Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Liberation Of My Hands

Today I went to a new dermatologist, and the second opinion shows that there is in fact more going on here with my hands than meets the eye. And, unlike the previous doctor, this new one and her amazing assistant are going a bit more into detail to help me combat the issue.

As per usual, my hands are swollen, cracked, split, itching, and sore.

"I'm thinking contact dermatitus, but that could just be one of a few problems." she said kindly.

Remember the "spreading" redness I talked about earlier that I never had before? Well, I got that back around New Years, along with a staff infection.

Of course, I wondered why the weird red dots on the backs of my hands came from, and why on earth they wouldn't dissapear.

With a blade, the PA scraped some skin cells off this seemingly secondary skin issue, and looked under the microscope, for aside from the (what they are calling) contact dermatitus, this newly aquired problem was quite different.

"It's a secondary fungus."

My jaw hit the floor.

"Don't worry. It has nothing to do with cleanliness, or anything like that. It comes from moisture. You've been keeping your hands moist a lot, haven't you?"


"With hydrocortizone?"


As it turns out, the very hydrocortizone I've been using to fight the dermatitus, in fact worsened the problem.

"Don't use hydrocortizone again. Hydrocortizone is not for you. Its feeding the fungus, and causing it to spread. That aside, let's clear up the fungal issue, and the inflamation and infection, and then we can move on, and detect what's really going on here."

So there you have it. I was sent on my way with some free Omnicef to fight the infection, and some Oxistat to fight the fungus. Two pills a day, and two smearings of the cream a day. I can't believe I was actually making things worse with the cream.

Also, Cetaphil hand cream (I haven't tried that) twice a day, and a vinyl or plastic (no rubber) glove with a cotton liner. As soon as the glove seems to get moist or warm, it must be removed, and the liner changed, or it will feed the fungal infestation.

So, for now, this is what I'll be fighting with. Until April 21st that is, when I return to see how it's doing, and for hopefully more of a definite answer of what it is. The combination of infection, dermatitus, and fungus has made positive identifaction difficult.

Then, possibly "patch tests", where they stick patches of various things on my back for a few days to see how my hands react to various things. It could be the formaldahyde (sp) in the money, or a number of things...but they intend to find out so I know what to avoid.

Let the battle begin.

P.S. Any idea where I can get cotton lined vinyl/plastic gloves? I didn't see any at the drug store! She said a medical supplies store...but isn't that a drug store?

If you know of where I can get some, let me know.

Peace and love to all.