Just come back from 2 glorious weeks in Ag Stef NW (sigh). Developed a mysterious skin condition around both ankles and extending up calves while I was there. Started as bright red and has gradually turned purplish - very alarming to look at - though it doesn't hurt it's heat-sensitive. Went to the GP in England yesterday who's a bit mystified but thinks likely culprit is some plant contact in Corfu as rash looks like toxic reaction to something. Anyone any ideas as to what it might be? Didn't do too much countryside walking except in Arilas and I was stupid enough to wear cropped trousers and sandals in all terrrains (!) Ankles swelled also, though that may be down to heat as they're a bit less so today. Going back to GP tomorrow if no better on her advice. ANY IDEAS? ANYONE? GP is most interested - I just wish it would go away! Had to keep my legs covered for the last few days of hols for fear of frightening children and those of a nervous disposition with the awful sight! But, oh, how I wish we were still there.......
Message posted by Trace (Profile Location Assistant) on 12áSeptemberá2006 at 1:43pm - IP Logged
Lichen Planus is a red/purple rash of unknown cause that is more common in women than men and ankles is one of the common sites it can appear, it usually itches especially at night , does yours itch at all? If you look it up on the internet you can see if it is similar at all.
A rash similar to lichen planus can be caused by a reaction to certain medication too.
good look hope it clears up soon.
Message posted by vivwells on 12áSeptemberá2006 at 5:18pm - IP Logged
Thanks. It doesn't itch at all and doesn't look like lichen planus. As I say, my doc is fairly convinced that it's a toxic reaction to soemthing - probably a plant. Trouble is, I'm not much of a naturalist and don't really know what wild plants I might have come into contact with in the Corfu countryside that would have caused it!
Message posted by John and Hilary on 12áSeptemberá2006 at 5:47pm - IP Logged
Thanks John, I'll do that. I'm assuming then this hogweed stuff grows on Corfu? If it was actually giant size then I'm sure I'd have noticed it (my husband certainly would) but I suppose even giants have to start small! Is your rash made worse by sunlight? I think mine was as it got much worse after a day walking round Corfu town. Have emailed the owners of some land that I know I went walking on to ask them also (not that it would be their fault of course - it'd be down to my own stupidity in walking everywhere bare legged!
By the way, is Elourgia the name of your house or a village in Corfu? Wish we had a house (with non-toxic plants) there.....
Message posted by Terry and Julia on 12áSeptemberá2006 at 6:28pm - IP Logged
Chicory can cause an allergic reaction and that grows all over the place but I don't know if the result would be as you describe.
Message posted by Sailor on 12áSeptemberá2006 at 6:44pm - IP Logged
This is only a suggestion. Whilst in Greece last year, my legs around the ankles and lower shin area turned red, and then a purple colour when agravated by heat. Day time was more irritable than the evening, although it was not of an itchy nature.
On our return to the UK it appeared to abate at first, but did come back a few times. I spoke to my Doctor regarding this, and he was not familar with the problem. Gave me some antibiotics and some cream to rub into the legs as they appeared to be tightening, like being stretched. Again not hurting.
Early part of this year, it became worse again, and by April I find it began to hurt very much. The skin on the ankles and lower shins seemed over stretched. I also noticed a reaction to my body, where certain areas would bloat, particularly my legs and lower torso.
I returned to my doctors, who could not find anything wrong. I went to another doctor and he diagnosed Cellulitis and infection caused to the legs, which can be caused by many things. I still have the problem although not anywhere near as painful, but legs seem to have thinned and the skin around the lower shin is tight.
Hopefully, you do not have the same problem, but I would go back to your doctors to make sure. This started on a holiday in Greece. I can remember also scratching my legs on some plants when out walking. However, I am not saying this is the problem.
Hope this helps.
Message posted by John and Hilary on 12áSeptemberá2006 at 6:45pm - IP Logged
Yes , as soon as I get into strong sunlight the symptoms appear within 3 or 4 days . You will have read that the plant is a relative of parsley and contact with that can cause added problems .
Elourgia is a hamlet of Sinies where our plot is . The local name for the land is Megali Rahi [ big ridge ].......I can understand why , if I want to get to the bottom of the plot I will need mountaineering gear....lol
Message posted by vivwells on 12áSeptemberá2006 at 10:24pm - IP Logged
Thanks Chris. I'll pass that info on to my doctor. It sounds a real nuisance and I hope you recover completely one day. I'm assuming it doesn't make you feel unwell other than the symptoms you describe? Luckily I feel fine and have been advised, until I go back to the doc tomorrow, to keep my feet up as much as possible - such hardship!
John, your house is obviously going to have great views and perhaps you can do abseiling courses for the tourists
Message posted by JeremyS on 12áSeptemberá2006 at 10:28pm - IP Logged
Thanks everyone. I didn't go back to see the doc as she said not to bother if it was getting better by today - which it is. I'll go again if it starts to get worse or I develop any further symptoms. None at present except a longing to return to Corfu - which of course many of us suffer from!
