What could cause persistent rash and itch after sandfly bites?
Dear Doctor, last December I went to Sydney and came back with rashes on my legs. My GP diagnosed it as sandflies bites. He gave me some cream and oral medication. The itch stopped and rashes healed.
However, throughout the entire 2017 I experienced rashes breakouts on my feet, leg, arm, neck and body for no apparent reason. I do not have sensitive skin prior to sandflies bites incident. I went to same GP again 3 weeks ago and asked him whether the sensitivity of my skin and the rashes breakout are indirectly a result of the sandflies bites. He said a person who had been bitten by sandflies tend to have more sensitive reaction to allergens. And because I also have sensitive nose and prone to sinusitis, he said it makes the matter worst. He gave me Cetrizin and asked me to take for a couple of months to stabilise my body’s overreaction to allergens.
I have taken Cetrizin for 3 weeks. I am still experiencing sudden rash and itch on different parts of my body. Are you able to advise me? Thank you for your time.
Sorry to hear that your skin rashes are breaking out all over.
Sandfly or insect bite reaction is due to a hypersensitivity response of your body to the insect bites. In susceptible individuals, the body mounts a hypersensitive or ‘allergic’ response to the foreign protein deposited in the skin from the bite. The reaction can persist for weeks to months after the initial insect bite.
People with atopy (ie asthma, eczema or allergic rhinitis/sinus) may be more susceptible to insect bite reactions.
It is certainly possible for this hypersensitivity response to the insect bites to trigger eczema, and make you more susceptible to the rashes and outbreak you are experiencing, especially given your history of sensitive nose and sinus.
I think you should continue with general measures to prevent rashes and eczema, like using gentle soap-free cleansers and moisturizers regularly.
Avoid scratching, which can aggravate the rash. If the rash is still not well controlled or flaring, you can see your dermatologist/doctor to help control your condition.