Severe rash spread all over my back and shoulders - CLL Support

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Severe rash spread all over my back and shoulders


Has anyone else experienced this, two days ago my back started itching and then the rash grew and spread all over and creating over my shoulders, it is covered in red welts and is driving me crazy! On Tuesday I had a hot bath with Epsom salts and lavender oil as I've been so stressed out lately, on Wednesday I had a massage it was Wednesday night it started! That's the only two things I have done differently! It can't turn into septis can it?... Ive been struggle if with dermatitis like rash on my feet and wrists for weeks!

11 Replies

Have you tried Benadryl? Worked for me. Make sure anything you take though is approved by your dr. Wish you the best, Mike

I used to have them a lot and they are urticaria type lesions. I tried Allegra, it works great.

Skin symptoms are common in CLL due to the disruption of the mast cells. If you search on this site you will find lots of people have posted similar questions about skin itching and rash.

My husband had a severe rash and itching which was misdiagnosed as ringworm by the GP. It wasn’t until he went to a consultant dermatologist that he was diagnosed with Aquagenic Uticaria (allergy to water) due to the CLL He was prescribed the antihistamine fexofenadine , the asthma drug montelukast, (prescribed off label), which with addition of aspirin brought it under control.

I don’t think that allergic reactions can turn into sepsis but I would get the rash checked out by your doctor. Hopefully you can get it under control by simple antihistamines but if not, get referred to a dermatologist

Hope all goes well.

A bite or rash, especially if scratched to the point of opening the skin up, can result in infections - both bacterial and cellulitis. These can become quite serious. Sepsis may not be as likely, but I would be seen by a doctor before trying over the counter stuff. You don't want to mask symptoms. Better that he sees things at their worst and then works with you to get the issue resolved.

It could be many things like dermatitis or an allergic reaction but from first hand experience it sounds like it could be the onset of shingles as is common in Cll and especially as your under a lot of stress lowering your immune system further.

Best to go to your local Dr or specialist team if your under one and you could get some anti virals immediately or if not treatment or advice for whatever else it could be.


If it's shingles being seen asap is critical !!!!, as in ER !!!! It usually presents on one side only - usually, not always. It can appear on both sides.

Sounds to be like you have had an allergic reaction to your massage. The area is exactly what a full back massage would cover. Did she/he use oils, (Aromatherapy Massage) were you asked to fill in a health questionnaire regarding allergies etc. If oils were used, the base oil (grapefruit or almond) is as important as the oil they mix it with. I’m just wondering if you had a weakness test done with the oils they suggested. Some oils can stimulate and others totally relax, also be very careful with certain oils that may be suggested especially during this heat as they can cause a very bad reaction. I would suggest Essential Oil of Rose, it has a lovely scent and is totally relaxing.

I hope this helps, perhaps you should contact the salon and report this rash and try to find out what oils if any they used. Eurax cream is also very good for dry itchy cream, you can buy it over the counter at any pharmacy, but if in doubt speak to the pharmacist.

Hope this helps and the rash disappears soon. Take care. I have a degree in Aromatherapy and Reflexology and I certainly would have taken as much information from you regarding your health, hence the above.

Susiecarer x

Yes, I was also questioning the oil used by the massage therapist. You might ask what it was - and avoid it in the future? Maybe do a patch test once your symptoms clear?

You might also ask if a towel was placed on your back and ask what it was laundered in. Were any other substances used in the process? If it is contact related, one must be a detective.

Hope it clears soon.

I've had a resistant rash since I was given Bendamustine in the Fall of 2011. It's been biopsied a dozen times, had so many blood tests, and it waxes and wanes but never goes away in 6 1/2 years. I have tried over a dozen immunosuppressants to no avail, and use steroid & lidocaine gel topical, antihistamines as needed, and get IVIG infusions monthly to keep it under control. The hive-like lesions are insanely itchy when they first appear, last approximately 2 weeks then fade. Some turn into blisters, hence a diagnosis of bullous pemphigoid. I've been the subject of grand rounds at Boston hospitals' dermatology. It is rather confounding.

Yes, I had a very similar problem. BUTI was recently diagnosed and found that I may have has CLL for a few years. (My Dr never checked my labs when they came back). Anyway, my numbers are low - abs lymp. 10K, no other cbc abnormalities. I am also very asymptomatic.

Regardless, I slept in a t-shirt (as always) and woke up the next day to a ever worsening rash. It took the exact outline of the T-shirt I wore. It went away in about 10 days with 180mg fexofenadine at night. Now I get lots of allergies - especially in last 30 years. It turned out that the commercial laundry we send our clothes to had used a new fabric softener dryer sheet. I told them to stop, and that turned out to be the problem.

But the rash was really bad while I had it. We eventually had everymgarment and linen in the house re-washed.

Are you sure you just didn’t have a bad allergic reaction to the oil - non CLL related? Thats what I think I had as my oncologist didn’t see a connection.

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