Message posted by John and Hilary on 13áSeptemberá2006 at 11:54pm - IP Logged
Glad to hear you are recovering. In the USA we get poison ivy (and poison oak). Poison ivy is quite severe and can cause a terrible rash. There are loads of pictures of various different rashes caused by poison ivy on the internet. I mention this because it has now spend out of America and is found in Europe, particularly in damp, warm climates.
Message posted by ecotrails on 14áSeptemberá2006 at 10:45am - IP Logged
Even some common grasses on Corfu (and elswhere of course) can cause nasty symptoms like you describe, did you walk among long grass at all, in any case think yourself lucky in a way that you did not lie down in it...... I did - once
Message posted by vivwells on 14áSeptemberá2006 at 2:43pm - IP Logged
I did walk through long grass and vegetation generally - bare-legged and sandalled - suppose I'm luck I didn't surprise a snake. The rash is continuing to fade away - though if it's photsensitive it's probably given up in despair with this gloomy English weather .
Message posted by Dave and Kerry on 18áSeptemberá2006 at 4:04pm - IP Logged
Hi Viv... i have just read your post with interest because for the 1st time ever on Corfu i looked as though my legs from the knee down and my feet had been in a war!
normally i get the odd mossie bite in the usual places, elbows, back of knee...and the odd one on the foot....but this time for some reason i got eaten alive and had large areas of very red skin that didnt respond to antiseptic creams...some of the bites turned into large blisters which ended up bursting and as they healed became a purple colour! they were all very itchy and the large areas were bad at night if they became warmed up....since getting home on Saturday just gone it does seem to be fading somewhat but very itchy at certain times mainly late evening.
my ankles were and are still swollen which is very unusual for me and as sailor made note of ...the skin around the bottom of my calves went very tight although this too is improving.....it would be good to know what caused it so it can be avoided in the future.
Message posted by vivwells on 21áSeptemberá2006 at 5:30pm - IP Logged
Very strange isn't it? Hope you're better now. I had to keep my legs raised and my swollen ankles covered with cold flannels, on doc's advice. I didn't actually have many mossie bites. The condition has completely cleared up now, but I'll be interested to see if it re-appears in future...
Message posted by Dave and Kerry on 22áSeptemberá2006 at 5:44pm - IP Logged
Hi Viv...all the redness has now gone as have most of the bite marks apart from those that blistered! it was a very strange occurence but i will be making sure i take the anti histamines next year as i normally do just incase.
Message posted by vivwells on 23áSeptemberá2006 at 3:12pm - IP Logged
I actually took some anti-histamines while still in Corfu - they had no effect. My GP said the nature of the rash meant it was likely to be a toxic reaction to something, probably a plant or plants. I've never had an allergic reaction to anything before.....do hope I'm not developing a "reaction" to Corfu!
Message posted by suzibren on 11áNovemberá2006 at 7:03pm - IP Logged
To Vivwells - this is just a thought but when I was there in 1978 with my children they each developed impetigo on their feet and posterior legs up to the thighs (it's a fungus of sorts) and it was contagious as well. The Greek doctor said they got it from sitting on the beach. It cleared up with some topical medication. Hope you are over it by now, whatever it was. Stay well. Suzi
Message posted by vivwells on 12áNovemberá2006 at 5:38pm - IP Logged
Quote: Originally posted by suzibren on 11áNovemberá2006
áTo Vivwells - this is just a thought butá when I was there in 1978 with my children they each developed impetigoá on their feet and posteriorálegs up to the thighs (it's a fungus of sorts) and it was contagious as well. áThe Greek doctor saidáthey got itá from sitting on the beach.áá It cleared up with someá topical medication.áá Hope you are over it by now, whatever it was.áStay well.á Suzi á
Thanks, Suzi. I'm fine now - it was spectacular while it lasted and don't suppose I'll ever know for sure what the cause was - though I don't think it was impetigo - more likely a reaction to contact with plant(s). The impetigo must have been v. unpleasant for your children - I hope it didn't put them off Corfu! I'll be interested (and dismayed) to see if my condition comes back next time I visit lovely Corfu.
Message posted by suzibren on 12áNovemberá2006 at 7:24pm - IP Logged
Hello again - I don't think my kids even remember that incident - there were so many other good happenings that month (July, 1978) We stayed with my sister-in-law who lived there, and I'm the only one who has returned. Long story - Someone saved my life back then and I've visited Corfu every other year since then - but my last trip was in 1996. I will be there again this June in Gouvia, where I have friends... By the way, I've never encountered any skin problems in all those years..... Take care .....Suzibren P.S. Watch what you touch!
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