A TMI Post

Folks, a really weird and probably TMI question. For years, I’ve been suffering during the cold-weather season from a very painful, itchy and ugly rash on my lower back. I’ve tried every cream and ointment, including prescription stuff, but nothing works.

But the moment I leave town and go elsewhere (like to Canada and then Seattle this winter), the rash goes away within a day. I go back home, and it’s back in two days. It’s got to have something to do with the local water, right? There’s no other common factor. I’ve changed detergents, moved house, but none of that works.

Does anybody have any suggestions on what to do?

20 thoughts on “A TMI Post”

  1. Where is your water coming from? Well water? Reservoir water? Could be something in the water, or it could be hard water. The only way to know would be to get it tested.


      1. US is full of dermatologists and those who are against single payer / national health say it is much easier to get an appointment than in Canada / England / etc.


          1. I am also just amazed at the sheer number of prescriptions. For my cold I got 4 things. I’m only using 2 – the others I think I will save for next time, crazy though that seems. It’s convenient in a way, you can always have things on hand, but one wonders about overmedication, truly


            1. I still have enough oxy to start a minor drug dealing operation from all the over-prescription I’ve been subjected to.

              This is why I hate going to doctors. All they know how to do is prescribe. It’s annoying.


              1. I used to have multiple bottles of Lortabs that had been pressed upon me. It’s not clear to me why they were, or why they aren’t now. Currently all I’ve got that the DEA cares about is cough syrup with codeine in it. I haven’t tried it yet.


      1. “the spot that you’re leaning your back on in your desk chair?”

        Or something only used in colder weather like a cushion or some item of clothing that isn’t taken on trips?


  2. Dr. Dreidel is right here lurking, but there’s no point in commenting if I don’t have anything medically useful to add. There are literally DOZENS of possible causes of the rash as Clarissa has described it, and scattershot “could be” guesses aren’t very helpful.

    El asked the right question (“Have you tried [seeing a dermatologist]?”)

    Here’s my suggestion: Go see a dermatologist while the rash is active and visible, and let him/her do whatever work-up is necessary to determine the underlying cause. The doctor should also be able to give you prescription for oral or topical medication to ease the symptoms and perhaps cure the rash. (Be aware that prescription medications that cure some skin conditions can make similar-looking conditions worse, so get the hands-on exam by a specialist before accepting a prescription.)

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Not necessarily. It could depend on how you stand in the shower — different body parts will have more and longer contact with the water than others. If you stand a little forward in the shower when not actively washing, the water would primarily hit the lower back. And if acne is involved, even a minor reaction to something in the water can cause it to get worse.

          I would see a dermatologist, but it can’t hurt to have your water tested. I would find out if your town or county has a water authority — you can ask them to test the hardness of the water and also to test for common chemicals that can make their way into the water. You want to know if there’s anything in the water at a high enough concentration to cause that kind of irritation. You could probably ask at the town hall. If your town or county doesn’t have anyone who can test for it, you might have to hire someone, which can be significantly more expensive. Hard water can cause worse irritation of the skin; so can higher concentrations of chlorine or lead.

          You can ask your water utility company if they can test, as well — they can also give you a report as to what the concentrations of those chemicals are like on their end, whether it be well water or aquifer or reservoir.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.