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suspected dermopathy

violet

Do all things with love
Moderator
I wasn't sure if I should add this to one of the older dermopathy threads
http://www.kavaforums.com/forum/threads/kava-dermopathy.25/#post-14821
http://www.kavaforums.com/forum/threads/bath-salts-for-dermopathy.1653/#post-16403
or just start a new one. Anyway, here it is...

I was expecting to get dermopathy at some point, a couple certain foods give me very specific skin "rashes" of sorts, so I figured I'd be susceptible to kava induced dermopathy, no biggie. What started as what I believe to be the dermo was on my trunk, slightly itchy and close to having that peely-skin look. I applied some Amlactin and it disappeared. The following day I began rashing out around my armpits.

The rash around my armpits was similar to the one on my trunk, but to a much stronger degree. The skin felt swollen and hot. I applied amlactin there, this comes pretty close to describing what I felt:
Hey you know that dermapothy I said I didn't have? Found it. My god the fire of a thousand suns set ablaze wherever that lactic acid touched. I'm pretty sure I traveled into the future.
My rash must have been a little raw. The pain from the burn kept me up all that night. I applied more amlactin the following day with similar result :facepalm:, ended up taking a couple ibuprofen and holding ice packs in my underarms. I began getting "warm itchies" around my neck last night, felt it around my collarbone earlier too. There is nothing visible but the skin feels warm, amlactin stung a little there last night so I haven't been applying it (it is exactly what the spot on my trunk felt like before it scaled slightly). I just had a nice soak in an epsom salt bath, the only spots where I see/feel anything at all now are the fading ones around my underarms and places around my neck (almost like a ring), feels like sunburn (attempted a bit of amlactin again after the bath, still stings a bit to be going to bed like that).

I tried a couple doses of benadryl, and I don't think it did anything. I am also dosing vitamin C. I've read about dermopathy "spreading" like this, so I am hoping that is all I have and not an allergy. I am on my 2nd day of no kava, but so far I don't see much change. The stuff around my armpits is starting to look scaly now and the amlactin only stings it a tiny bit.

I've been drinking kava 4-10 tbls (1-2 sessions) daily about a month, mostly squeezed/kneaded. The first symptoms started at least a week ago. I'm sure the presentation of skin issues can vary wildly, but do any of you seasoned kava drinkers who have weathered dermopathy have any comments? When you get the dermopathy is it often raw and painful like that at first (I'm sure the Amlactin didn't help much:rolleyes:), or is that just the hallmark of a bad case of it?

I have also read that some stop consuming, others keep drinking kava through it, and seen various opinions about how it affects the dermopathy. When you get dermopathy do you continue consuming kava? cut back? does it seem to make a difference in how bad the rash gets or how quickly it clears?
 

blissy

Kava Curious
:confused: Common points with what happens to me and not the same still. I did have very dry skin on my hands and lips in the first week, and then suddenly the hives appeared.
Interested in the answers you'll be given, Violet, courage!
 

Kapmcrunk

The Kaptain (40g)
KavaForums Founder
If the amlactin is hurting like we both experienced (It quite literally took my breath away), there are alternatives that don't necessarily treat dermapothy directly, but they help a ton, and don't burn.

I'm not sure how available these products are globally, but I would bet since they're such mainstay brands here that they'd be available.

First one is Gold Bond Ultimate Healing lotion.

http://amzn.com/B001QFDTWO

The other I use daily is Vaseline Aloe Fresh

http://amzn.com/B001ECQ4JE

I usually mix the two 1:1 to thin it out a bit. Gold bond is nearly industrial bearing grease in consistency, so I find that it alone is way too thick.

I use these daily in the morning after my shower.

