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Dr. David
Dr. David, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 45937
Experience:  Board Certified Physician
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Hello, Doctor,Im having massive problems with my skin.

Resolved Question:

I have visited several dermatologists and a few family doctors and all to no avail. Main symptoms are pimples / bumps anywhere on my body, itchiness, the change in skin appearance and hair loss all over the body. All I know this is not any sort of allergy, stress or keratosis pilaris, I'm not trichotillomanic, I don't have a lack of vitamins, it's not due to my skin getting older and I am not crazy (although some doctors implied that)! This must be some sort of infection (e.g., staph or folliculitis) or disease and most importantly (and what scares me the most) - this is contagious! I have no clue what on earth that could be and it's getting me really depressed...

These red bumps come and go. They are not painful - often they are itchy. Normally they stay there for a few days and then go away, although they may stay visible for a week or so. 

The itchiness: most often it itches around my eyes, neck, chest, belly, shins, ankles, tops of the feet and sometimes wrists. And this itchiness normally lasts for a while at a time, but interestingly it doesn't itch all the time: let's say it itches around the eyes for some time (duration varies widely; could be a week or a few weeks at one time), then it stops and starts itching (not necessarily right after it stops itching at previous area) in some other part of the body mentioned previously or it can start itching the same area after some pause. But it could itch a few places at the same time. Those are kind of "semi-permanent itching areas". I don't think it's food related.

I'm also losing may bodily hair all over my body. I think it started with my shins, but now I'm losing them from my eyebrows, eyelashes, moustache area, beard, chest, belly, hands. I used to be pretty hairy, but now I'm losing it. I lose like 10-25 eyebrow hair every single day! All these hair has become lighter in color and thinner and falling out like crazy, and it doesn't seem it's going to stop, not until it's all gone. The most scary thing about my hair loss is that they are not growing back!

In addition to all this, I've started to get lots of skin tags and some other grows on my skin. They appear anywhere on my body, including the face.

I guess I'm losing my hair in and around those areas where I get the itchiness. I also often get these red bumps around those areas. The hair loss and red bumps are hitting my self esteem really hard. And all this is not improving over time - it's just getting worse and more depressing. I need help!

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. David replied 3 years ago.
This is Dr. David

have you had thyroid hormone level testing? high or low thyroid hormone levels can cause hair loss and itchy skin. what has your TSH levels tested at?

have you tried over the counter moiturizers to help moisturize your skin after you shower to pevent itchy dry skin? dry skin can cause itchiness.

do you have excessive anixety or anxiety disorder? excessive anxiety which is not well controlled can cause you to scratch at your skin and have itchy skin as well.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello, Dr. David,

Yes, I've had my thyroid tested and they said everything was normal. In addition I've also done these tests: HIV (negative), ASO (negative), ALT/GPT (65.600), AST/GOT (35.500), ALP (71.200), CRB (12.000), FSH (3.260), Cholesterol (6.290), Calcium (2.530), Glycemia (5.460), Creatinine (90.000), Epstein-Barr virus ( >400)] and urine (for fungus, staphylococcus) and all (except for cholesterol, ALT/GPT, CRB and EBV) were within the boundaries. I've tried many different moisturisers and none of them helped.

I've never had an anxiety disorder, but I'm starting to get it, because no one seems to be able to help me and I'm at my wits end now.

I'm going to repeat myself: this is contagious! Probably through physical contact. I can see the same symptoms in other people, who are around me. Since I know it's contagious, I thought it would be very easy to diagnose this condition, but boy I was wrong...

