Leukemia is a type of cancer that starts in the blood tissue of your bone marrow. There is a wide variety of symptoms associated with Leukemia, one of them being skin changes that resemble a rash. Depending on your type of leukemia, these rashes will have different looks. This could be a result of treatment or from cancer itself. Here is a list of different kinds of rashes associated with Leukemia.
The Symptoms of Leukemia
The bone marrow in your body is in charge of creating that become white and red blood cells and platelets. However, your bone marrow produces an abnormal amount of white blood cells with Leukemia. This overabundance of white blood cells restricts the healthy ones, making it hard to function correctly.
Unlike other cancers, Leukemia does not form into anything that can be seen with an imaging test, like a tumor. The different types of Leukemia are categorized by the blood cells they affect and how fast they grow. There are no symptoms of Leukemia or warning signs most of the time. But, if you do experience any signs, they might be:
- Night sweats and fever
- Recurring infections
- Easily bruising or bleeding
- Unintentional weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Pain on your left side below your ribcage
- Swollen lymph nodes
What is Sweet’s Syndrome
Sweet’s Syndrome is a rare type of skin condition that individuals develop with Leukemia. It may cause a painful rash that affects your neck, face and arms. At first, they are small red bumps followed by fever. They eventually grow and spread into clusters.
How To Know if it is Petechiae
Petechiae are small, painless spots created by the broken blood vessels in your skin, linked to low platelet counts. This rash looks like small red dots on the skin, but they can be purple or brown. These tiny dots are about the size of a pinpoint.
Is it Leukemia Cutis
Leukemia Cutis is a skin condition caused by the Leukemia, not a side effect of other treatments. This rash gets its appearance when the specific white blood cells leave the bone marrow and make their way to the skin’s surface. The bumps look like growths that are red, purple or brown and can feel rubbery.
What is Folliculitis
Once you are diagnosed with Leukemia, you are likely to get Folliculitis since your body cannot make enough mature white blood cells to fight off infections. Folliculitis lesions can appear anywhere on your skin. They are itchy, painful bumps that resemble acne marks.
How Will I Know if it is Vasculitis
Vasculitis is the irritation of red blood cells. It typically shows up as reddish-purple dots, but it can cause open sores or lumps to develop. There may be some swelling, fever and pain with Vasculitis.
Is it a Drug-Related Rash
There are specific treatments or medications that cause skin rashes, like chemotherapy. Chemotherapy treatments can trigger rashes that look similar to acne, but they usually burn or sting. Other medicines for cancer treatment may cause a rash that resembles measles.
How Could it be Ringworm
Ringworm, or Tinea, is a rash that individuals with Leukemia are more susceptible to getting. Ringworm usually presents itself with its signature circle and is very itchy. This patchy skin can be red, brown or purple.
What Are the Treatment Options
There will be different types of treatment depending on what type of rash you have. There is no need for treatment with conditions like Petechiae and Leukemia Cutis. However, your Oncologist might use different therapies specific to your cancer, but it clears your skin in the end. Your physician may also prescribe medication to reduce any swelling you might have.
Folliculitis and Ringworm are treated with antifungal or antibacterial medications. At the same time, Sweet’s Syndrome is generally controlled with corticosteroids. There are many treatments for Vasculitis, like medicine that suppresses the immune system or steroids to reduce any swelling.