The daddy rash

19 Apr

I don’t usually post two days in a row, but then again, I don’t usually smell like calamine lotion. The bathroom smells like it, the bed smells like it, and most of all, Aaron smells like it.

It all started overnight Sunday/Monday. He kept scratching. And fidgeting.  And scratching some more. Tossing and turning because he was too darn itchy to sleep. He woke up, had a shower, and then announced that he needed to go to the doctor.

What?  “You want to go to the doctor?”  This must be serious.  Aaron never wants to go to the doctor.  He is a man.  Men don’t see the doctor (even though when they have man flu, men turn into 7 year olds).

He showed me his legs.   Ew.  They were all red and rashy.  It was on his arms, his torso, and his back too.  He couldn’t stop scratching.  Every step made him itchy.

Caladryl Lotion, Calamine Plus Itch Reliever, 6-Ounce Bottle

The doctor gave him some cream and a tablet and said he was having an allergic reaction to something.  The cream could only go on twice per day.  Twice per day?  Oh gosh, that’s not enough!

He woke up in the middle of the night last night itching some more.  Sorry, when I say he woke up, I mean he was already up, he hadn’t been able to get to sleep yet.  He woke me up with all his tossing, turning, scratching and fidgeting.

I slathered some way-too-runny calamine lotion all over him in attempt to stop the itchiness.  It was the consistency of water.  I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to be that runny.  Humph.  Again, that is what I get for buying the cheap stuff…. Note to self, stop being so cheap.

This morning, he woke up and it was worse.  The rash is now on his face, all over his entire body, all the way to his feet.  It’s

allergic reaction

The angry rash (and this was yesterday, its worse today)

even on the palms of his hands.  It looks like an angry red monster ate him up, spit him out, and then flogged him with the stinging variety of jellyfish.

Back to the doctor.  Well, a different doctor.  My doctor.  Not the one up the road who is more concerned with seeing the highest number of patients possible in the least amount of time (thus making more money…), rather than actually fixing/curing/helping people.

My doctor says it’s something he ate or inhaled.  Gave him a different prescription and told him cream will not help, as it isn’t something he touched.  Sigh.

Now he is laying about the bedroom buck-naked so no clothing is touching his skin, and trying his darndest not to move (so he doesn’t get too itchy).  Oh, and did I mention the doc said he isn’t allowed to scratch anymore?

Sure, he could attempt to go to work, but let’s think about that for a minute:

He’s riding the train.  The trains are packed.  People cram themselves in like sardines.  The person next to him accidentally brushes against him.  SO ITCHY.  He can’t take it anymore, he scratches.  Everyone stares.  The itchiness has spread.  The rash gets angrier.  People are still staring.  They start to move away, eyes wide with wonderment of what disease he may be carrying and giving to them.  Is it leprosy? Crabs?  Ringworm?  Plague?

He gets to the station.  He has to walk to work from there.  His pants are rubbing on his legs.  Oh gosh, the itchiness!  Every step is agony.  It’s not like an itchy mosquito bite, it’s like a constant feeling of being on fire, far itchier than any bug bite.

He gets to work.  Tries to be productive.  Don’t scratch.  Don’t scratch.  So itchy.  Don’t scratch.  Oh my gosh, kill me now.  Don’t scratch.  Everyone thinks he’s radioactive or something.  They stay away, don’t talk to him.  In his distracted state, something on the website he is working on now has a giant banner reading “Penis” instead of “Pens.”  The mere act of typing makes the rash on his hands explode with itchiness.

“I’m so itchy!”  Aaron just told me.  “It’s enough to make me go crazy.”

Let’s hope he’s better tomorrow, and that none of his limbs fall off.


Aaron hardly slept at all last night and his rash was not any better this morning.  He went to the doc who gave him stronger antihistimines to take with the other pills.  It seems to be improving….. we’ll see.  It still looks angry and red.

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Friday (he got the rash Sunday overnight): Finally it seems to be clearing and didn’t spend the day naked sitting on the edge of his chair (because his back against the chair would be far too itchy) with a fan on full blast, pointing directly on him (because getting too hot makes the rash/itchiness worse, being cool makes it slightly better, even if you are shivering and have goosebumps.  Hey, it’s better than the unbearable itching).  I think it’s finally starting to go away.

The doc said that if it’s not clear by Tuesday he will have to be referred to an allergy specialist for tests, as it would be something he is being perpetually exposed to.  Some theories on the matter are: Something in the garage, as the rash appeared the day after cutting, jackhammering, sweeping, etc. the garage, and who knows what could have been lurking in there.  The funny asian mushrooms we had in our Chinese fondue dinner that night, we’ve never eaten them before (but then why hasn’t the rash gone away yet?  At least with the garage, he’s going in and out all the time because that is where the car lives).  And of course, our final theory; Aaron’s mum.  She’s visiting at the moment (staying with us), and wears some uh…interesting creams, lotions and potions.  She’s going home tomorrow, so we’ll see if the rash finally clears up.  If it does, it will be hilarious to be able to say that Aaron is allergic to his Mum….

UPDATE: 1 week + 1 day after rash appeared – The rash is visually gone, but Aaron is still itchy.  Not that up-all-night-drives-you-completely-crazy itchy, like it was before, but still itchy none the less.  The cause is still a mystery.

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19 Responses to “The daddy rash”

  1. LB(cruiseshipblogger) April 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    Does Aaron know you broadcast his woes to the world?