For dry hands I use O'Keeffe's Working Hands Cream. I have yet to find anything that works as well on my hands.

http://amzn.com/B00121UVU0

For Dry lips I've found Lypsyl to work extremely well also.

http://amzn.com/B001KYGJRI

So that's my daily regimen, and it's been working for the last 5-6 years. If you find Amlactin too harsh, try those. There's no denying the power of the lactic acid on dermapothy, but there's also no denying that burn.
 

violet

Do all things with love
Moderator
Awesome, thank you, Kap'm. With the worst parts on my arms I'd used a prescription corticosteroid ointment a couple times which helped immensely. I also have been getting the dry and cracked hands too, but my hands can easily get like that without the kava if I'm not vigilant. Applying all the Amlactin has done wonders for my hands, but prior to that I'd tried a Eucerin hand cream (mildly effective) and some Curel (has ceramides, helped a little bit on my trunk, even less effective on my hands). I haven't been moisturizing my skin for the last year or so, looks like I'll have to pick up doing that again. I am going to get O'Keeffe's Working Hands Cream, my hands def need something, especially with drinking kava.

I have gotten dry lips twice since beginning kava, just getting over the 2nd bout. Lypsyl is great stuff, when I discovered it, it was the best thing I'd ever found next to petroleum jelly. Something happened a few years ago that I could no longer use any commercially prepared lip balms, not even the little Vaseline tube for lips, I think it's the flavoring and/or additives. Everything I tried whether as protection for healthy lips from the elements or to heal dry chapped lips always makes them dry and cracked when they weren't before, or makes them worse than they were to begin with. Petroleum jelly is still very effective, and the only thing I have found I can use. I have some raw shea butter on hand and may try concocting something with that.
 

violet

Do all things with love
Moderator
@[USER=624]blissy[/USER] The first week I was squeezing kava with bare hands, and they very quickly dried to cracking and splitting. Gloves from there on out. For anyone reading this, I have skin that is sensitive to common stuff. Coming into contact with most soaps and natural deodorants is a no-no due to the alkalinity (makes me wonder if kava is also an alkaline substance). I also cannot use even the most sensitive commercially prepared products on my facial skin without causing dermatitis. I don't know if all this could be a factor in my susceptibility to kava dermopathy, but I did get the slightest symptoms probably a couple weeks before it blew up. Hopefully reducing my consumption and staying hyper-aware of the first symptoms I can prevent this from happening again.
 

blissy

Kava Curious
If my allergic reaction comes not from kava so I can re-knead, I'll make sure to make it with gloves! I'm probably not as sensitive as you but I always carry chapsticks and hand creams with me.
Kava seems to make my hands and lips much more dry, so I'll take extra care of them. And see what my feet say, they're prone to dryness too.
Take care dear Violet.
 
D

Deleted User01

Guest
I always get dry lips and mild itches here and there but I have never had dermopathy (yet). So I'm curious about something. How often do you (Blissy and Violet) drink Kava and what quantity. I drink it 3 times a week though it will be 4 times this week. Bad week ... And I do about 8-12oz. max in a sitting. Now remember, I'm a Kava Lightweight so it doesn't take much to calm me down.

On a more serious note, could it be that Women were never allowed in the Nakamals because they are allergic to Kava and the men folks weren't "down with it". Hey, just kidding, stop throwing rocks at me Gurls, runawaaaayyyyyy..... :D
 

infraredz

BULA!
I've been drinking kava 4-10 tbls (1-2 sessions) daily about a month, mostly squeezed/kneaded. The first symptoms started at least a week ago. I'm sure the presentation of skin issues can vary wildly, but do any of you seasoned kava drinkers who have weathered dermopathy have any comments? When you get the dermopathy is it often raw and painful like that at first (I'm sure the Amlactin didn't help much:rolleyes:), or is that just the hallmark of a bad case of it?

I have also read that some stop consuming, others keep drinking kava through it, and seen various opinions about how it affects the dermopathy. When you get dermopathy do you continue consuming kava? cut back? does it seem to make a difference in how bad the rash gets or how quickly it clears?
The presentation of your symptoms is not abnormal and I've seen/heard of much worse cases than yours so you're not in the freak club (yet) :p