It's probably worth mentioning that it all started nearly 3 years ago,

when I had an accident and cut my left arm (and I've read that one could contract all sorts of infections after the skin damage) right up to the bone at the root of my pinkie. It wasn't healing and was oozing for around 2 weeks, and there were also bumps appearing around this cut, so I decided to go to the hospital (I'm thinking I might have picked something up in the hospital or I could have done it anywhere else). The nurse said the wound was infected (judging by these bumps, I guess), she re-dressed the wound and gave me some sort of antibiotic for the course of 10 days. After finishing the course, the wound started healing up (not sure if it was due to the drugs or naturally). About 1.5 months after it was completely healed, I started to experience very intense itch on both of my wrists one evening (they were also red rashes there, but no bumps or pimples) and 1 or 2 days later I started to get blisters all over my body. This turned out to be chickenpox (I determined this condition myself by the symptoms and the duration of the condition and didn't go to any doctor.) About 6 days later it started to get better and I entered the process of healing, but that itchiness on my wrists that I mentioned which appeared just before the rash of chickenpox, remained, and it remains to this day, but now it's not limited to my wrists only: now it itches around my eyes, neck, chest, belly, shins, ankles, tops of the feet and sometimes wrists. And this itchiness normally lasts for a while at a time, but interestingly it doesn't itch all the time: let's say it itches around the eyes for some time (duration varies widely; could be a week or a few weeks at one time), then it stops and starts itching (not necessarily right after it stops itching at previous area) in some other part of the body mentioned previously or it can start itching the same area after some pause. But also it could itch a few places at the same time. It could also itch some other random parts of the body, e.g. hip or hand, but it's often only short lived. But those parts of the body I mentioned above are kind of "semi-permanent itching areas", although they don't itch constantly, but this really annoying feeling lasts awhile at that place and then goes away for some time. Duration often or always varies. I don't think it's food that provokes these bursts of itchiness, but I have no idea why the itchiness stops for some period of time.

Also, my skin now is rough-looking, kind of some very small permanent skin - colored bumps. They look kind of similar to keratosis pilaris, but that's not what it is. They are not filled with puss, they are just raised a little bit and gives the look of being a rough skin - and, as I noticed, this is a symptom for everyone who contracts this nightmare condition to have this rough skin on their necks (and most likely in some other areas). I don't know if it started there, but most visible to a naked eye is on the neck. I also see these in and around my armpits, in the pit opposite the elbows, on the insides on the forearms a little bit and shins. Also I can see them on my chest and belly, although they are not so obvious. You can't notice them from a distance, but they are clearly visible from close-up. Not sure if they are spreading or they all appeared at the same time in all those places. Also I came to a theory that out of some of these smallish goose bump - looking bumps skin tags are growing out, because I started to get lots of these skin tags ever since this problem of mine started, and my skin used to be clean without any tags or bumps.

Please see this photo:Permanent skin-colored raised bumps

Expert:  Dr. David replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for all of that information

and the photo as well.

your skin looks normal in that photo.

these small bumps are usually the base of hair follicles on your skin and are normal and are not causing your itchiness.

it does sound like you have a lot of anxiety going on

I bet you will do better and have less itchiness if you were to take some anti anxiety medication.

have your doctors talked to you about medication treatment to help decreaes your anxiety?

are you willing to try this?

because so far you have been looking for infectious causes and you have been treated for fungal and bacterial causes for infection.

and all of that hasn't helped

you have been tested for HIV and other infectious agents and all of that has been negative.

I don't see any signs of infection on your skin.

but it sounds like your anxiety level is very high and doesn't sound like you will be willing to consider anxiety as a possible cause of your itchy skin.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Of course I'm anxious now! It wouldn't be normal if I wouldn't. I started to become anxious AFTER these problems started, not before that. Before I used to be a happy guy, because I had nothing to be anxious about. I feel cornered, since doctors cannot help me and, obviously, I cannot help myself, because I have no idea what I'm dealing with here. I know my problem is NOT imaginary and the worst of all it IS contagious! I don't believe I've contracted something unknown to medical world! I'm not crazy, and neither me nor anyone in my family ever had psychological problems! And no, these bumps are not hair follicles, because I've never had them before over there. I have these in other parts of my body too. Maybe it's not them that are causing itchiness, because, probably, they would be itching constantly, because they are there all the time, but still they are part of my condition. I wish you were right and it only was that simple as me being anxious. Unfortunately, this is not it. I'm not a doctor, but I don't need to be one to understand that I'm sick with some contagious infection/disease. I'm going to upload some more photos:

One of my armpits with the same looking bumps


And if you think those are just hair follicles, please check this photo of the face of my nephew:


I think this should prove that this is a very cunning infection / disease, because, although symptoms are the same, but they can manifest themselves in different places or in different intensity.

Here is the photo of my shin with red, puss-filed bumps and hair loss:


And one more photo with these red bumps on my temple:


This is not acne. I've never had acne before (I'm 30 y.o. now), and, although I've red that you can get acne at any point in your life, this is not it. And some people, who also contracted it, have more or/and bigger pimples and some have very little and / or smaller, but all of them do have these ugly things. So, these red bumps, those permanent skin-colored bumps and itchiness are main and same symptoms for all. Not exactly sure if the hair loss is the symptom for the same problem or it is something overlapping...

