Our Five Ring Circus: Papular Acrodermatitis

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Papular Acrodermatitis

Poor Dylan has been sick all summer. Not really sick, but covered in a rash for 3 months. It has been a long, frustrating summer for everyone involved. He started out with minor cold at the beginning of June (which quite possibly started all this). About a week after that went away, he broke out in a rash of hundreds of tiny red bumps, head to toe. A little less than a week later, the skin on his face, fingers, and toes began to peel off. He was on an antibiotic for that rash. When that went away, he got a few patches of severe eczema, followed by another rash. After 2 doctor's visits, they sent us in to see a pediatric dermatologist, who diagnosed him with Papular Acrodermatitis of Childhood (PAC). It is a skin reaction to a previous viral infection. In most cases, it is just a minor, short-term rash, but it can last 12 weeks. In Dylan's case, it was one of the worst cases the dermatologist had ever seen. His skin was covered in red, bloody bumps, and he was constantly scratching. They put him on a prescription to stop the itching and a prescription steroid cream. Unfortunately, the oral anti-itch medicine is also used to treat short-term anxiety, and can cause mood swings. Oh boy. His mood swings were vicious. My previously well behaved child turned into a devil, and most days, I was in tears over the way he was acting. It has been a month since he was diagnosed, and the rash has faded a great deal. He still has it, but it's nothing compared to what it was. He's still itchy, but not nearly as bad, so we took him off the oral meds, and he is back to his well behaved self. I feel so bad that he spent the summer miserable and itchy!


  1. Poor little guy! I'm glad he's doing better though!

  2. I'm *so* glad you were able to take him off the moodswing meds. That must have been so frustrating for all of you! Poor Dylan.


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