Like you said, everyone experiences the dermopathy in a different way but that actually sounds similar to the progression of mine (except it started near my armpits). There were certain small areas of my body that did get so bad that they were cracked and quite painful, but most of it was confined to flaky skin. Personally, I think that it's obvious the cause of the symptoms is consuming kava and therefore the treatment should be to stop consuming kava until it clears (which can take weeks). Then again, the last time I had it, I started liberally applying AmLactin and other AHAs at the first sight of peeling skin and was able to "drink through it". I can definitely say that continuing to consume kava will not help with the dermopathy, although with mild cases it can be managed while continuing to drink kava. Since you got some pretty significant symptoms from this bout, I would recommend taking a week or two off until it clears up enough that it isn't sore and then you can start hitting it with the AmLactin and it should clear up much faster.
 

violet

Do all things with love
Moderator
How often do you (Blissy and Violet) drink Kava and what quantity. I drink it 3 times a week though it will be 4 times this week. Bad week ... And I do about 8-12oz. max in a sitting. Now remember, I'm a Kava Lightweight so it doesn't take much to calm me down.
Ah, Deleted User01, you totally just reminded me, I've been meaning to start a thread on this very subject! In the evenings I make up a batch using 6 tbls of dry root to 2 cups of liquid, hot water with a splash of heavy cream. I drink 2/3 of this, and my lightweight husband has the other shell. If he doesn't, I drink the leftover the following morning. Sometimes I make a batch of second wash, other times a fresh batch, for my first session. If it's a fresh batch, usually 4-5 tbls to 2 cups of liquid split in 3 shells. Sometimes I drink 2 shells, sometimes 3.

On a more serious note, could it be that Women were never allowed in the Nakamals because they are allergic to Kava and the men folks weren't "down with it". Hey, just kidding, stop throwing rocks at me Gurls, runawaaaayyyyyy..... :D
I have been wondering about the women's position in traditional kava culture, having the idea that kava drinking is a mostly male activity. I'm curious if it is mostly related to gender roles and expectations.
 

violet

Do all things with love
Moderator
@infraredz, thanks for replying, you've confirmed the things I've been suspecting. I find myself wanting to brew some root, but I have the feeling if I do the warm places on my neck will rash out (they are nearly nonexistent now) and the skin around my underarms will remain angry. I agree, it's probably best to wait out this one patiently.
 
D

Deleted User01

Guest
Violet, so you are drinking a tad bit more than me but how many times a week? Also, does your Hubby drink every time you do? Does he have any skin reactions? This is all good info and it's nice to see a husband and wife team where it is easy to compare them side to side and to a little study if you will. I would love to know what the Kava Limit per week might be before someone starts breaking out. Or perhaps this happens as you accrue Kavalactones over the year. Maybe a lightweight doesn't have to worry as much. Let's hear it for the lightweights. BULA!
 

violet

Do all things with love
Moderator
Oh, that would be a daily intake :rolleyes:. Hubby usually does drink with me every evening. He actually prefers to drink a shell of second wash, he is that much of a lightweight (he also had no RT). He's had no such reactions, but has only been drinking kava a couple of weeks, if that.
 

blissy

Kava Curious
@Deleted User01
Before my skin issue I had about 750ml (sorry I can't convert now) 2 evenings in a row. Before that I had stopped taking kava for 3 days because I drank alcohol. It's been 2 weeks only that I take kava.
 

violet

Do all things with love
Moderator
So made it four full days before jumping back into the root. I still have the dermopathy, so I'm trying to take it easy on the intake. I do not know if this is a function of what would have happened anyway had I refrained from drinking kava, or if resuming kava is causing it, but the dermo is still "spreading" (I didn't get a break from it). It is not bad at all though, just starts a little red and feels like mild sunburn for less than a day, gone in a couple days after appearing.

All the places where it had started out are completely clear, a prescription ointment (generic Kenalog) used for a few days worked amazingly well (it's more effective for me than Amlactin or Cerave). If you are someone who responds to hydrocortisone ointment, it may be of benefit to use it to treat this. What I think is the worst thing for the dermopathy is any kind of friction. I am not sure that I broke out horribly around my underarms as much as I made a mild breakout very irritated with a particular combination of clothing and movement for the better part of a day. I noticed this today, a place that got a little sore was where my clothing was a little constrictive.

Going to moderate my "condition" carefully, the couple patches I have now though are quite small in comparison to what I started out with.

