Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Circular, Growing Rash

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I noticed a red spot on my leg, about 4" in diameter, about 45 minutes ago. The spot is hot to touch, bright red, and at first felt like a "charlie horse" then began to burn. It's a deep burning feeling, with an occasional sharp pain, located about 2" above my knee. I have checked for bites, and see no holes of any kind in the area. I do have a lot of spider veins, and have felt them pop at times, but the pain is usually sudden and gone quickly. I have marked the area on my leg and it seems to be growing in size, and heat following it. I spent today cleaning my floors with long pants on and in an "Indian style" position. I have put ice, and wrapped it while elevated. Not sure what this could be. Any insights docs?
P.S Started today...45 minutes ago


Gender: Female
How old are you?: 46
How long has this been going on?: A few days
Check all symptoms you are currently experiencing:
Rash

What have you done so far to remedy this condition? Please include tests and relevant studies here.
: RICE... Rest, ice, compression, elevate...

Check all that apply to you or your immediate family (parents, siblings, grandparents):
Cancer
Diabetes
Stroke

Are you currently using or do you have a history of tobacco use?: Yes
Are you currently using or do you have a history of illegal drug use?: No
Please describe your alcohol consumption :: Occasional

So that we can serve you best, please try to tell us your top three things you wish to be addressed in our response. You will likely get more than you ask for, but we wish to understand your priorities.

What is it?
How do I fix it?
What will prevent this from happening again?


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Trying to get this up for you quickly because I think your question demands a quick response. If the rash is painful, red, warm, and growing you need to be seen tonight. The possibility that this is a MRSA cellulitis.... a skin infection from a dangerous bacteria is there. This COULD be a bite as some insects and spiders have a venom that is also anesthetic-like, so it doesn't hurt. And the bottom line is that we have no idea what this is... it's nightime.... and you will do yourself a big favor if you go NOW to the ER rather than wait this out, because all indications are that this is a rapidly progressive infection.

MDSTAT ER DOC 1

2 comments:

MDSTAT_DOC_7 said...

I do applaud your effort at "ice/ compression/ elevation", but in this case, I think that you do not have a musculoskeletal problem. Given the suddenness with which your symptoms started, I suspect an insect bite... but I do hope you went ahead and had this checked last night, because if it IS a cellulitis (skin infection) that is progressing that quickly, you need antibiotics NOW!

But I suspect that you have been bitten by an insect, and with your description of the abrupt nature, sharp pain, and heat, I believe a spider of the lactrodectus species (black widow) is to blame!

http://bugguide.net/node/view/1999

This link gives a great description of the spider, but specifically, if you look under the "Being Bitten" paragraph, you will see your symptoms described... "For the most part, the black widow's bite may be felt only as a pin prick, during which the spider's fangs inject a minute amount of highly toxic venom under the skin. The severity of the victim's reaction depends on his or her age and health, and on the area of the body that is bitten. Local swelling and redness at the site may be followed in one to three hours by intense spasmodic pain, which can travel throughout the affected limbs and body, settling in the abdomen and back (intense abdominal cramping, described as similar to appendicitis), and can last 48 hours or longer. "

I hope that you are better this morning - but if the redness is still spreading, GO TO THE ER!

DOC2 said...

Did you go?!