I was prepared.
My brain swarmed with all of my Doogie Howser M.D. super sleuth internet knowledge. This dermatologist was going to be impressed. My pants were rolled up passed my knees, exposing dry, scaly patches of circular raised rashes. Some were even covered in dried blood from unconscious, middle of the night scratching.
“So I’ve ruled out skin cancer, doc,” I stated matter-of -factly.
“Could you roll over on your stomach so I can see the backs of your calves better please.” He was smiling. Impressed no doubt.
“And I’ve been washing our sheets in hot water a few times a week and changing my pajama bottoms every night.”
“I know how contagious Ring Worm can be. I even took my dog to the vet to be checked out.”
“Ok, well, you can sit up now.”
My mind was wandering to all the other things I had learned about ring worm. Surely there wasn’t anything else for him to tell me that I didn’t already know.
“Well, it’s not Ring Worm.”
I was dumb founded. If it wasn’t skin cancer or a fungus, then what could it be? Oh gawd, what if it was something much, much worse. What if I had leprosy or something? I remember seeing pictures of that on the internet too.
I clenched my jaw a little waiting for my prognosis.
“It’s a very specific type of circular eczema.”
“Eczema?” I blurted, “You mean my skin isn’t going to peel off or infect anyone else?”
The doctor started to chuckle, “No. This is not fatal. Painful, but not fatal. We can’t completely get rid of it, but we can manage it with a cream and a topical steroid so that you are more comfortable.”
And that my friends, is why you should never diagnose yourself.