Chronic itching triggers a hepatitis C diagnosis

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Louella Shelton - Indiana

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louella shelton's story

For many months, I had terrible itching, but no rash. My whole body felt like it had poison ivy. It seemed to appear out of the blue and I would find myself constantly scratching at my skin all the time—I would rub my foot against the carpet, but I couldn’t find relief. I tried different drug store remedies and finally decided to see my family doctor who recommended I see a dermatologist.

I made an appointment with Dr. Carrie Davis and was hoping to receive medication or a topical ointment to soothe my itching. While the appointment was just for an itch, Dr. Davis gave me a very thorough exam and asked a good deal of questions—right off the bat she knew she needed to order further tests. A week later I was diagnosed with hepatitis C.

Dr. Davis told me that I likely had hepatitis C for a while, but my only symptom was itching. She helped me make appointments with other doctors for my treatments and sent along my health records. I received the treatments I needed and am now cured.

I’m very grateful she wasn’t just dismissive and that she really dug into my symptoms. She really saved my life.

The dermatologist's perspective

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Louella came to me with a long history of generalized pruritus, but no rash. After digging into her symptoms, I ordered tests that revealed she had chronic hepatitis C. Itching can be a symptom of an underlying systemic disease, such as hepatitis C. I’m glad I was able to help her get the care she needed. Louella completed treatment for her hepatitis C, her itching has resolved, and she is currently healthy.

– Carrie Davis, MD
Dermatology Center of Southern Indiana