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Strange Rash And Pain


Rachel
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I've had some strange things going on this past week. My doctor doesn't quite know what's going on. Maybe someone here will have an idea!

Last weekend I developed a strange rash. The rash showed up on different joints - elbows, wrists, some knuckles, jaw, knees, ankles, and hips. The rash also showed up on the inner corners of my eyes. It was itchy, painful, swolen, and feverish. At times in this past week I've had difficulty using my hands because the joint pain that went along with the rash.

In addition to the feverish spots at my joints, I started getting a fever too, so the doctor put me on an antibiotic just incase. I didn't have as many places flaring up once I started the antibiotic, so it seems like maybe it has helped, but I'm not quite sure.

The really strange thing was that after the rash went away it was replaced with bruises. :blink: I've never heard of a rash that turns into a bruise!

My doctor is running a bunch of bloodwork, but I don't have the results yet. She's looking for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and some other things. The symptoms don't seem to quite fit, but we aren't sure what else to look for. Any thoughts?

Rachel

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Actually what you describe does seem to fit RA and lupus-- my ex's sister had lupus and when she had a flare, she got swelling and red rash as you described, plus fever. It will be interesting to see what your blood work shows.

Nina

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Hi Rachel,

Sorry you're going through such a rough time.........what you describe sounds like what my mom's mom went through in her struggles with lupus -- very similar things, rash, joint pains, etc.....

I hope you get some answers to all this and get some relief!

Love ya girl,

take care,

-A.

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Rachel,

While you're still have the bruises, take a picture of it. Would be also very helpful if you took a picture when the rash first appeared. Ask your doctor to refer you to a dermatologist and a rheumatologist. You can then share these pictures with the doctors because very often by the time you see the subspecialists, the rash is gone and there is no evidence of what had happened. I often find that the dermatologists can be extremely helpful in narrowing down the diagnosis, if not nailing it altogether based on the appearance of a rash or its biopsy results.

Do you have pain in your muscles? If you do, then another possibility, in addition to the usual suspects of the immunologic conditions, i.e. Lupus, RA, Vasculitis, is dermatomyositis.

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Thanks for the responses. I really don't know much about RA or lupus, so maybe the symptoms fit better than I thought. With lupus, though, I thought that the "butterfly" rash on the face was very common during/preceding a flare up. But I haven't had that. Does not everyone get that?

As far as the swelling goes, it didn't really seem to be the joint that was swolen. The swolen part was between the joint and the skin. If I tugged on my skin, the swolen part would move to the side of the joint. Does that make sense? It was almost like an absolutely huge bugbite.

No, I don't have any pain in my muscles. Although....now that I'm thinking about it maybe I do. Yesterday my shoulder muscle was bothering me, but I thought I just pulled it or something.

I didn't think to take a picture of the rash or the bruises. My pcp saw them both, but I didn't get a picture. I'm not sure if the bruises would have even shown up well. They were never dark purplish-brown. They were just the light-green "left over" type bruise. After 24-36 hours they were gone.

I will research the different things you all have suggested. Thanks for your help! And when I hear back about the blood work I'll let you know what the results are.

Rachel

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I thought of a few more things. There are so many "random" symptoms, that it is hard to remember them all!

The rash/swelling was also on my lower spine for a few days. It was only on my spine, though, nowhere else on my back.

For the past week I've had a sore throat that has come and gone. The pain has been anywhere from mildly uncomfortable, to hurting to eat or talk. I'll have the sore throat one day, not the next, and then again later. It's weird. The doctor did say that my throat was red. But I've never had a sore throat that would come and go so quickly.

This evening I started having what felt like a muscle cramp in my hand. I couldn't fully extend my fingers up without pain. But if I kept my hand still then it didn't hurt. As the evening has gone on the pain has become more intense, especially if my hand is at my side. Even if I keep my hand still the pain is now going past my elbow. If I raise my hand above my head then it doesn't hurt so much, but it does still hurt.

Does a sore throat or muscle cramp type pain go along with lupus? RA?

Rachel

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From about.com:

Common Symptoms of Lupus

* Painful or swollen joints and muscle pain

* Unexplained fever

* Red rashes, most commonly on the face

* Chest pain upon deep breathing

* Unusual loss of hair

* Pale or purple fingers or toes from cold or stress (Raynaud's phenomenon)

* Sensitivity to the sun

* Swelling (edema) in legs or around eyes

* Mouth ulcers

* Swollen glands

* Extreme fatigue

The primary symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis include:

* joint pain

* joint swelling or effusion

* joint stiffness

* redness and/or warmth near the joint

* restricted range of motion

Morning stiffness lasting more than an hour, involvement of the small bones of the hands and feet, extreme fatigue, rheumatoid nodules, and symmetrical joint involvement (i.e. both knees not one knee) are all characteristics of rheumatoid arthritis.

=======

You should probably wait for your blood tests to come back before you try thinking too far ahead.

Nina

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Oh Rachel!

What craziness! If it's not one thing it's another. One time I had a funky rash (which we never did figure out) and Nina said 'Get thee to the bump inspector!' It was hilarious!

But, anyways, I just read your post and my heart really goes out to you b/c you are just having so many new and changing symptoms and no answers.

I do hope that the bloodwork will shed some light on things...and as much as I don't want you to have one of those disorders...having an answer to why your health has gotten increasingly worse would be in many ways something to be thankful for?

Please do keep us posted.

Hugs,

Emily

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Hi everyone,

I heard back about the labwork from my doctor today. Everything was okay except for the ANA. That came back positive, but I didn't ask what the exact numbers were. My doctor is sending me to a rheumatologist, so we'll see what that doc says. I'll keep you posted.

Rachel

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