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Help! Ringworm or nummular eczema?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have had these rashes on my thighs for about a year now. It started out when I was pregnant with DD and now she is 4 months old and I still have it! I initially thought it was ringworm so I tried TTO. No help at all so I went to OTC Lotrimin cream. No help so I went to the doctor. She put me on a rx anti-fungal cream. Again no help so she put me on an oral anti-fungal. I'm 2 weeks into the oral treatment and still no improvement. Now I'm wondering if this is a particularly resistant type of fungus or if it could be nummular eczema. I've never had eczema before. The skin doesn't necessarily feel dry so I kind of doubt it. But I also wonder because the rash is spreading on my skin (started with 1 patch and now have about 10) but no one else in the family has gotten it. I also can't think of how I would have gotten it in the first place. We have no pets and it's in an area that is always covered by my clothes. It is very itchy and spreads like ringworm (starts out looking like a bug bite and then gets bigger and clears in the middle) but now I read this is also how nummular eczema behaves. Is there any way to tell the difference between the 2?
post #2 of 9
Well, I'm battling a similar rash and have been for about 2 years. I'll give you a little history and you can see if it's similar.
It started on my breast in two years ago after months of battling allergies and sinus infections (also nursing a 6 mo old at the time). Similar to yours mine started with a red itchy bump(s) and eventually had a clearing center with red edges. Walk-in clinic thought it looked fungal but I was also wondering if it could be pityriasis rosias, too. Topical antifungal/steriod seemed to help but spots kept cropping up. Mostly breasts but some on my belly and thighs. The weird thing was the other spots never really progressed to the clearing center stage but would just stay raised VERY ITCHY red spots. Sometimes just one spot but sometimes a little cluster. The derm, at the time, blew me off and said it looked like contact dermatitis. (I'm beginning to think derms are clueless). I've been fighting a battle with it ever since. In the fall I had a bad bout and the derm said it could be nummular eczema. I don't think so because I'm a tad old for the "typical" groups affected by N.E. A friend of mine who runs a breastfeeding clinic said it could easily be fungal and skin fungal rashes could be very stubborn. I tried topical antifungals religiously, though, with little improvement.
Here's what I've found that helps... back in the fall I was talking to a friend of mine who happens to be a Rheumatologist and she suggested that everyone should be taking fish oil daily (not specifically for skin but for whole body wellness and disease prevention). So, in November I started taking fish oil - at the time I was having a bad bout of rash - and I figured out that it drastically helped the rash. I only put two-and-two together a few weeks ago when I had run out of fish oil and hadn't taken in in a couple of weeks. Voila, rash returned. So, fish oil daily.
I also found a certain lotion that helps. Kiss My Face Honey and Calendula. I slather it on straight out of the shower, particulary on my problem areas - thighs, belly, breasts.
I've also found that my skin is just super sensitive, now, too, and I tend to get more of a contact derm rash from tight clothing...like where my belt rubs if I'm wearing jeans or under my underwear elastic.
Another odd reaction. A few months ago I got a huge bruise on my thigh. It was from running into my car door but as it healed the entire bruise area erupted in the itchiest rash in the exact shape of the bruise. Very odd. From what I read, nummular eczema can occur on spots of trauma such as that.
So, that was long, but I'd try...

fish oil
free and clear detergent
all cotton clothing (I have to forego underwear and a bra if possible)
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
bumping to see if anyone else has any idea!
post #4 of 9
Your dermatologist should have taken scrapings of the rash to check for ringworm.
Since nobody around you have it, it probably is not a ringworm.
I had a very similar rash for almost a year and now it is gone. I even had it biposied, and biopsy was nonconclusive.
It might be PR - but that usually does not last long.
It might be eczema.
In my case I believe it was EAC (Erythema Annulare Centrifugum). The causes are unknown and when you start googling it it may scare you, because the rash in rare cases occurs before cancer diagnosis.
Mine started when my son was 5 months old. Now I attribute this to abtibiotics given me during labor plus more a month later for root canal, that totally destroyed my gut and caused food allergies. After IgG allergy testing, Vega testing, I found most of my triggers and eliminated them from my diet. The rash dissapeared within a month after I did that. It is all gone now.
I have wasted so much time going to dermatologists....
Did you have abx during your labor?
post #5 of 9
Very interesting, Lily7. Mine did start right after I had two rounds of antibiotics and I always concluded it had something to do with the abx.
post #6 of 9
I developed an allergy to corn when I was pg, didn't figure it out until I eliminated for my dd who also turned out to be allergic. The eczema wasn't in the same spot, but it could still be food related. Pregnancy is a really common time to develop allergies.
post #7 of 9
If it is eczema you may want to try evening primrose oil. You can buy it in the capsules and break it open to apply the oil topically. The medical community is conflicted about its efficacy- but that's par for the course.

This treatment cleared my eczema.
post #8 of 9

I just had a 10 month bout, which started as a bug bite that did not heal. small bumps around that gradually enlarged.started treating for ringworm- ACV, TTO, various astringents. kept growing. Garlic burned it, scabbed over, and seemed healed when scab came off but continued to grow on outer edge. In desperation I Put Bagbalm on thick and covered in plastic. All lumps went away and left a purplish scar of thin skin. Yippee. Then started with another circle. Went to a Derm. BIG MISTAKE!!! I put nothing on for a week because I wanted a scraping to determine  if it was fungal. Scar got scaly like eczema. Dr. said immediately- impetigo over ringworm ( I am 60 and it was not contagious for 5 months and only itched at night). We used mupirocin and nystatin and ciclopirox and it kept getting worse. 2 times she refused to do a skin scraping even when I expressed doubt that it was fungal. Waited 6 weeks to see the other DR (she was a PA). By this time it was a large 3" crusty mess and he said we have to do a biopsy. Biopsy showed no fungus or bacteria- suggested nummular eczema. Meanwhile I had found an article on discoid eczema which had my exact symptoms. I put vaseline on it and all the crud came off leaving that same purplish scar I had from the Bagbalm. Now I am dealing with 2 slow healing holes in the scar which was did not have to be done if they had done the scraping or listened well. Dr, said never to use home remedies, Bagbalm is no cure, and knowledge from the internet is dangerous. I healed myself with vaseline ( he never did say to use emollients for eczema- just steroids, which have done nothing) and now I am looking at $900 worth of expenses from all their bad diagnosis. So if if it is not reacting to anti fungal drugs, try emollients and do not overwash. good luck. I can live with a large scar on my lower leg

post #9 of 9

I have had ringworm several times and that shit spreads like wildfire. When I didn't realize what it was, it quickly went from one tiny little rash/circle of bumps to like 10 of them all over and its super infectious to other people. And it itches like insanity, like enough that it would wake me up in the middle of the night itching so badly. So I have no idea how to tell the difference between the two, but it doesn't sound quite as horrible as when I have had ringworm. Even though it was so horrible and itchy and miserable, like the moment I put an antifungal on it I got relief. So that could just be me and the strain I got, but ya might want to look into the exzema thing more. 

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