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On Starting New Treatment for Pyoderma

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As a Crohn’s patient, I’ve been dealing with extraintestinal manifestations(EIMs) for the past several years. Besides anemia, removal of a kidney stone and joint pain in my hands and feet, I’m dealing with painful lesions on my abdomen, back and face.

I never really thought much of it at first. My primary care cultured one of the sores. It  tested positive for staph so I had to take antibiotics which got rid of them for a few months. They appeared again so another culture was done, and it tested positive for staph again.

So a stronger dose of the antibiotic was prescribed. I hated looking at them. They itched, were sore and it seemed like every day new ones would crop up. I felt like a freak of nature, but luckily, they were covered up by my shirt so they wouldn’t show.

I went to see a dermatologist to see if someone could help me get rid of these “eye sores.” A very knowledgable PA examined my skin and stated that it looked like pyoderma, she wanted Dr. M. to take a look at it and get his input. When I saw him, he was very thorough going over my medical history. He told me that he’s had success with narrowband UVB phototherapy and that I’m a strong candidate for the treatment.

He went on to explain how the light therapy works.

1. The phototherapy is done twice a week, and I’m to step into the center of a containment enclosure containing fluorescent light bulbs.

2. Special googles are worn to protect my eyes, and I have to undress only those body parts that need the UVB lighting for a short time (seconds to minutes).

3. The only side effects I may encounter are A) my skin may freckle or turn slightly pink after each treatment B) if at any time I feel burning or discomfort, I’m to notify one of the staff immediately and C) results may vary in each patient and the lesions usually start to heal after five to 10 treatments.

This past week, I noticed that there are newer lesions on my face and back. It saddened me knowing that having Crohn’s meant dealing with more issues than I wanted. I had tears in my eyes when I realized that there is a strong possibility it may never go away. I just wish I never had IBD and was “normal” for once. The only thing left is to keep the faith and not give up.

Photo submitted by contributor.

Originally published: October 5, 2021
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