Help! Teenage boy with rash and no one can diagnose!

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13 year old boy with rash for over a year and a half and no one can diagnose what the rash is. Any ideas?

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  • Posted

    It seems as though the rash is confined to his lower back/upper buttock, and his thighs?  If this is the case, perhaps it could be irritant contact dermatitis...or allergic contact dermatitis.   I'm thinking that he may be allergic to one of the fabrics in his underwear/shorts that he wears or possibly to an ingredient in laundry detergent..  Try changing to a 100% cotton or organic cotton brief and start washing his clothing in a laundry detergent that has the words "free" or "clear" on the it, as this will mean the detergent does not contain all of those irritant ingredients.. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your advice. Yes, we have had patch testing and been to 3 dermatologist, as well as an immunologist and no one can seem to figure it out. The patch testing revealed an allergy to propylene glycol and we have removed that from anything that touched his skin (well we think we have at least) but we can’t seem to get rid of it. I think everyone is at a loss as to what it could be, but it keeps getting worse rather than better.
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  • Posted

    I agree with Melissa, have you asked about having patch testing?  Were you aware of a trigger?  I had something similar almost 20 years ago & it turned out to be chemicals in the washing liquid I used for my clothes.  The manufacturer had changed the ingredients, which they tend to do fairly frequently.

    good luck.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your advice. Yes, we have had patch testing and been to 3 dermatologist, as well as an immunologist and no one can seem to figure it out. The patch testing revealed an allergy to propylene glycol and we have removed that from anything that touched his skin (well we think we have at least) but we can’t seem to get rid of it. I think everyone is at a loss as to what it could be, but it keeps getting worse rather than better.
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  • Posted

    They found that I was allergic to formaldehyde & formaldehyde releasers, amongst other things.  I started to investigate why I was itching so much &, although these chemicals were in my washing liquid, it was triggered when I changed my car.  I had always driven Volvos & had gone for a Skoda because it was smaller & more economical.

    I learned that formaldehyde is banned in Sweden - the Volvos I drove were all made in Sweden.  It is also banned in Japan.  It was not banned in the manufacture of Skodas at that time.  It may have changed now, I don't know.  I now drive Toyotas. 

    My rashes were on parts of my body that touched the car's seat, including under my arm, from when I put it over the top of the seat for reversing etc..

    This is just to give you an idea of where I found one of the chemicals that I am allergic to.

    I have just had a quick look at propylene glycol allergy.  There is a tremendous amount to go through, how did you get on?

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    • Posted

      Wow... it’s amazing how such small triggers can have such a large impact. I’m glad you were able to narrow it down to the cars, how did you work that out? In my sons case we have removed all the contact items with propylene glycol (not food items) as it appears to be more about items coming into contact with the skin. The rash appears to be mostly in places where his clothes touch. We thought it may have been a latex allergy but they said no, we thought celiac but that test said no as well. He is so itchy I’m just not sure what  to do or where to go at this point since nothing seems to be helping. He thankfully is relatively easy going and is being a true champion through all of this.
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  • Posted

    The Dermatologist I eventually saw, told me that I wasn't allergic to latex but, formaldehyde was using in the manufacturing process, so I should avoid it.  It is easier to say I am allergic to latex, than to explain everything!  I looked at where I was itching & tried to think of what had been touching those areas.  It was only when I went to reverse my car, that I realised why the back of my left arm was blistering & itching.

    The Dermatologist had also told me that formaldehyde was used as a 'dressing' in clothes & I have, in the past, tried on trousers in a shop & then started to itch immediately, another place that they must use formaldehyde, is in air con because I have had the same thing there & so it goes on!

    Your son appears to have his rash around the area where he might wear cycling shorts, for example, is that right?  You & he, need to look at the most obscure places & not to think it is just the propylene glycol.  That appears to be part of it.  If you think latex, then remove latex & see how you progress from there.

    My Dermatologist gave me a 'very potent' steroid cream.  This has to be used sparingly but it does stop the itching.

    Are you in the UK?

     

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    • Posted

      formaldehyde is a preservative, an anti fungal, you can imagine clothes in a warehouse being sprayed with it, to stop them going mouldy while in storage

      It isn't used as widely as it was.  It is used in hand creams, shampoos laundry liquid, hand washes, washing up liquid, 

      I have nagged manufacturers until I am blue in the face!

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