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Update on patches
Mar 15, 2001

Dear Dr Henry,

Most of the time the patches are a shade or two darker than the rest of my palms. Sometimes they turn much darker, but the are very noticable at all times. It sort of looks as if I had pressed hard against something.

The two big patches below my pinkies sometimes itch and except for the funny feeling of numbness when I run my finger over it, there seems to be no other change. The patch on my left palm seems to have a hard bump underneath the skin.

The new patch on the fleshy part (below the thumb) on left hand does not itch at all and is lighter in colour and the colour is not uniform as in the other patches. The ones above my nails are much darker and once again they do not itch at all.

So far the neuropathy has mainly affected my feet, although when the dr did a neurological checkup there was some loss of sensation in three other places as well. Two on my left arm and one on my left calf. I also could not feel anything at all when the dr used a feather on the soles of my feet, but I could feel the pinpricks when he used a needle.

I am sorry to bother you about this, but I have nobody else to turn to. My dr does not seem to worry about this, but it is a great worry to me. I also do not want to keep on bothering him with it unless it is really neccessary. I have concidered asking my dr to refer me to a dermatologist or a neurologist, but then I risk the chanch of offending him. He is not an expert on HIV/AIDS, but he does try and he is in contact with one of the leading experts in South Africa.

Once again thank you for all you do for us.

Regards

Ian

Response from Dr. Henry

Wow-a painted a vivid picture with that description. Even as a HIV specialist I am never offended when a patient wants a referral. I learn as much from dermatologist as any specialist I deal with. I would recommend seeing a dkin specialist-maybe we all could learn something useful. They would often ask whether you have any exposures at home or work to chemicals in the involved areas. THey would look to see if the nails were involved, looks at your elbows and knees too (for psoriasis), and problably do a skin scraping to look for fungus. If drawing a blank, they might do a skin biopsy. Good luck. KH



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