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Skin Rash...Not sure what it is?
Jul 28, 2010

Dr.Henry: Im a 22 year old male and have been HIV + for 3 years. I have been on Atripla and Bactrim for the last 18 months. About 6 months ago I began to develop a rash on my upper back and a small portion of my armpit. I originally thought this was some kind of fungus such as ringworm but have since researched and the symptoms are not consistent with ringworm. There are several patches witch are all of no specific shape, a bright to rosy pink color, except for the area under my armpit which is more of an oval and darker in color. All of the rash-like areas are very itchy. I was prescribed Econazole, but not by my PCP. I have been using it for a week. I believe that I might have some kind of skin surface yeast infection which I read is very possible after long-term antibiotics (Bactrim), but could it also be a sign of progression in the HIV itself?? Please help...very scared.

Response from Dr. Henry

Skin rashes in axillary region/back are common in general population and perhaps more common in HIV+ persons. Dry skin, folliculitis, seborrhea, fungal infections, chemical irritation, and many other causes need to be considered and can be a challenge to properly diagnose and treat. If you are doing OK from HIV standpoint (suppressed virus, decent CD4 count) then unlikely to be a sign of failure of your HIV regimen. Often a dermatology consult is very helpful to sort out the underlying cause. KH

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