lotions
I believe that one or more of those things are responsible.
Yesterday, I bought “free & clear” type laundry soap. I used to buy it before because my youngest daughter has sensitive skin. Well, maybe that’s why I was able to avoid the problem before.
I also bought some unscented skin creme (Eucerin, same as my mother used on my brother and I due to eczema).
I re-washed all of my underwear, since that appears to be the “hot spot”. I’m not (yet) switching soaps, but I did read that using as little soap as possible is a good thing, because it dries the skin out, exacerbating the problem. Strangely enough, water itself is an issue, but using the creme directly after a shower should help prevent drying the skin worse.
I’ve also started taking Vitamin D-3 supplements. Vitamin D-3 isn’t for the skin specifically, but it has a host of benefits including boosting the immune system. One of the issues with my scaly skin is that it sometimes cracks and bleeds, and could lead to infection. A stronger immune system can help prevent that.
I’m at a good point with it now, so if I can prevent it from occurring, that would be great. Right now, nothing is cracked or bleeding. There is no real itching, just two small dry, scaly spots.
Having a plan to heal this makes me a lot better. Now here’s to hoping it works.
Sorry if this was TMI for any of you. I did promise to write more about it after my last post. 🙂