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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Acne-like rash- could it be from Lyme?

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Author Topic: Acne-like rash- could it be from Lyme?
Nicole_Denise
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I have a question about acne and Lyme...

I don't have the striations, or nodules on my arms and legs, but about 3 months ago, I had a bunch of changes in my symptoms.

I started getting a lot more neuro-lyme symptoms (vision problems, twitching, tingling etc.)

At the same time, I had a terrible break-out of something like acne on my back and shoulder.

I would get this tiny bumps that were almost like pimples, except they either came up as scabs, or turned into scabs at the slightest irration/rub

I also started getting scabs on my scalp, and petechiae, which both come up as symptoms of Lyme.

They are just on my back and shoulders, and none of the typical acne treatments are working.

I'd kind of ignored them, but I'm starting to wonder if they are related to everything else.

I have not had any treatment for Lyme yet- I had my first appt with an LLND last week, and totally forgot to mention this.

Is it worth mentioning at my next appt? Could it be Lyme related?

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kitty9309
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I get this as well.

It started after I began treating the Lyme.

In my case, it is likely due to Bartonella.

I add Rifampin in a few days.

Will see if this skin stuff improves after a while.

I would mention it.

Good luck at your appointment.

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Leelee
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I am like kitty in that mine is probably due to Bartonella.

My acne-like symptoms started a little differently, though.

My little (and big) pimples appeared years before I began treatment, but once I started abx the problem intensified.

I have them on my back, chest, shoulder, arms, top of my stomach and sometimes my face. Incredibly I have even had them inside my mouth. [Eek!]

When a particularly unusual "patch" occurs I take a photo for my records. My LLMD feels certain it is caused by Bartonella, but just in case I need evidence down the road I have my pictures.

On the good side of things my LLMD assured me that at some point my skin would clear up. [Smile]

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The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King,Jr

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middlesizedpanda
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It's the petechiae i've got, mostly on my arms.

Still not got a positive test but begining to think thats not likely with the tests they do in the uk.

I think it is to do with lyme as I've had all the tests for platelets etc and they're ok.

Good luck

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Leelee
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I just started a new thread about petechiae. Your question got me to wondering.

I always assumed mine were due to Bartonella, but now I wonder if it may be caused by Babesia instead.

There are a lot of knowledgeable people on here so I am sure someone can enlighten both of us. [Smile]

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The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King,Jr

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Nicole_Denise
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I think I've already replied to your post about petechiae...I have them as well.

Mostly on my upper thighs, upper arms, and shoulders, but I have a few on my stomach and back as well.

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Blackstone
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Petechiae are primarily known to be Babesia. "cat scratches" and many of the non-raised rashes seem to be indicative of Bartonella.

I have a rather horrible rash that is indistinguishable from acne, like some of the other posters here. I've had it for years, and it "came out" even more during my treatment years ago. Mine are plain old red spots that often turn to "whitehead" style pimples. It is worst on the trunk of my body - my back, chest, shoulders not too bad on the abdomen, neck, but just recently it is starting to creep down my arms and legs.

My LLMDs aren't sure what to make of it. I took a biopsy myself and sent it of to a new england lab who's name I forget to look for Lyme (unfortunately, at the time I didn't tell them to look for coinfections), but they only came up with the "normal" sort of bacteria you'd find on acne-related skin.

My feeling is that it could be, in order of descending probability.

1. Related to lyme itself. I'm considering a minocycline + tindamax setup to see what happens.
2. Related to bartonella. This seems less likely as I've tested negative several times and have very few other specific bartonella symptoms. Thinking rifampin+zithromax.
3. Related to babesia. It would be an extremely unusual presentation, but its not out of the question, especially since it first started getting worse during my zithromax/mepron or zith/alinia days, if I recall correctly.
4. Related to yeast. I have no yeast symptoms but many feel that it can be overlooked. Treatment here is standard diflucan or vfend.
5. Related to issue or dysregulation secondary to infection. Not much I can do about this except kill the bloody infection.
6. Related to a lesser-known or harder to diagnose co-infection such as mycoplasma. Lots of protocols for these.

Those that are trying rifampin, don't forget it has to be paired with something else. Keep us posted!

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Leelee
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Blackstone,

Thank you for posting your interesting thoughts. I am especially curious about (4) yeast.

I am convinced I have yeast. I am going to look at this angle in light of your feelings.

My Fry lab result indicated my findings may be indicative of mycoplasma so maybe that is my problem too.

I am getting so overwhelmed and confused. My sister has definite streaks on her back so we are convinced she has Bartonella. I appreciate your explanation on how to differentiate between Babs and Barts rashes.

It is interesting that you had a biopsy done. I had three questionable bumps/pimples taken off my nose and arm a couple of weeks ago. I specifically asked for them to be tested for Bartonella, but I am not certain they really were. The plastic surgeon sent them to LabCorp and they came back as fibrous papules.


