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Kaposi's Sarcoma
May 9, 2001

I have a question concerning "hyperpigmentation" of the skin. I am of mixed middle eastern descent so I have dark pigment as it is. I've viewed a few medical images on Kaposi's Sarcoma which look nothing like the the pigmentation that I present. The hyper pigmentation is located in several different places..the right temple, grossly on my left calf and also on my forearms. I've had no sexual contact for 1 1/2 yrs and I have been tested three times within that period for HIV. I've had a complete hep panel, some bloodwork. I've visited a dermatologist who suspects that the pigmentations is due to sun damage which I seriously doubt because I am of dark pigment and all of the "damage" is not located in areas that would be of suspect nature.My Dermatologist said that he could take a sample of the skin and send it off but they would only reply with "post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. I'm very frustrated because I don't know the cause of this. The areas affected look like bruises...and have been commented on by people as being that. I have had them for a yr and they are not raised, and do not change color when pressed. What could this possibly be? Should I ask my dermatologist to test for KS? Although I am a heterosexual female non HIV positive? I've read on the health site that it's not necessarily an AIDS defining disease alone..but the "bruise" like symptoms seem compatible. Thank you in advance for your time and any advice.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

Your skin changes don't sound anything like KS, so i would stop worrying about that. I agree with your dermatologist-- what you are describing sounds like sun-induced damage to me, and if that's correct, I'm not aware that there is anything you can do about it. Even people with darker skin can have sun damage.


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