Folliculitis - help!
May 11, 1998
I can't seem to get rid of this awful condition.
Itching is becoming unbearable and nothing seems to work.
I've taken sporonox (didn't work), flagyl (didn't work) and
now acutane (is not working). The breakouts are mainly on
my back, chest and arms, but they are starting to appear
on my face now! No creams or lotions stop the itching.
It's driving me crazy! Any further treatment suggestons?
Response from Dr. Cohen
I hope you have seen an HIV experienced dermatologist since the first step is to make sure of what the problem is. For example, while some of the causes of "itchy red bumps" in HIV are mysterious and we try treatments such as the one you mention, there are some problems that are more directly treated when we can establish a cause. Perhaps two of the more common ones are scabies or a drug rash. Both can be ongoing for a long time, and neither would respond to what you have tried. And both respond well to specific treatments, such as an antiscabies cream, or stopping any meds causing a rash. Further, you don't mention any simple anti-itch medications to take while you find some other way to control the problem. What is used for itch includes both topical steroids (usually high potency such as Ultravate or others) and/or antihistamines. Lastly, sunlight can help some with rash.
What is really clear, though, is how hard it is to diagnose a rash via words, and having someone experienced see the pattern can be much more helpful. So -- find a dermatologist who has done HIV for a while, consider a biopsy if you are having trouble, and keep trying.
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