Expert:  Dr. David replied 3 years ago.
it sounds like you have a very closed mind about this

you say that anxiety is not causing this

you don't have acne

those are not hair follicles.

you are only willing to entertain infectious causes for your skin itchiness.

I am trying my best to try to help you.

but it seems like you are only interested in infectous causes for your itchiness.

when I say that your itchiness is being caused by excessive anxiety, this does not mean you are not feeling itchiness or that it is all in your mind.

I do understand you are feeling itchiness of your skin and you are probably scratching a lot, and this is causing these pus filled areas on your skin.

actually your third photo is an excellent photo of hair follicles on your skin. these are bumps and almost out of all of them you can see hair follicles start to grow.

you can get bacterial infections of hair follicles. this is called a folliculitis. using antibacteria soap can often help kill bacterial folliculitis.

also you should be checking for bed bugs as well. bed bugs can cause skin bites and itchiness

scabes infection can cause itchiness as well.

why did you include a photo of your nephew?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I appreciate you help, I do, but your answers don't satisfy me. Of course, I know, anxiety / stress can cause lots of different problems, including the skin. I would agree with what you say only if this condition was limited to me only, but, as I've already said a few times before, I'm saying it again: this is contagious! And how else this would be contagious if it wasn't for infection of infectious disease? I see all the same symptoms in my family members, friends, colleagues. So they are all anxious? All at the same time and at the same levels? No, I don't buy this. Unless there are two other options: 1) this is not a skin infection / disease and is something internal (and I don't have in mind stress here); 2) this is really something unknown to doctors. Maybe some opportunistic infection or something, like all these staphylococcal infections.

No, bed bugs are out of the question. I've changed places I live several time over the last couple of years and my condition didn't go away even for a single day. And I've checked for them anyway.

This is not scabies either - I've had them a few years back and I know what they look and feel like.

And if these permanent bumps are in fact hair follicles, how come they were not there before? I'm not a teenager anymore, so things don't just happen for no reason. And I put the photo of my nephew to show, that he's got the same looking bumps as I do on my neck and armpits - surely it's not hair follicles on his face!

And these red bumps / pimples are not coming from scratching: they just appear at random places and are itchy. I do not scratch these areas in advance and I don't actually scratch them at all. And this itchiness feels like something kind of biting me, some parasites or something. Yes, I agree, that it could be folliculitis. But antibacterial soaps, creams and liquids don't help. But I've read there are 3 kinds (I think) of folliculitis: bacterial, staphylococcal and some other. I've come to conclusion after lots of research on internet that probably folliculitis is the closest thing to my condition, although not exact. That could possibly explain hair loss as well? But if it is folliculitis and especially if it's staphylococcal, so i would need some sort of antibiotics, but I have no chance to get them as long as some doctor doesn't approve this is it. And so far I'm still on my own. Imagine yourself in my place: you know, there is something seriously wrong with you, you know this is contagious and you know there is no one who can help you. How would you feel and what would you do? I don't even know what kind of doctors I should be approaching now. I don't feel like a human being anymore. I'm trying to avoid contact with other people as much as I can, so I wouldn't transfer this damn thing to them...

Expert:  Dr. David replied 3 years ago.
how do you know your friends and colleagues are having itchy skin? that they are having pumps on thir skin or puss filled skin lesions?

hair follicles can become more prominent if you have hormonal changes. you should get your testosterone levels checked. and also make sure your thyroid hormone TSH level is between 0.3 and 3.0

staph is a type of bacteria

if you think it is infectious, I would see an infectious disease specialist

but I suspect that you will most likely get more of the same from your doctors.

I still don't know how you are so convienced that its contageous. what makes you think this?

If I were in your situation, I would back out from some of the assumptions you have made already. and be willing to consider other possibilities

and see if acne medications can help.

and see if anxiety medications can help

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I know, because I can see them scratching neck, chest and shins. I can also see they have same looking red bumps and they didn't have those before. Of course, anyone of us can can one odd pimple or another time to time, but these are different, and I don't think it's a coincidence.

