I first noticed a problem after a trip to the Amazonian jungle in 1997. I had a few insect bites which didn't seem to heal properly. This became a chronic situation with intense itching and bleeding. My GP referred me to a dermatologist who diagnosed eczema and prescribed the usual creams and emollients. I also had tests for any tropical diseases. Over the years the rash spread and I had many acute phases which required treatment with very potent steroid creams and antibiotics when my skin became infected.
This year things have got really bad. I have had to take 4 courses of antibiotics. I was at the end of my tether as I wasn't sleeping properly, I was embarrassed to go to the gym or wear shorts and tshirts in this beautiful summer we've just enjoyed. Staying in hotels is a nightmare as they invariably have white bed linen and sometimes by sheets can look like a bloodbath.
I pleaded with my GP to see the best dermatologist he knew, even if it meant I had to pay privately. He referred me to an eminent dermatologist who does a session at my local private hospital. This wonderful doctor took one look at me after listening carefully to my history and immediately diagnosed Nodular Prurigo. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted, for a while I thought I was going mad. Why couldn't I manage my eczema? Now I know my condition is NP I have researched it and realise that there are others out there too.
I am embarking on a course of oral steroids and cream. Then there is the option of phototherapy and if necessary immunosuppressants.
I don't lay any blame for misdiagnosis on my GP or the original dermatologist as I believe NP to be quite rare. I'm glad I have discovered this forum.