Friday, June 13, 2008

Back to Spots

PLEVA (Pityriasis Leichenoides et Variolaformis Acuta) also known as Mucha Habermann's Disease is thought to be a disease of the immune system because of the white blood cells present. It is characterized by rashes and lesions, slightly raised red spots in layman's terms. It gets itchy when it's warm, spreads all over, looks like psoriasis and other people mistake it for chickenpox. It gets scabbed at times depending on how dry your skin or how much you scratch or pick on it. Predominantly on males but there are also women who suffer from the disease. Noticeable during the second and third decade of life.

I had this two years ago, right before I applied for my job. I went to three different dermatologists before someone actually diagnosed that I had PLEVA. Very little is know about the disease, the cause being unknown therefore the cure is too. Ultraviolet treatments help make the spots disappear for a period of time, going into remissions. Most antibiotics--oral or topical--are mostly ineffective. When the rashes flared up and I went on sick leave for a week, I went through steroids, creams, lotions and nothing worked. UV treatments at Makati Med are costly, so my dermatologist suggested I go sunbathing as often as I can since I'm always away on flights so I can't make it to the thrice a week treatments.

It went away after half a year or so, to my delight, because I'm already the color of wood from too much sunbathing. I never expected it to be back so soon, just a couple of years! Some people say theirs stay for years and some say they go away for years. Looks like mine's short-term.

It's depressing, yes. And I feel for those people (on blogs, forums and sites) who has had them for years. Yes, it does bring you down. The helpless feeling that you get when you're in a warm humid weather (a.k.a. Manila) and the rashes flare out, you're itchy but you can't scratch. The stares you get when you're in an elevator or riding the MRT and people move slightly away from you, thinking it's chickenpox. Oh yea, I'm getting depressed.

I try to sleep all the time to prevent myself from picking on it, from even remembering I have them. I stand in front of electric fans, under the airconditioning unit just so I'd feel cooler and less itchy. Pretty soon I won't be wearing sleeveless again or my signature V-cut blouses as the rashes would show. I kind of get why someone on one site said that if only the cure would be developed, he/she'd pay whatever the price just so he/she could live normal again.

I wonder why I get the medical stuff that can't be cured. Last week it was PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) which might actually lead to stage two Diabetes, obesity and a difficult pregnancy or infertility, and then now it's PLEVA's return...

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