Back in January, my face started turning red in some some places. At first it just seemed to be irritated from, oh, I dunno, people smashing their shoulders into it. But the red didn’t go away. And then big splotchy brownish patches started growing, taking over my checks and forehead. Then the red spread patches on my knuckles and on the back of my neck. If you saw me at the Girls in Gis open mat, you may have thought I just had a weird sunburn/suntan. (But it started in January, and there was no sun, and I don’t do indoor tanning.)
I initially tried several things on my own — going super-strict Paleo, doing auto-immune Paleo (no coffee!!), taking Vitamin D and digestive enzymes and Betaine HCl and fish oil and primrose oil, and eating liver and fish and fermented foods. None seemed to make a difference, though I am still doing many of them because they’re a good idea anyway.
I finally went to my GP, who tried a few otc treatments and did some blood work; there’s nothing in my blood, and the treatments caused no change. Then I went to a dermatologist, who was positive it was one thing (and the internet seemed to agree), but the normal treatment — antibiotics, ick — didn’t have the effect they should have. So now she’s exploring other options, which has meant biopsies from my hand and neck (ouch. Also stitches.), more blood work (did I mention I hate needles?), and more drugs (a short bout of Prednisone right now. Not so happy with that, either.). She has also consulted all the other doctors at the office, and none of them know what it is.
I have also had to explain multiple times: “Oh, that’s an old ringworm scar.” “No, that’s from an old scratch I got at class.” “The callouses on my finger joints are from BJJ.”
All of this, though, has meant time off the mats. (The rash itself is not a problem with training. It only rarely itches, and doesn’t seem to mind getting smashed. My face just looks weird.)
I go back again in two weeks, though in the last few days the brown part of the rash, at least, has started to die down, and my skin is peeking out. So perhaps something is finally working.