Similar condition to cutaneous Degos Disease?

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saposch's picture
Joined: 2014-11-20

Woman Thinks She Got Bit While Mowing Her Lawn, Then Mysterious Round Dots Cover Her Body

Nearly a decade ago, a woman named Calvina was mowing her lawn in Oklahoma when she felt something bite her on the ankle. It wasn’t until later that an itchy dark mark appeared on her arm. The marks began to spread across her body.

After visiting a dermatologist for a biopsy, Calvina was told she must have had an issue with her nerves. Other doctors attributed the marks to allergies. But no medications stopped the strange marks from spreading or itching.

Doctors never checked her immune system, which would later prove to be a big mistake.

Calvina’s life was made a living hell. She would go into “itch attacks” that made her bleed. The thick, hard and round marks appeared on her stomach, back, legs, feet — but spared her face. All aspects of her life was affected, from her career to social life.

After seven years of living with the undiagnosed skin condition, Calvina bravely shared her story on The Doctors. The physicians on stage had never seen anything like it.

Calvia also admitted she was the center of public scrutiny. “If I’m wearing short sleeves … and nobody knows me, they would give this face, like ‘Oh my God, what is that? Don’t touch her,’” she says. However, in seven years, Calvina never passed the condition onto anyone else.

After Dr. Batra ran a series of tests (not seen in the video below), she was finally able to diagnose Calvina’s strange skin condition: urticarial vasculitis and hypothyroidism.

Urticarial vasculitis is a rare autoimmune disorder. According to Vasculitis Foundation, it’s a form of vasculitis that affects the skin, causing wheals or hives and/or red patches due to swelling of the small blood vessels. The cause of most cases is unknown and may be associated with systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and Sjögren’s syndrome. Hypothyroidism is another autoimmune disorder that occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough thyroid hormones.

The Doctors agreed to Calvina’s skin and underlying issues free of charge. “I didn’t think that you guys would hear me,” she tearfully said. “But you guys heard me.”

Calvina’s story proves why people who suffer with strange and/or confusing illnesses should always, always have their immune system checked for any abnormal blood levels.

Please SHARE Calvina’s story with your friends on Facebook.…

Judith's picture
Joined: 2004-11-07

Poor woman – but thank goodness she finally got some effective treatment. Cutaneous Degos disease is not an auto-immune disease, although the immune system certainly works very hard to fight whatever is threatening it. My CD4s and CD8s were prolific, and the only treatment which was effective in reducing the speed of appearance of new lesions was ciclosporin A, a powerful immune-suppressant. My lesions were appearing at a rate of more than one per day at the time. We counted them weekly and plotted them on a spreadsheet……

Also, urticaria (hives, or nettle rash) are usually itchy; itchiness isn’t usually the main symptom of the Degos lesions.

As you already know, Dr Shapiro has seen Degos-like lesions in scleroderma patients, and these have responded to the Trepostinil treatment; let’s hope maybe it might lead to cessation of Degos lesions in cutaneous Degos patients as well.

I hope you and your family are well, Steve. It was good to meet you in June.

saposch's picture
Joined: 2014-11-20
Thanks Judith

Thanks for the response Judith.

We are fine. Great to meet you as well. Hope you and Alan are doing great.

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