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Skin Care and Diseases

Question

06/26/2007

Question:

HI - I have been suffering from what I thought was acne for about 2 yrs now... the thing is it itches... Acne doesnt itch! Right? I went to a Derm Dr and they have been treating me with hormones and a diuretic - talking to a fried tho made me look up eczema- Its almost textbook! Here`s my question... I break out about every 2 weeks and then I dry up and have about a week off... I take benedryl EVERY NIGHT for mainly sleep problems and allergies, it doesnt seem to help with anything anymore. (2 years treatment) How do I ascertain that this is eczema? and do you think that the benedryl is Not effective for long periods of time? I have been extremely depressed about this whole ordeal because its so ugly! I guess I need some expert advice because OBVIOUSLY my small town Dr`s cannot DX me correctly! Please reply.

Answer:

It sounds like seeing another Board Certified Dermatologist for a second opinion may be helpful. It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish acne from eczema. If there is doubt in the diagnosis, a skin biopsy (where a piece of skin from where the bumps are is cut out and send to the pathology lab for diagnosis) may be helpful.

Benadryl is routinely not a very effective treatment for clearing eczema or acne, although it may help a little with the itch (and may get you drowsy as well, so be careful with driving and activities).

Depression and anxiety can aggravate both eczema and acne. This may have to be evaluated as well.

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Response by:

Pranav   Sheth, MD Pranav Sheth, MD
Formerly:
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati