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Can Lupus be triggered by Cellulitis?

1185 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  lazylegs
Hi there, I'm Violet and last month I was very ill and sick with cellulitis on my right toe. Doctors said my white cell count was only slightly raised and was given 3 kinds of different antibiotics over a month to try and get rid of the open wound & pus (yucky i know) at the same time as this my eyes hurt alot, and one night ended up in casualty with chest pain all over and fast heartrate. At that point I was so ill and shaking at the same time I thought it was sepsis, but luckily blood was ok so was sent home with stronger antibiotics. It's been 4 weeks now and although my toe doesn't look infected anymore, it's still red and swollen. I'm still getting a continous pain in my chest area which includes the right breastbone when i press on it, but of course when i tell doctors this they just tell me it's 'psychological' which is so unfair. :( I was in casualty again last week with my head feeling like someone had chucked a brick at the back of it, i never get headaches. Pain has gone but before all this happened i told a dr my thigh's were always aching me every day & get random pain in my body..(arms, fingers etc) they don't do anything! I've read about Lupus as my aunt suffers from this; i don't want to jump to conclusions that I have this as I don't know, but dr's kept telling me my sore chest& head were not related at all to my cellulitis. I don't like the brightness of outside anymore for some reason, and have a slight red 'butterfly' rash on my cheeks which has turned v.dry now. Could this have been a flare brought on by trying to fight an infection? I'm exhausted and legs ache every day now and have been since July. I always used to be such a healthy person who never went to the doctors! :( now i go back tomorrow as my toe is still sore, so is my ankle and hipbone? been resting all week, sorry if i seem like some hypocondriac but it's really getting me down having to put up with continous sore chest/pressure feeling and aching stiff thighs:worried:
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It's really hard to say what triggers lupus, but many do believe there is an environmental trigger which could be viral or bacterial infection. The longer your symptoms linger following hopefully successful treatment of your cellulitis infection, then it will become more important to be tested for lupus/autoimmune disease given your family history and some symptoms consistent with lupus. Some of your symptoms could be side effects from all those strong antibiotics too (the redness on the face could be due to the photosensitizing effect of some antibiotics for instance)... it's really hard to say.

The good news is that you are aware of lupus, and will undoubtedly stand up for yourself to get some basic bloodtests for lupus if these problems continue past when the cellulitis is cured and you are off antibiotics.

Good luck with everything and I hope you'll update us as time unfolds!
Hi Maia, thank you for your kind advice & support :)
I'm off the antibiotics now, so i'm hoping things start to settle down with the toe and rash over the cheeks & nose (like i've been slapped) i really don't want to lose the toenail but it's still red and swollen:sad:) i was telling my dr about having flu like symptoms, the aches and pains for over a month now and she hasn't given me anything else as she hasn't a clue what it could be then asked me questions like..been abroad?have pets?(like an allergy thing, which i don't) so basically i'm just left with this infection. I just don't feel the same anymore with these weird symptoms yet an xray of my toe is fine so is my blood.- I don't suppose lupus can aggrivate the foot area too? it just always looks inflamed! :eek:I know it sounds silly blabbin' on about lupus when right now i've got cellulitis, it's just i've always had perfect health and i'm wandering why i can't seem to fight off this infection by now esp when it's just in my toe! i'm praying that the antibiotics kick in and it goes away soon along with everything else as you're right Maia, it's difficult to say if it could be lupus. i'll give you an update on this as i wanna get to the bottom of this and so does my doc. :blush:
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Another temporary illness that can cause the slapped cheek look and aches and pains for 1-3 months is parovirus infection/5th's disease. My daughter had it this spring (& I did too!) although we never got officially diagnosed by a physician/no bloodtests done to confirm what I thought. I wonder if toe infections are harder to treat because bloodflow down to the toes is comparatively less than many other areas of the body. Or you could have just had a nastier than normal bacteria too and were just unlucky that way.

Good luck and take care ;)
Hi VioletSu, a few months ago my healthy 23 year old daughter had a toe infection that spread up through her lower leg. It took a month for the infection itself to go away completely with antibiotics. But her toe was still swollen and red after that, so she visited a podiatrist. He told her that her toenail was a little loose, which was keeping the toe inflamed, but not infected. He thought it might get re-infected if she banged it (as she did the first time) because of the loose toenail. He said it wasn't loose enough to let any bacteria that got under the nail to push itself out. Instead, the bacteria would go into her body.

So, even though he cautioned that he hates to remove a toenail and always tries to keep it, he did remove it. All the inflammation started to go away within a few days, and was completely healed in two weeks.

But now she has to monitor her toe constantly because as the nail grows in, its leading edge presses into the skin under it, so she constantly has to pry it loose to not have an ingrown toenail. He warned her this might happen. It's still way better than the inflammation she was dealing with. She's a professional dancer too, so it was really important for it to be healed by the time her contract started up again in the fall.

I know it doesn't help your other symptoms, but maybe you can see a foot doctor to discuss the toe inflammation? Sometimes healing the main problem makes everything else improve too.
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Hi Violet,

After a long time of fighting an infection after an injury with my toe I had to have the nail removed. The doctor warned about inflammation as it grew back. He suggested using baby oil every day to keep the skin and nail soft. It works as long as I use it every day. If it gets too angry looking I apply Hydrogen peroxide. I have had no infections since.

Take care,
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