@pjim I used to use cocoa butter religiously, it's great stuff. I don't have any now, but I do have a pound of raw shea butter that I am trying to find good use for. Tis the season, although I'm pretty set for a little bit with all the lotions I've been experimenting with in the spirit of clearing this dermopathy.
 

infraredz

BULA!
It's definitely common for it to start spreading even after you stop drinking kava (mine was still spreading even a week after) but like you said, it clears in the same order it presents. I've found that I can start drinking kava again once the initial area has cleared up (so if it presents on my upper torso and armpits, once those clear). I find that the spots that cleared don't become re-irritated and the dermopathy spreads just as it would otherwise anyways.

The above phenomenon makes the cause of kava dermopathy even more intriguing. You should be okay, especially since you've found that topical steroids work well for you. Glad to hear you're doing better.
 
D

Deactivated Account

Guest
Its the one thing I absolutely hate about powdered kava…i get it too. Ive no answer but keep well hydrated, take a Vit B multi supplement & use a good quality moisturiser. The lips is bad but the rash around my torso is the worst as it itches. I also like the coco butter Pjim & Violet mention also.

Oddly enough I've never had it from fresh kava & god knows i drink enough of it when I'm in Port Vila.
 

uuku pi

Kava Enthusiast
I have been drinking kava for over a year now. I was drinking with another person and we both got the rash. The way it presented was totally different. Mine started with itching. As the Pooka has stated it leaves the places it started first. I was covered with a rash small bumps pink-red. I stopped for a month and started drinking again. I have dry skin now all the time but no more rash. He kept drinking (for a few days) when his rash started but I stopped for a month and in a few days he stopped for a month too. When he tried to drink it again his face swelled up and his eyes closed. He just cant drink it. Most woman I know could not deal with kava for so many reasons(I am a girl). The rash would take them to the insane place. There is an old-fashioned cream called Pond's dry skin facial moisturizer..huge jar at publix for 8 bucks,and I use the gold bond stuff too. I have stopped the grog for a month now and am finishing my extracts..my skin needed a break. The changes in me seem permanent even without the gallons I was drinking. I drink a lot of it. I drank every single day for over a year. Good luck Voilet:)
 

violet

Do all things with love
Moderator
@infraredz Thanks I am about completely clear now :).

I do agree that the dermopathy is intriguing, but would prefer just as well to not get it again. I'm pretty keen on any skin manifestations I get now, after having lived ten years with widespread eczema before I figured out it was caused by a food allergy. It's ironic that not too long ago I noticed I had a few tubes of ointment and thought, "Geez, what will I ever do with all that but throw it away." I sure am glad I had it!

While I'm sure the conditions for the dermo were already building, I'm wondering if it was the switch to Melo Melo that triggered it (I broke out right after I began drinking it). It seems a finer grind than what I'm used to with the Boroguru, and while the effects are lovely it gives me severe nausea even with lots of extra filtering.

@uuku pi My skin has been much drier since I started drinking kava, but we are getting into colder and much drier weather, so that may be contributing too. I used to use the Pond's facial moisturizer, the cold cream too (good stuff!). Now all I use on my face are mostly oils. Between the Amlactin and the other moisturizers, I don't think my skin has ever been so smooth! I'm hoping to find a nice balance where I'm not seeing so many side effects in my skin while still reaping the benefits of kava intake. I believe I'll be trying some extracts soon to substitute for some of my root sessions, there seems to be less side effects experienced with them, at least from what I have read here in the forums.

I'm starting to wonder now, with respect to drinking root powder, if getting dermopathy at least once is more the norm than never experiencing some type of skin effect.
 

kavalover

Outsider
Awesome to hear things are lookin up for you violet, I think you're on to something about the melo melo bringing it up. Finer grinds, especially microgrinds, can often be the same or similar to toss and wash. They always give me dry skin and the early onset of dermopathy.

For me, it starts on the hands/fingers and works its way from my lower arm to my armpits and then makes a jump to my eyes. BLAH. Worst feeling ever, like being sunburmed.

 
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