  2. Sheri's DAD April 19, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    That looks awful! I think I know what caused it. He must have been dreaming about swimming with thousands of jellyfish and they stung him. Hey, it’s as good an explanation as his first M.D. and I didn’t even charge for the stupid diagnosis.

    Hope he feels better. Now you must find out what did it. Did you change laundry detergent or did your detergent’s formula change? Start trying to figure it out or it will get worse. You might try some Benadryl.

    • Sheri (Mommy Stuff Blogger) April 19, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

      We don’t have benadryl in this country…. Also, it was caused by something ingested or inhaled, so your laundry theory is flawed. We had a chinese banquet dinner on Saturday with all sorts of strange food in it, and also he worked on the garage all day that day so could be anything!

  3. Mandy April 20, 2011 at 12:04 am #

    Oh, I have been in this very situation!! On vacation no less and then again recently. My husband was the same way, kept me up with the scratching and we have ended up in the ER twice, neither time knowing what caused it.

    I am your newest follower on twitter and FB. I hope you will check out my new blog and follow back!

    Thanks and hope the rash gets better!

  4. Bex February 28, 2012 at 7:26 am #

    I have this same problem, it’s been going on for about 3 years now, the Dr still doesn’t know what causes it. I get hydrocortisone cream prescribed which helps calm the itching. It’s really tough not to itch but if you can bare it, it does reduce the itchiness a little. I completely sympathise with your hubby 😦

  5. Ellebee April 21, 2012 at 6:43 am #

    My rash started last Wednesday (10 days ago!) It is healing but I am still itchy. Not as itchy as when my rash was ANGRY. You described that perfectly by the way. I had red welts all over my stomach, shoulders, and back. I had a large red area on the back of my neck as well as a few scattered rashes on my face. My right eye was swollen too! Both forearms were covered in tiny red bumps in long streaks that looked like scratch marks. Just want to let you know that I ate shiitake mushrooms that day as well as the day before. I think that’s the culprit. I don’t have health insurance so I don’t have confirmation.

    • Mommy Adventures April 21, 2012 at 6:59 am #

      That sounds horrible! Hope you’re getting better, and I’ll tell my husband as he too thought it might be the mushrooms.

      • SouthAnn May 7, 2012 at 3:00 am #

        The skin rash sounds just like what I have experienced twice in the past year or so. Both times it set in 2 days after consuming Shiitake mushrooms.

      • Mommy Adventures May 7, 2012 at 7:16 am #

        Someone else said the same thing. Maybe Aaron should get an allergy test. Specifically shiitake mushroom allergy test…. Seems this is more common than I thought.

  6. Chris February 6, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    Don’t know if you’re still interested or not as you blogged this some time ago, but this was definitely a case of flagellate dermatitis (google it) caused by eating raw or undercooked shiitake mushrooms. I know this because I am currently laid awake, itching like crazy 7 days after consuming shiitake mushrooms and have exactly the same rash. And cream DOES help.

    • Mommy Adventures February 6, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

      Wow, we looked that up, and yeah, that’s definitely what it was. Aaron is never going to eat shiitakes again (even if they are properly cooked)! Thanks for letting us know! I hope you feel better soon.

  7. Sally Roof March 21, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    I had this rash after eating shiitake mushrooms. Have had it twice, but didn’t make the connection the first time. My doctor didn’t have a clue and said I had been scratching my skin when I knew I hadn’t!

    • Mommy Adventures March 21, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

      It’s terrible!!! I’m surprised how common it is. I’m sure the shiitakes caused the rash, but we’re not game to find out for sure, haha! Aaron is scared to eat any exotic mushrooms now.

  8. jessica May 5, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

    thank you so much for posting that photo…i’ve had the same rash for about a week now and had no idea what it was until i saw your photo and the comments underneath about the shiitake mushroom allergy!

    • Mommy Adventures May 5, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

      Hopefully it goes away soon 😦

      On Mon, May 5, 2014 at 2:03 PM, Mommy Adventures wrote:


  9. Londongal December 12, 2014 at 2:12 am #

    So glad to find your photo that led me to this article. I was trying to understand why I’ve been itching like crazy with red welts all over my skin,it started gently 2 days ago and has quickly spread aggressively, feels like I’m losing my mind, I’m using Aloe Vera to calm it down a bit without scratching and have been taking Antihestimine once a day, thinking it will disappear within 48 hours, hasn’t worked.

    Reading this now I know better. I’ve now booked an urgent appointment to go see my GP in a few hours time. But what made me leave a comment is that I ate Shiitake Mushrooms a few days ago – twice in a row for 2 nights.

    Funny enough, I don’t eat mushrooms, I don’t particularly like the taste/texture, but I’m vegetarian and it was the only vegetarian option in the restaurant on a very hungry evening at a Seminar far away from home. I would never have linked the Mushrooms to this where it not for this post. Thank U

  10. apinla November 10, 2015 at 11:54 am #

    I’m another person who saw the picture and was led to this post! And yup, I’m going through the same thing– terrible itchy rash with red streaks all over. I get eczema pretty often so I know better than to scratch it, but everyone who sees the rash thinks it looks like this because of scratching! For me, the rash developed on the 3rd day of reintroducing a certain food into my diet. Wait for it… mushrooms. SHIITAKE mushrooms!

  11. Donna February 1, 2016 at 4:42 pm #

    Thankyou! I now have this dreaded Shiitake Rash (day three and I am going out of my mind with the itchiness) and reading this post made me wet my pants laughing, which surprises me no end due to the total misery I am in. Poor Aaron, I know exactly how you feel.

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