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Are the lesions in my skin due to heavy metal poisoning?

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The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sneha Kannan

Published At December 7, 2021
Reviewed AtJune 20, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I had heavy metal poisoning after living in a house that was previously a meth lab. We found out that the well in the place had arsenic, so it is possible to be in us. There were also similar issues in three other families exposed to non-decontaminated meth lab locations. My mother and I were sick and had several symptoms that included sleeplessness, anxiety, burning sensation, bruises, blisters, and sores on the skin when we touched a contaminated object. We doubt if the arsenic is staying in the sweat and contaminating the things around us. We experience lung irritations near an affected object, a cold sore on the lips for over three months, pain in the muscles, bones, liver, kidney, and spleen areas. We left the property where this happened, but symptoms continued. It seems like the toxin is spreading in the air. I do not have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). My pets also have been ill and are having thyroid and hormone issues. If we cook or wash dishes, there are rashes and pain in the stomach. So we can eat only packaged food wearing gloves. We live in a rural area, and there are no experts nearby. The local authorities said testing or decontaminating cannot be done because of high costs. My mom and I are taking vitamins and herbs. I am attaching the previous test reports. Could you let me know if there is an unknown toxin test or any other test that could show more than just heavy metals?

Answered by Dr. Arul Amuthan L

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com. After reading your query and looking at the reports (attachments removed to protect patient's identity), I would like to give the following opinion. Heavy metals can cause such toxicity symptoms. Once you leave the place or away from its exposure, gradually, the symptoms come down. If the level of heavy metals is more in the blood, then chelating agents are given to patients that can remove heavy metals from the body through urine. Your blood levels do not require chelation therapy. Your dog's blood reports show a high level, but yours is normal. So, now you do not need to bother about heavy metals. I suggest you some liver-protecting (liver tonic) herbal supplements (Ex: Phyllanthus niruri, Eclipta alba) for three months - they can remove or detoxify the heavy metals. There is another possibility - your skin may be hypersensitive, so that it causes a burning sensation, etc. Sometimes, some allergic cloths (made by nylon, polyester, etc.), some plastics are also inducing skin allergy. If so, identify the objects and avoid them from getting into contact. Another possibility is neuropathy. Neuropathy due to nutritional deficiency or heavy metal also can show such types of symptoms. For this condition, I would suggest vitamin supplements (Vitamin B12). Moringa leaf and Ashwagandha are the best herbal supplements in this condition. Your clinical condition makes you worry, but I am sure you can come out of this very soon.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

Thank you for answering. I will try that. The burning sensations come from my hands and get on the other objects. I thought maybe it was an allergy, but it is coming from my mom's and my sweat. We also experience dizziness or confusion near a contaminated area. When I leave the property, go for a walk, or go to the store, we do not experience anything. But if I touch an object or prepare food, there is a burning sensation. Our food was making us feel sick until I started ordering food online. When I wash with charcoal soap, it is gone for a few minutes but returns. The same objects, when clean, do not have any reactions. Only when we contact the thing, it gives us a burning sensation. The trash we touched got into the air around the house, and our yard felt like burning our feet or hands. My face burns near the air that is contaminated, and we get rashes and blisters later. My lungs also hurt after inhaling near any of the objects or yard areas that had been exposed. I should get it tested too. It has been almost a year, with symptoms getting worse. Our cat has it bad on her fur after sleeping in the yard. She was clean before we were letting her out there. I wash my pets with the charcoal soap, and it goes away. I have no allergies to pet fur. I love the suggestions you gave. If you have any other help or suggestions, please let us know. I have attached a photo of rashes and blisters. The blister on my lip has not gone away in over three months. So sorry, I look awful. I have put one good picture of mine so you can see how I usually look. Thank you again. I am so grateful you are there.

Answered by Dr. Arul Amuthan L

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com. While reading your query, it looks like a mystery but, when looking at the attached picture (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity), it gives a clue. So, by considering both, I give my opinion. 1) The skin lesions look allergic - it may be due to dust, fumes, mites, other insects, mosquito bites, microbe (bacteria, fungal) exposure from surroundings, pollens from flowers, or some of the protein-rich foods. When exposed to the above-said allergens (by food or by exposing outside), it triggers histamine release in the body. The histamine causes skin allergy, respiratory allergic symptoms, dizziness, sleep disturbances, sweating, itching sensation, burning sensation, etc. Even it can increase gastric acid to induce gastritis. The allergic reaction can be triggered by certain cloth materials or anything that comes to contact with your body. 2)Your lesions near the lip look like angular cheilitis. 3) The first aim is to identify the allergic trigger. Even if the hand is exposed to an allergen, the allergic symptoms happen in the whole body. Living in a congested environment, closed rooms, non-ventilated houses has higher chances of causing this allergy. Any protein-containing (wheat, fish, meat, cereals, etc.,) food could also be a trigger. Please self-examine one by one and identify it. 4) You also can do allergic skin tests. There are two types of tests, allergy skin test and allergy blood test. The second one is easy for patients. In a single draw of blood, they can give a report. This test opens a new direction for your condition. 5) As a drug, I would suggest antihistamines. But only after consulting a doctor physically. From 15 antihistamine drugs, we need to choose one based on your body condition after a thorough examination. Some antihistaminic-steroidal creams also work temporarily. I suggest you visit a dermatologist for a personal examination and allergy test. I hope I could guide you. Thank you.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Arul Amuthan L
Dr. Arul Amuthan L

Pharmacology

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