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Thread: erythema multiforme (really long)

  1. #1
    Junior Member Array
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Default erythema multiforme (really long)

    Hi all. I have 2 girls. An 18 month old and a 4 year old. Rencently my 4 year old came down with strep throat. She saw the doc and we were given a perscription for Amoxicillin. About 7 days later she woke up with hives, mostly on her back, belly, chest and bottom. The doctor said that it was an allergic reaction to the penicillin, so she switched her to Zithromicin for the rest of the course. Over the course of the day the rash got a little worse, but not too bad. It was very itchy for her, so I just gave her Benydryl like the doctor had suggested. Later on that night I noticed the rash was covering her entire body and extremely itchy. I ran an oatmeal bath for her. In the bath she began shaking and trembling. I immediatley took her out and wrapped her in a towel. I noticed that she had a fever, when I checked it was close to 104 degrees. Fear ran through my body because I knew that this was not normal. I put her to bed and was just getting ready to call the doctor when I heard her vomiting in bed. I picked her up out of bed because by this point she could not walk. She told me that her hips hurt and she was dizzy and shaking, she said she couldn't walk. By this point I am in a panic. I call and leave a message for the on call doc, and while I waited for her call I cleaned her up. The doctor called back during her second round of vomiting. "Is this normal for an allergic reaction?" I asked. She responded with "I don't know if this is related to the reaction" I then told her about the fever and vomiting, the trembleing and dizziness and her hips hurting. "What should I do I asked?" She then told me just to comfort her. It's most likely not related to the reaction. She actually sounded a little aggravated by my call and my anxiety about this. But I took her word for it and got her comfortable and slept with her on my couch. The next morning the rash looked dark red and covered her ENTIRE body (even the bottoms of her feet, palms of her hands, and her vagina) She was very itchy and her skin felt hot to the touch. I left 2 messages for the doctor and never recieved a call back. Later that evening I took her to the ER. I could tell by the doctors eyes at the hospital that he was very concerned. About five different doctors came in to look at her also. They told me it was an allergic reaction called Erythema Multiforme. By then her skin on her back and belly looked dark purple, almost black like a bruise. They started IV fluids with steroids. We left the hospital in the morning and immediately went to see her doctor at the office. He could not believe how bad she looked and he told me that this is one of the more severe cases that he has ever seen. 100% of her body was covered. Normally people get only a few patches with this, but looked like a burn victim. Hour by hour the rash was changing. Finally in developed into what looked to me like snake skin, not in texture, kinda like I took a dark red sharpie and drew scales on her. Or like a road map I guess you could say too. It was so strange. She even has some scarring. She took prednisone for 3 days and also perscription zantac, because that is also an antihistimine. A week later she was back to herself. Now she caught my tonsillitis, and she is running a fever and it looks like the rash is returning on her legs. The doctor told me that if her skin gets heated by the sun, bath, etc. the rash may reappear, but not to worry because it takes 4 - 6 weeks for the rash to completely go away anyway. I can't help but to worry though. I thought she was going to die while this episode was happening. She looked absolutely terrible. I think I am traumatized. I can't sleep. I keep feeling like this is going to happen again somehow. I heard that if it does happen again it could kill her. The doctors didn't have much of an explaination as to what Erythema Multiforme is, except for that it's a rare reaction to certain drugs. I tried to reserch it on the internet and there isn't much, and whatever pictures there are on the sites are such mild cases compared to what my daughter looked like. I can't seem to find much information. If you are a nurse, doctor, mother, anyone who may have been through this, or knows anything about it, please respond. Sorry this is so long, but it is so hard for people to get the full picture in fewer words. Thanx.

  2. #2
    Junior Member Array
    Join Date
    Jun 2008


    My one year old has erythema multiforme. He was on medicine for an ear infection. He broke out in a rash from head to toe. The rash kept getting worse so I took him to the E.R. they told me he had measels. The rash kept spreading the "dots" were touching. I took him to his doctor and she said it wasn't measels but was erythema multiforme. The doctor said it will go away in about 18 days. I've been looking up information and they say that it can come back. My son only has a minor form thank god. I don't know what I'd do if it was worse.

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