Bartonella vs Stretch Marks & Other Rashes/Skin Problems

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Americanlymie
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun 22 Mar 2015 16:21

Bartonella vs Stretch Marks & Other Rashes/Skin Problems

Post by Americanlymie » Sun 22 Mar 2015 16:42

Hi everyone,

I am new here. Thank you for accepting me to your forum.

I am a 36 year-old male who was just clinically diagnosed with Lyme, based on my history (I tested + and was treated for it in 1997, but with 14 days of doxy @ 200mg/day), a zillion neurological and joint-related problems that are sometimes disabling, including cluster headaches & Meniere's disease, and also because my doctor said that the "stretch marks" that I have all over my body are definitely bartonella rashes.

These scars/rashes have been really upsetting to me throughout my life, but I never related them to my neurological problems and was too ashamed to discuss with doctors. Sometimes they itch or burn terribly, and the pain is not helped by lotion, and that never made much sense to me, as the mothers who I know who have stretch marks never complain about related pain. Still, I am having a hard time accepting that these marks are bartonella--they really do look like the same pattern of rash, but most of them are white, not red. Like stretch marks, they are always red when they first appear, but eventually they fade to white. (They do sometimes turn pinkish around the edges and become inflamed when they're hurting.) Aside from a slightly chubby teenaged period, I've never been very overweight at all...I am 180cm tall and weigh 153lb (I think that's ~69kg?). I used to be very lean and work out a lot, so I thought that the stretch marks on my shoulders were from gaining muscle...but the ones on my flanks and even my KNEES are completely inexplicable.

After two weeks on antibiotics, my lab tests came back negative for both borrellia (ELISA and Western blot) and bartonella--which is devastating to me, because I thought I had finally found the reason for all my health problems.

In addition to the stretch mark scars, my skin is extraordinarily sensitive. Over the past few years, I've developed hives and dermatographic urticaria ("skin writing"), and the slightest touch or scratch turns into a big inflamed red rash.

I also developed a large red rash on my lower abdomen/pelvic region about a week after I began taking minocycline...I took it as a Herxheimer reaction, but it's been there for a full week now. It was EXTREMELY itchy for the first two days, but now it isn't--it's just a big red mass.

If anyone has any experience with similar skin issues, I would really welcome your insights. I'm going to try to attach some photos here. The streaky white stretch marks are pretty obvious and self-explanatory--does anyone know of cases of bartonella being white instead of red/purple? Does anyone know of hives/dermatographia being a symptom of Lyme or a related infection? And do you think this giant rash on my abdomen is caused BY the antibiotic or a Herxheimer reaction? Any other info would be welcome, too. I am new to this world, and so confused. :roll:
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Americanlymie
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun 22 Mar 2015 16:21

Re: Bartonella vs Stretch Marks & Other Rashes/Skin Problems

Post by Americanlymie » Sun 22 Mar 2015 17:04

Just adding a few more photos in case they are useful. (I'm really sorry they're all so gross--TRUST ME, I wish my body weren't.)
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This is the sort of rash/inflammation I typically get when I scratch an itch. It just turns into a big puffy red rash and then calms down after an hour or two.
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This one, on the other hand, appeared about 12 hours after I began taking minocycline. It wasn't provoked by scratching; it just showed up in the morning for several hours and then went away.
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And this rash showed up approximately five days after I began taking antibiotics (minocycline) and two days before I added biaxin to my treatment regimen. This rash has been present for over a week now. It itches much less than it initially did, but it is just as large and red as it was when it first appeared.
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Thank you again for any helpful comments anyone has. :idea:

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ChronicLyme19
Posts: 564
Joined: Mon 11 Aug 2014 17:42
Location: NY, USA

Re: Bartonella vs Stretch Marks & Other Rashes/Skin Problems

Post by ChronicLyme19 » Mon 23 Mar 2015 18:03

Americanlymie wrote:Just adding a few more photos in case they are useful. (I'm really sorry they're all so gross--TRUST ME, I wish my body weren't.)
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I've gotten red rashes that look similar to number 7, but always on my back and not from scratching. I have been tested for bartonella quintana, and henselae, and was negative, but that could be because I have a total IgG deficiency. There are more species of bart that can infect humans that there are no tests for. My doctors seem to think I have bart or a bart-like organism because my neuro symptoms for lyme were out of propotion to my other symptoms. I had these rashes come out when I went on levofloxacin briefly as they suspected I had bart despite testing negative. I also would flare badly on Byron white A-BART, the anti bart formula. Because of these bart or bart-like rashes, they put me on rifampin and I had a large two week herx but it has made me feel better. I no longer flart on the A-BART herbs, so I;m pretty sure the rifampin got the bart.

