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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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HIV/itchy skin
Apr 25, 2007

Hi, I'm experiencing itchiness from bumps all over my body. One dermatologist described them as small red papules. I get them around my underarm, back of knees, feet, elbows, hip area, buttocks, inner thigh, lower back, etc.. They come and go in different areas and some areas itch more than others. Although I itch throughout the day they are quite bothersome in the middle of the night. I've done the IgE blood test for allergy reaction, been scaped a few times to rule out scabies (from work), and tested my well water for bacteria. I've also been on topical steroids, including Triamcinolone, clotrimazole w/betamethazole, clobetasol. I have tried antifungal too: Lamisil, Zeasorb, etc.. I continue to use clotrimazole w/betamethazone 2-3x a day. I'm also now taking Xanax so I can sleep as I would wake up with incredible itchyness after only a few hours of sleep. This has been going on for about 5 months. All of which was at the advice of my HIV/MD and a generic Dermatologist. I have not tried tanning for UV light and am wondering if that would help and the increased risk of skin cancer. I'm attempting to find a dematologist w/hiv experience but that is easier said than done.

Response from Dr. Henry

You don't mention which HIV medications you are taking. Some patients with eosinophilic folliculitis (one of more common skin conditions that can present like the symptoms you describe) respond to using ketoconazole shampoo as a regular soap during showers. UV light sometimes can be helpful. I also have seen some patients improve on both H1 (standard antihistamine) and H2 (like cimetidine) blockers. I rely heavily on HIV savy dermatologists to help be out. KH

Thank you Doctors : )

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