But like you

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The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King,Jr

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Blackstone
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Its really, really hard to nail down these infections due to something like a skin biopsy PCR. Especially in the case of lyme and babesia, its nigh impossible as the organisms aren't in high concentration in the skin, the same way they aren't just floating around the bloodstream.

At current, its just to hard to find an antigen in many cases, and the tests aren't really sensitive enough in their "normal" incarnation - they're made for diagnosing things like MRSA where there's a ton of the antigen just sitting there directly on the lesion.

If you believe to have yeast, then a course of diflucan or vfend (much more powerful, harder to tolerate for some people) may lead to improvement if that is the cause of your rash. Then again, you may very well have yeast if you have other symptoms thereof, but the rash could be caused by something else entirely.

My Fry smears came up completely clean last I had them done (no "Haemobartonella" which is what they used to call mycoplasmas), but if you had a positive here it may be worth considering a regimen for that.

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Leelee
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Blackstone,

That is wonderful news that nothing showed up on your Fry smears! I hardly ever hear of that happening.

I hope you find an answer to your rash soon. Does it itch? The ones I get on my arms itch so much I think I will scratch my skin off.

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The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King,Jr

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HollyS
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Does the "acne" get worse with antibiotic treatment? I had a horrible flare of symptoms back in December.

I had just had a baby via c-section and was put on IV antibiotics as a precaution after surgery (normal stuff) and my symptoms all came back with a vengeance.

It started with the "acne" on my face, chest and upper back, which is a typical symptom of mine.

Then came the horrid joint pain and swelling.

I guess this would make sense due to the antibiotics I was given. I hadn't put the pieces together until now.

Maybe it was a coincidence?

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Leelee
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HollyS,

I wonder if the abx didn't bring out some residual infection and that caused the flare?

Hope you are feeling better now.

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The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King,Jr

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HollyS
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Leelee,

I actually haven't been treated for it at all yet. I had a + test 2 1/2 years ago but was told it wasn't Lyme.

My symptoms come and go and the worst they had ever been were two times I was treated with abx for other reasons.

The symptoms finally subsided but keep coming back. No surprise there.

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Blackstone
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HollyS - It could very well be that the acne-like rash exacerbates in something similar to a herx effect. Which antibiotics were you given?

In addition, we should probably take into account other factors as well like hormonal flux.

LeeLee - The acne-like rash does not itch. They're slightly painful at times, but no worse than teenage acne. I do itch, but at areas that do not have that sort of rash. I assume it to be a histamine reaction from my pain medications at times.

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Nicole_Denise
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Hmm. So like HollyS, I haven't had any treatment yet (should be starting soon, though).

But my symptoms weren't related to any antibiotics, as I haven't been on any at all (Lyme or otherwise).

And my acne-like rash doesn't itch either. I itch a lot, but not where I have the acne.

Actually, it seems that I either have the ance/petechiae, or I itch.

I never do both in one area...except maybe my scalp (I have scabs, don't know if they're the same as on my back)

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lymeparfait
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Many times the acne is a "die off" herx reaction to treatment. Along with a die off and biofilm during the life cycle of the lyme, and the bodies way of detoxing and removing the toxins via the skin, I believe.

Also I have experienced a form of this as I am detoxing chemicals and heavy metals.

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Need Lots of Help
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My natural doctor says that acne is a sign of adrenal fatigue.

I also had medicines that have made me break out. Adderall and Provigil. They increase sweating.

When I started taking antiboitics is when my acne cleared up.

Shalome

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KimDC
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Nicole_Denise,

I thought I was the only one!

I break out in an acne-like rash on my chest, neck, jawline, and back with ALL antibiotics. When I stop the abx, it goes away.

I had dermatologist look at the rash a few years ago (before Lyme dx) after taking amoxicillin for Strep. He wasn't sure, but thought maybe the abx had activated acne that was just under my skin. I do have very oily skin.

I have found that acne cleansers make it worse. I wash the area with Dove soap 2-3 times a day, which seems to help.

Kim

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Misdiagnosed with CFS for 7 yrs. Diagnosed by LLMD in 2009. Aggressive treatment for 3 years with minimum improvement.

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Pammy
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I know this is an older thread but I just saw it so... [Smile]

I have the rash/acne on my chest, back, hairline and face. It started after I stopped abx...taking a break.

I'm guessing it's either yeast or my hormones are out of whack, or both.

Had my hormones checked and progesterone was low so I'm taking a natural cream.

I also started using the 3 step acne program similar to Proactive...it's the cheaper Walgreens version.

That really seems to be helping. I can only do it 1x per day though, otherwise it really messes up my skin that is not breaking out.

I read that when it is on your chest and back, not just your face, it's generally related to a hormonal imbalance...which can be caused by yeast among a billion other things. [Smile]

Good luck!

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