Drs: Itching & Dark Bumps, Hypothyroidism + Urticarial Vasculitis


The Drs: Mysterious Skin Condition

Drs: Itching & Dark Bumps, Hypothyroidism + Urticarial Vasculitis

The Doctors help diagnose a woman with itchy dark bumps all over her body and set up a treatment plan to get her the help she needed. (ampyang / Shutterstock.com)


Dr Travis Stork said to try to imagine your skin itching all over, all day long, day after day. Unfortunately, that’s what Calvina calls her “living hell.” She shared that seven years ago she was mowing the lawn when she got bit by something and it started turning red and green around her ankles. A couple months later she had a dark mark on her arm so she went to the dermatologist who did a biopsy and told her it was possibly Prurigo.

She’s been on numerous medicines, but nothing has stopped the itching or stopped the rash from spreading. She now has dark brown marks all over her body that itch so bad she can’t sleep and she’ll scratch until they bleed. She covers up her entire body because she’s embarrassed by the condition.

The Drs: Mysterious Dark Bumps All Over Body

The Doctors welcomed Calvina to the show who shared that she only gets a couple hours of sleep a night. The spots are all over her body, including the bottom of her feet, but her face is clear. Dr Drew Ordon said he’s never seen anything like it, and Calvina said she doesn’t think she’s contagious but she doesn’t know because she doesn’t know what it is. She said one time she went into an “itch attack” that was so bad, she had to get up from her desk at work, and when she came back, she was bleeding through her pants.


The Drs: Searching For A Diagnosis

The Doctors wanted to help Calvina get a diagnosis so they sent her to see board certified dermatologist Dr Sonia Batra. Calvina shared that she hasn’t been tested for liver or kidney diseases, as well as autoimmune diseases. Dr Batra wanted to do some testing and did a biopsy on a new spot as well as older spot to try to understand the progression of the condition. She also did some blood tests and a culture swab to see if there was any bacteria.

The Drs: Hypothyroidism + Urticarial Vasculitis

Calvina and Dr Batra were on the show and Calvina shared that she’s nervous because she’s felt hopeless for so long. Dr Batra shared that Calvina’s case is actually one of the most interesting cases she’d ever seen. She found two rare and interesting diagnosis, explaining that Calvina has hypothyroidism, which affects everything from the metabolism and mood to the skin. She also discovered that Calvina has Urticarial Vasculitis, which is different than hives.

She said Calvina has more of an autoimmune condition where she has inflammation of the blood vessels. Calvina actually hasn’t been taking the right medications to treat the underlying vasculitis. The good news is that both conditions are treatable.

The Drs: Conditions Cause Severe Itching

Basically, the itching is coming from the dry skin caused by hypothyroidism, and then on top of that she has urticarial vasculitis which has resulted in “pronounced nodules.” Dr Batra said it was both of those things that were causing the itching.

Dr Travis Stork said unexplained profuse itching should be ruled out with proper medical diagnosis. Dr Batra was actually ready to start treating Calvina right then and there with some local injections that would cut down the itchiness. She was also going to prescribe a medication that would calm down some of the underlying inflammation that was causing the itching.

The Drs: Treating Urticarial Vasculitis & Hypothyroidism

She already numbed the area, before giving Calvina a steroid injection right into one of her nodules. Dr Stork explained that it won’t resolve immediately, and she was going to need ongoing treatment, so they reached out to a dermatologist, Dr Adrienne Lam, in Oklahoma City where Calvina lives. Dr Lam and Dr Batra were working together to come up with a treatment plan for Calvina. She said it could take anywhere from six month to a year, so she wanted to offer Calvina one year of in-office treatments for free.

Dr Lam also connected Calvina with an endocrinologist in Oklahoma City to address her hypothyroidism, which should be covered by insurance. Calvina was brought to tears because she was so thankful.


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