Yes, I know that staph is a type of bacteria, a nasty and contagious one. That's why it comes to my mind, because it's contagious. But I've done research on internet, and I don't think I have staph.

Oh, and there are other types of lesions I tend to get a lot:




My assumptions are correct - I have no doubt about that.

What I don't understand is why all the doctors I've consulted are going for the easiest and quickest diagnoses, like allergy or stress without even trying to listen to what I have to say and are not trying to get deeper into this problem of mine?

Do you specialize in skin problems? And isn't infectious skin problems in a competency of a dermatologist?

Expert:  Dr. David replied 3 years ago.
when you don't change from your assumptions, it is just like those doctors you are seeing who don't change their assumptions as well

I am a cancer doctor, but I see many skin issues every day.

just because other people are scratching doesn't mean they have a contagious skin disorder. they could be scratching because of dry skin or acne or irritation from their clothing or the detergent that they are using

so you can't go by this and say they and you have a contagious skin disorder.

the first two photos are bumps we see when skin pores are clogged and the sweat glands or subaceous glands build up behind a clogged skin pore.

the last two red marks are either from your finger nail scratching or eczema reactive skin rash is what it looks like

all of us have bacteria and fungus on our skin.

if you culture anywhere on your skin surface, you will find bacteria and fungus spores.

this does not mean we are infected by bacteria or fungus.

and it does not mean these bacteria or fungus are contagious and causing skin issues.

all of us from time to time have itchy skin and clogged skin pores

but this does not mean we have a contagious skin condition.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, I know we all can itch time to time, and yes, I know, that we all have bacteria and fungus on our skin all the time, but all that bacteria most of the time is harmless, unless you get a skin cut or crack (and, of course, it doesn't mean you may get a skin infection just because you got a skin damage) and that's exactly what happened to me - I've got a deep cut in my hand and all of my health troubles are bothering me ever since. Something probably has got into this wound or could just be a coincidence, but this must be one of a hell of a coincidence!

Another thing is, when I noticed my eyebrows started to fall like crazy, at about the same time I started to experience problems with my bladder: to be more precise I've been diagnosed with an enlarged prostate. And soon after I started to experience pain in my right testicle. Urologist told me this pain was caused by some liquid which was (and still is) accumulated close to the testicle. It could all be a coincidence too. Who knows. I'm just saying all these problems started after the hand cut.

What I also need to mention is that I have a groin fungus for several years now and i cannot get rid of it with anything. I've probably tried pretty much everything: starting with all kinds of antibacterial and antifungal soaps, shampoos, over the counter creams, ketoconazole pills, and some prescribed steroidal cream which was the only one who worked longer than a few days: it killed the fungus for couple of months but it came back. I've had this fungus long before I got my hand cut And long before I had other problems, so I don't think this fungus is related to my other problems, but what do I know...

Is there a possibility to get a second opinion? I mean maybe you could redirect me to another dermatologist? Yesterday I received a message that you opened my issue to other specialists, but no one else got involved...

Expert:  Dr. David replied 3 years ago.

enlarged prostate is more common as we men all get older.

this is not caused by skin infections and prostate enlargement is not caused by contageous factors.

steroid creams don't help with groin fungal infections.

if you have moisture in your groin or private areas, this is a setup for groin fungal infections.

you need to use baby powder in your private areas daily once or twice a day to prevent moisture and this will help prevent fungal infections there.

if the steroid creams worked, then it wasn't a fungal infection. and was more likely eczema. your question is open to all the experts here at JustAnswer


you are always free to start another question for other experts to help with


let me know if you have other questions.

if done for now, please leave positive rating below the chat box so I can get credit for helping you today

you can always reach me with "a question for Dr. David" if you have any other questions

here is my website if you need to reach me again:

Thanks for using

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok, thank you for your time, doctor, although I didn't get any answer to my problem and I'm still standing exactly in the same place as I was before - in the unknown.

I guess my last chance is to visit an infectious disease specialist. If he or she doesn't help me, I guess I will have to live and die with this miserable condition...

Expert:  Dr. David replied 3 years ago.
you should see an infectious disease disease doctor

I bet they will also tell you that this is not from an infectious disease.

but I would strongly recourage you to talk to your doctors about treatment for anxiety to see if that helps

you should also try exfolating your skin when you shower and bath. this might help prevent blocked skin pores and might help smooth out your skin as well.

good luck to you

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