In late February I noticed that my legs were itchy at night. I spent most evenings at my girlfriend's condo, and she started to feel a little itchy, too.
Suspect #1 -- new laundry detergent. She bought something different and my legs were the only thing touching the sheets under the covers. We switched to hypoallergenic detergent.
But it kept spreading. The reaction and itch were worse for me in heat and in sunlight. Showering was intolerable -- my skin would instantly react to the hot water by breaking out in "hives" and making me feel dizzy.
So I went to the doctor when things didn't clear up. Who wants to guess the diagnosis?
So I asked, "How could both my girlfriend and I come down with dermatitis at the same time?" No answer (she isn't allergic to ANYTHING).
So they treat me aggressively with steroids and tell me to stop using hair gel and other products.
The steroids really do the trick -- no itching at all. Unfortunately the infestation just runs wild without displaying symptoms.
The steroids run out, the itch comes back worse. I *beg* for more steroids. Nights are intolerable and the "dots" as I called them have spread to my genitals, my buttocks, and my inner thighs. It is a nightmare to look at and just terrible to endure.
My doctor does a punch biopsy. The diagnosis?
I then contemplate getting rid of the cats (which I love) and never using soap again. The doctor gives me an injection of steroids and tells me to go see an allergist.
I go see the allergist and tell him my story, but the steroid shot is masking the problem. He asks me to come back the following week and take a battery of allergy tests. When I return the following week and he can see the nightmare that my body has become -- particularly the stomach -- he says, "You have scabies."
I was mortified.
He prescribes Hydroxyzine for the itch and a load of Permethrin for both myself and my girlfriend.
At the same time my girlfriend sees the old doctor they have on campus and he immediately says, "You have scabies." She gets prescribed Lindane.
After reading up on the scabicides we decide to both go with the Permethrin lotion as Lindane seemed more a "second-line" or last resort. I applied with one half of the tube and she used the other.
At first I felt much better, then I starting feeling bad again. I always felt that something was moving on/in my flesh, and at times I felt like pins were pricking into my body. The itch became less intense, but still present.
We both did a second dose of Permethrin at the one week mark. Afterward we still showed signs of having scabies -- "dots" both new and old and itching.
I went back to the allergist. He said I looked much better, but he wanted me to try a few more treatments of Permethrin. My girlfriend decided to do the Lindane last night and today she says she feels completely better.
Tonight will be my third treatment of Permethrin in a month. I am hopeful.
Then I read these forums and people have this for years at a time. I feel like crying.
So far I have spent around $300 on medical bills and treatments. My girlfriend paid a whopping $150 for the Lindane.
Reinfestation is my biggest worry. I look at everything with suspicion, from board games to my computer keyboard. I wash everything over and over, drying multiple times. I have avoided driving for three days to keep away from my car. I vacuum constantly.
The effects of this ordeal have been devastating. I can't believe that my relationship has endured. We haven't slept together in a month. We've only been dating for five.