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erythema multiform

Posted by @mariasmom in Skin Health, Jun 26, 2012

I have been diagnosed with a skin condition called erythema multiform. I develop a rash that in places blisters. The base is very red and the rash varies in size . It is on my arms and legs mostly. The rash has reoccurred a number of times. It takes 4-6 weeks to go away.The dermatologist says it is the above and put me on prednisone to help clear it up and a low dose of Acyclovir to hopefully keep it at bay. The rash seems at times to be related to something I get exposed to outside. I mow or work in the garden and if my body is not totally covered 2-3 days later the rash appears.
The dermatologist says it is often related to the herpes virus and this could be as well I guess, but it has come about more than once after work outside.

It is sooooo discouraging. Am just wondering if any one else has such an issue or if anyone was comments or suggestions.

Tags: Skin Conditions


Posted by @1gardener, Jul 12, 2012

I have experienced the same symptoms approximately twice a year for the past three years. Indeed, it is usually preceeded by work in the garden.....trimming roses and blackberries namely. I also spend time amending the soil and fertilizing vegetables and fruit trees, so it could be exposure to chemicals or a fungus perhaps. Other preciptating factors for me: mosquito bites and bee stings. I never used to be so sensitive. We did move from the city to a farm about six years gardening began shortly after that.
Another consideration is that I started having herpes outbreaks about four years ago....on my low back of all places and nowhere else. ( My husband gets cold sores, so..)
One thing that helps for me is taking an antihistamine. I also have a prescription for acyclovir. Sometimes I apply neosporin to the blisters after they ulcerate to prevent secondary infection.( I would not use this over a widespread area though). Mine are concentrated on my hands and toes. Cool water provides some relief too.
The pain, itching, and tenderness is intense at times and can be frustrating to a person who is so used to staying busy. Gripping and turning a door knob becomes an impossibility. So many things we take for granted on a daily basis become a hurdle.....makes me deeply grateful for the fact that this resolves within a a week or two. Imagine the frustration of chronic disability. Although I have been blessed to know many patients (used to be a therapist) who cleverly and courageously lived their live despite extreme circumstances. Straying off topic.....
I'm sorry you're going through this. I hope it helps knowing you're not alone. Rest and TLC are paramount. Also, I try to look at it with positive eyes and see it as a reminder to slow down, appreciate the strengths and abilities I normally take for granted and feel deeply grateful for life. It is such a gift. Another silver lining is that my daughters learn that they can do more for themselves ( they're 9 and 13 ) and the pets love having me sit down with them more.
As for the garden, I'm re-designing it to scale down on roses and fertilizing. Maybe replacing them with LIlac bushes. They're so beautiful!

Thank you for listening!

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