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Chronic itching triggers a hepatitis C diagnosis


Louella Shelton's story

Louella Shelton, Indiana
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

“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

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