I:m not sure about the itchiness, maybe you are allergic to that antibiotic, but the dermatographic urticaria or skin writing I have had when I have really bad herxes. Benadryl helped me with that but I would talk to your doctor before adding that in.
Half of what you are taught is incorrect, but which half? What if there's another half missing?

Americanlymie
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun 22 Mar 2015 16:21

Re: Bartonella vs Stretch Marks & Other Rashes/Skin Problems

Post by Americanlymie » Wed 25 Mar 2015 14:49

Thanks, Chronic. I've actually had the dermatographic urticaria and overall bright red inflammation of my legs on and off for over five years now--long before any kind of treatment--so that's not specifically a Herxheimer reaction...meaning, it didn't originate with the antibiotic treatment, but the antibiotic treatment did seem to trigger it all to flare up more intensely than it has been in years.

I saw a regular dermatologist two days ago for a mole check. The large red rash on my abdomen/pelvis is actually an acute reactions to minocycline, he said, and he gave me an Rx steroid cream to help with the itching. But he suggested that the reaction could be dangerous (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2954588/), and I checked back with my LLMD this morning, and she told me I could stop taking minocycline for two weeks and see if the rash goes away. I'm still taking biaxin and bactrim.

My dermatologist said it's very strange for someone my weight to have so many stretch marks, and he didn't seem to question the diagnosis of bartonella at all (which I expected him to do)...he said he would never suggest to a patient that this sort of thing would ever vanish completely, but after looking at them closely, he said they're "not that bad" (as in the collagen damage) and said that they probably will improve with treatment. He said the large ones on my abdomen are real stretch marks and won't go away. (I'm a 180cm tall, 69kg male, so those are still an oddity...I did gain a bit of weight quickly around age 12, but I was never obese or close to it, just a little overweight during adolescence.)

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ChronicLyme19
Posts: 564
Joined: Mon 11 Aug 2014 17:42
Location: NY, USA

Re: Bartonella vs Stretch Marks & Other Rashes/Skin Problems

Post by ChronicLyme19 » Wed 25 Mar 2015 15:09

Americanlymie wrote:Thanks, Chronic. I've actually had the dermatographic urticaria and overall bright red inflammation of my legs on and off for over five years now--long before any kind of treatment--so that's not specifically a Herxheimer reaction...meaning, it didn't originate with the antibiotic treatment, but the antibiotic treatment did seem to trigger it all to flare up more intensely than it has been in years.
Maybe you have other allergies/sensitivities you don't know about? This reminds me of a friend who used to get red rashes all over and then she found out she was allergic to chocolate and peanut butter. Have they tested you for food/other allergies?
Half of what you are taught is incorrect, but which half? What if there's another half missing?

Americanlymie
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun 22 Mar 2015 16:21

Re: Bartonella vs Stretch Marks & Other Rashes/Skin Problems

Post by Americanlymie » Wed 25 Mar 2015 21:14

Yes, long before I ever thought or knew anything about Lyme, I figured I had just developed some sort of odd allergy. I went to an allergist and discovered I am severely allergic to cats, and moderately allergic to dust and cockroaches. My LLMD actually had me tested for food allergies, and the only thing that came back was a very mild sensitivity to dairy milk. When I go through periods of getting hot red leg inflammation, it almost always happens at 4:00 in the afternoon. Trust me, I know that sounds strange; fortunately/unfortunately, that has resulted in a lot of witnesses to the odd phenomenon because I've shown many of my coworkers. During conversations, my legs often start to feel hot and prickly, and then I pull up my pants leg to reveal bright red, swollen legs.

My LLMD said that that suggests it could be due to a parasitic infection that sounds like babesia, because she said babesia in some ways operates like malaria, and both have circadian rhythms and tend to flare up at a specific time of day and then calm down.

Years ago when I first noticed the dermatographia, I asked my dermatologist about it and he said it's not that uncommon and probably is just due to a latent mild allergy, and he said that I should take an antihistamine every day and not worry too much about it.

gretaky
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed 21 Dec 2016 15:19

Re: Bartonella vs Stretch Marks & Other Rashes/Skin Problems

Post by gretaky » Wed 21 Dec 2016 15:28

I have been diagnosed with bartonella as well. And I too have white stretch marks that come and go – one of the marks even produced a blister. I put together a website with information about my experience with bartonella (diagnosis, treatment, symptoms, etc...) https://bartonella.wordpress.com/symptoms/
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