What fresh hell
August 28, 2017 8:09 AM   Subscribe

I have a rash that at first thought was related to the flu, and now I'm terrified is caused by bed bugs. Do either cause the type of rash described herein?

I came down with the flu at the end of this past week. It was bad enough that I had to stay home from work but not bad enough to completely land me in bed for whole time (i.e. I was fatigued and achy but not immobilized by it). I had a mild sore throat, some chills and and fever, and I noticed when I moved my eyes certain ways that hurt.

The flu seemed to have mostly passed by yesterday morning, but I noticed an odd rash all over my torso and upper thighs. It was tiny red dots without a blister and that did not itch. The areas of skin with the dots on them seemed extra sensitive to the touch, like brushing against them would give me chills.

This morning, however, I woke up with this rash all over my body, and itchy as hell. I'd woken up in the middle of the night to notice it had spread, and when I woke up again this morning it was everywhere, including my face. There were several welts that were especially itchy.

I tried checking my bedding and bedroom for signs of bedbugs, but didn't see any. My cat had flea dirt, so I treated him for fleas. I'm hoping this is an errant flea (which I also didn't see any evidence of) combined with a weird post-flu rash, but I'm not holding out hope.

What should I do next? I do plan to call the bed bug sniffing dogs. I have no other flu symptoms this morning. I'm frankly embarrassed to go into work.

Note: I had shingles once, and I don't think this is it.
posted by whistle pig to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Get thyself to the doctor. Flu-like symptoms and a rash can mean you need immediate medical attention.
posted by DixieBaby at 8:30 AM on August 28, 2017 [6 favorites]

Yes, this is the kind of thing that you need to see a doctor for, I would go to an urgent care clinic if you do not have a primary care doctor. The internet cannot help you.
posted by sockermom at 8:39 AM on August 28, 2017

I've had bedbugs and I had a bad reaction to them. This does not sound like my experience. The rashes were more localized to discrete and obvious 1-3 bite clusters. Nthing doctor.
posted by one of these days at 8:41 AM on August 28, 2017

This is definitely get-thee-to-a-doctor-now territory. Urgent care clinic if the doctor can't fit you in today. If you're still having second thoughts about going, does your health insurance have one of those 24 hour nurse hotlines? Call it and follow their instructions. Good luck.
posted by purple_bird at 8:41 AM on August 28, 2017

Unlikely to be bed bugs. To get that many bites in two nights, you would need to have a huge infestation, the kind that you would be able to see if you checked your mattress. There would be bugs, exoskeletons and droppings, plus blood spots. It is unlikely that you could go from zero to this type of infestation in less than several months, just given bedbug reproduction rates.
posted by Frowner at 8:50 AM on August 28, 2017

Response by poster: Thanks all, headed to urgent care.
posted by whistle pig at 8:51 AM on August 28, 2017 [2 favorites]

Just nthing that, having had bed bugs before, I don't think this is that. Hope you get some answers and a good prognosis at urgent care!
posted by schroedingersgirl at 9:00 AM on August 28, 2017

Could be a post viral bout of hives.
posted by hazel79 at 12:04 PM on August 28, 2017

Please remember that the nice people here are worried about you now and would love an update after you get treated.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:22 PM on August 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hand foot and mouth disease ftw :/
posted by whistle pig at 1:39 PM on August 28, 2017

Oh honey. :( That is no picnic as an adult. Good luck! Glad it wasn't anything worse. Thanks for updating us.
posted by invincible summer at 1:56 PM on August 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

I just wanted to add that I had H/F/M as an adult and I had some really weird symptoms. I had a lot of nerve zap-type stuff in my extremities and just felt really off for a WHILE.
posted by crazy sniffable at 5:57 PM on August 28, 2017

H/f/m is a great outcome in my opinion as my head was going to nasty meningococcal places. So glad it's something merely uncomfortable instead of life threatening. Get better soon.
posted by Jubey at 8:54 PM on August 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

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