Thursday, April 30, 2009


After many years, numerous doctors offices, medicated bandages, intense itching, occasional raw and bleeding skin, and the stigma attached with a skin disorder, we finally have an accurate diagnosis. For over 20 years, what WE knew could not be "just a bad case of eczema", as numerous doctors continually informed us, has finally been diagnosed, by my sons allergist nonetheless. "I'm not a dermatologist", he said "but this looks like...ICHTHYOSIS." It doesn't have a cure, but to finally have some answers makes a huge difference. My mother, after more than 20 years of suffering, finally feels "empowered". My son's allergist is her new hero. He did in less than 5 minutes what no other doctor, including many dermatologists, has been able to do. He gave her a new lease on life.

When she mentioned that she had bad eczema, he, knowing that allergies and eczema are often connected, asked her to describe it. At a loss for words, she lifted the hem of her skirt slightly to reveal the skin on her legs. He asked her permission to touch her, and he rubbed her legs to see if the skin was smooth, bumpy, scaly, etc. Then he asked her what made her think it was eczema. She informed him that is what she had always been told by other doctors. He made the classic "Oh, really, let me not say anything" face. He recommended that she see a dermatologist for confirmation, but he was pretty sure.

We, of course, went home and googled "ichthyosis". What was amazing was the pictures. We saw some that we could have taken ourselves over the years. We read the symptoms, which extend beyond just the appearance of the skin, and she was checking them off, one by one. I can not recall ever seeing my mother so excited. She really and truly felt like a burden had been lifted off of her shoulders. She was not crazy, or wrong, or a hypochondriac. All of these years, all of the creams and lotions that never worked, all of the intense itching and discomfort, all of the suffering, and now, thanks to her grandson's serious food allergies, and her daughters persistence that she go to the allergist with them, now there is an opportunity for her to bring all of it to end. To finally be able to control her skin disorder.

Isn't it amazing how things work out?


Maximus said...

It really is amazing how things work out because I think this might be what my husband has. His legs are covered with scales but has refused to go to the doctor to get it checked out. For all these years, I thought he just had a bad case of dry skin and possibly eczema, but after reading the desciptions online and seeing the pictures...this might be what he has. I'm going to have him try some of the home remedies to see if it helps.

Just think, if your son did not have severe food allergies, if you did not insist on having your mother come with you to the allergist, if you did not post this on your blog, I would not know what to look for to help him.

Sacred Stitch said...