Arthritish Skin Rash
   Arthritis Rash | Skin Rash

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Arthritis Rash

When waking in the morning to find an arthritis rash spreading across the hands and forearms, one is suddenly more thankful for perhaps years of previous good health. The days of never seeing a physician might be replaced with occasional visits to a rheumatologist or a dermatologist to discover the source of the redness, itching and swelling that has covered the skin in raised nodules, blotches, or pustules that dot the skin, or in some rare cases cover over 90% of the palms or elbows.

Doctors run tests to check metabolic components. Sometimes they look at the sedimentation rate, which is might be an indicator of other disorders. However, not always does the sed rate help determine the presence of disease. Tests that measure the levels of antibodies, including IgE, IgA, IgG, and IgM immunoglobulins, help the proficient physician understand the big picture. Depending on the condition, these antibodies tell him to which body system the auto-immune disorder is limited, such as the skin or GI tract, or even if the auto-immune response is a recent or long-term.

When the physician does not get the information he is looking for, that is to say when all these tests come back normal, he typical compliments the patient, introducing his interpretation of the tests results with something like, "Well, I've got some good news..." However, that is hardly good news to the patient who knows that unless something is found to be wrong, no diagnosis will be received. Without a diagnosis, the physician will be clueless as to the proper way to treat either the skin condition or the system processes that have gone awry underneath the skin. In this respect, the doctor is only fooling himself and putting on a face for the patient when he presents the "good news."

Seeing that this doctor is full of himself, the persistent patient may go to another physician for a second opinion. This second physician, who also has years of medical school, training, and experience, suggests tests that the first one overlooked. This is not uncommon, but it is more common for the second one to merely look at the skin, scan through a medical book on dermatitis (complete with pictures), read the previous practitioner's notes, and come back in agreement with him. Physicians are reluctant to go against the brotherhood of the medical community, for it they do, they expose their bother to the possibility of legal remedy by the patient who might have gone years without a proper diagnosis, having a painful and unsightly skin condition that could have been relieved with the proper medication.
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