shingles? Herpes? Perioral Dermatitis
i am a healthy 31 year old girl. never had rashes or allergies.
4 weeks ago i thought i had a big zit on my chin. i get bad hormonal breakouts on my chin every month. this one was deep and painful. im a picker so after effing with it i wasnt surprised it was taking a couple days to subside. on day 3 a bunch of tiny annoying little bumps started to form around it. i scratched them too. they oozed and began to spread down to my chin and cheek. this is when i got nervous.
i went to doctors care the next morning and fibbed saying i thought i had poison ivy. i really just wanted someone to look at it.
they immediately said “SHINGLES!”
i was terrified. they took blood work to send out and prescribed me a high dose of Acyclovir, and oral steroids (prednisone)
i have little patience and needed it to heal as fast as possible since i am a waitress and people see my face everyday. i researched home remedies and natural treatments. i applied a compress of ACV. ( apple cider vinegar) i didnt realize it then but it made it way worse! and trust me i whole heartedly believe in these remedies. ill touch base on this again in a bit.
i went back to the doc in a box. the immediately said “HERPES!” apparently my shingles blood work came back negative. gee thanks doc for filling my weak immune system full of crap before finding that out. ammature hour.
i freaked out. they gave me topical steroids in addiction to my oral and acyclovir AND on top of the a tiny tube of topical cream DENAVIR that cost me $100. oh not to mention the fancy antibiotic was $350 WITH insurance. holy crap.
i was raised in a hollistic family and i have nver been pumped so full of medications. im not sure if it was the combination of them or if one in particular was messing with me, but by day two i was experiencing “bells palsy” and total numbing and paralysis on the side of my face where the mystery rash was.
i went back to the SAME doctor and he said ” Why its not herpes at all! its some sort of dermatitis!”
at this point my tears and frustration were impossible to hide. i was beginning to feel like a lab rat. i decided enough with this roadside doc in a box. i had proper blue cross blue shield, so i was doing to see a dermatologist.
i made an appointment with the cities most reputable dermatologist. after explaining y ordeal he said it could be herpes. he said that they can appear on the face and the first outbreak can be wuite impressive. at this point it was drying up and he couldnt tell. he told me the doctor should have taken a culture swab form the infected area. he treated me for PERIORAL DERMATITIS and told me to STOP tasking all of the medication i was previously prescribed. thats $650 out of pocket i had to waste. did i mention i hadnt worked al week because of the emotional trauma of having a gnarly rash growing on my face. at this point i was just plain depressed. a recluse, couldnt even leave my own bedroom.
i started taking the DOXYCYCLINE i was prescribed from the dermatologist and it seemed to go away after a few days. it was in the healing stages at this point anyways. i finished up the 7 day sample supply he gave me.
i thought i was out of the woods. until three days ago when i woke up with the same little red papules on MY MOUTH. i thought for sure i had contracted herpes. they oozed and spread to all four corners of my lips. i remembered the ACV (apple cider vinegar) treatment for shingles and applied a compress of vinegar to my mouth. BOY DID I MAKE A MISTAKE. it seemed to multiply, ooze and swell times ten. after research i learned that herpes thrives in a warm acidic environment. i was to eliminate all L-ARGININE rich food and introduce foods rich in LYSINE.
my lips have crusted over horribly, but new bumps keep appearing and oozing. its a frickin nightmare.
i made an emergency appointment with my dermatologist but he was out of town. i saw the other resident derm. he was an hour and a half late to seeing me, rushed in, took one look and declared “PERIORAL DERMATITIS!”
wait?what. but there are oozing sores on my mouth? it has to be cold sore/herpes right?
he said absolutely not. he can tell just by looking.
so here i am, full of DOXYCYXLINE. AGAIN as well as topical metrocream.
i am emotionally and physically spent.
my anxiety and depression is getting worse by the day.
has anyone else gone through this roller coaster ride of mis-doagnose? help!
From the symptoms it looks like herpes sores rather than perioral dermatitis which presents with sores around the mouth rather than on the lips and the mouth. Pain, burning, tingling, or itching occurs at the infection site before the sores appear. Then clusters of blisters erupt which break down. You need to get some investigations like sample from the sores to identify the virus, culture analysis, Tzanck smear, antigen and antibody studies and blood sampling for antibody studies done to confirm the diagnosis. My sincere advice would be to consult a dermatologist.
It is very difficult to precisely confirm a diagnosis without examination and investigations and the answer is based on the medical information provided. For exact diagnosis, you are requested to consult your doctor. I sincerely hope that helps. Take care and please do keep me posted on how you are doing.