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What causes persistent headache and eye redness with an elevated WBC count?

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Posted on Tue, 26 Jul 2016
Question: I was in St. Maarten from May 29th thru XXXXXXX 5th. On XXXXXXX 1st I began to get severe headaches worse than my migraines. My eyes became reddened and I noticed a couple of very small reddened bite like things on my leg. this continued On XXXXXXX 5th when we left my eyes were blood red swollen and I had all these enlareged white bites inflammed with heads on them. I went to Dr. they said think sea lice. Today is July 4th I still have these bumps all tho very small still very hard. two weeks after returned started getting them in palms of my hands and on top of hand and in between finger. Finger tips felt as burning. I have been on 2 rounds of steroids and two rounds of antibiotics. although the blistering is subsiding on hands they also are very hard. My right eye is completely blood shot it comes and goes. They are irritated and I was on Tobrex also when I returned to the US. What I have read on sea lice is suppose to be very itchy I wasn't . And that they only last 2-14 days. I still have the hard areas where all of these bites? were. My WBC is slightly elevated. Sed Rate slightly elevated. My question is what and where do I turn to now. I feel that they are not be diligent enough. I was in a foreign country when this happened. They want me to see a dermatologist. I do not understand that at all. I am still having headaches. I am still having issues with the eyes. and 4 days ago starting having pain in R. hip and R wrist area. I am very tired all the time. I have been taking 3-4 hr. naps because I am exhausted. I have no energy. I am not sure this is sea lice. I just want answersIt is my Left hip. I was very happy and healthy before I left and now I am tired all the time. I have all these bite scars that are hard. My eyes are still reddened. they clear up and it comes back one eye sometimes both eyes. I am going to try and attach photos.Also had CT sinus showed only slight deviated septum. I have alot of inflammation in the nose. Xray of chest clear. because I was coughing up alot of sputum.The pics just sent are from when I got home on XXXXXXX 5th. I also had them all over my legs. I will try and send pics of the hands and the scaring still on legs . I still having scaring on the arms and back.The last pics were taken in last two days. Showing the hands that started two weeks ago and the scaring still on arm and leg area I couldn't get them all those also were taken in past two days. I am searching for answers and help.
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Answered by Dr. Dr.Arnab (24 hours later)
Brief Answer:
you need to get investigated thoroughly ..

Detailed Answer:
Hello Axxxxxxxx, Welcome to HCM,

Sorry for the delay in the response..

I've gone through your query in details and understand your concern..

Yes, I've reviewed all those images and they are quite suggestive of allergic response(along with your eye involvement), and considering their wide spread distribution, you need to get thoroughly investigated as well as clinically evaluated..

The Doctors advised you to get checked by the Dermatologist because of it's generalized nature and persistence despite the steroids as well as antibiotics (not seem to have much of role in this) therapy..

It's good that you're back to your country now, and since it's still persisting I'd strongly suggest you to get checked by either an Infectious Disease specialist or an Internal Medicine Specialist(if can't find any infectious disease specialist), as there can be several possibilities(however even I doubt the Sea lice bite as you've rightly pointed out that they're indeed quite itchy not so prolonged)..

St. Maarten, being a tropical region, has several types of bugs and insects and some of those bites manifest like these, but to be absolutely sure, thorough clinical examination and relevant investigations (Absolute Eosinophil count and/ allergy panel test etc.) is needed..

Subsiding of blisters and hardening of under surface of skin is indication of body's own immune response and healing process actually..

Well the DNS must have been there for a while so not likely contributing to this present condition..

Try to apply soothing moisturizer and body lotion like Aloe-vera over the area, it'll provide some symptomatic relief, meanwhile just schedule the appointment with the Infectious Disease Specialist for a detailed clinical evaluation..

Please let me know if you have any further queries, I'll be glad to clarify..

Let me know how you stay in the due course..

Take Care
Kind Regards

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Dr. Dr.Arnab

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Practicing since :2012

Answered : 1520 Questions

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What causes persistent headache and eye redness with an elevated WBC count?

Brief Answer: you need to get investigated thoroughly .. Detailed Answer: Hello Axxxxxxxx, Welcome to HCM, Sorry for the delay in the response.. I've gone through your query in details and understand your concern.. Yes, I've reviewed all those images and they are quite suggestive of allergic response(along with your eye involvement), and considering their wide spread distribution, you need to get thoroughly investigated as well as clinically evaluated.. The Doctors advised you to get checked by the Dermatologist because of it's generalized nature and persistence despite the steroids as well as antibiotics (not seem to have much of role in this) therapy.. It's good that you're back to your country now, and since it's still persisting I'd strongly suggest you to get checked by either an Infectious Disease specialist or an Internal Medicine Specialist(if can't find any infectious disease specialist), as there can be several possibilities(however even I doubt the Sea lice bite as you've rightly pointed out that they're indeed quite itchy not so prolonged).. St. Maarten, being a tropical region, has several types of bugs and insects and some of those bites manifest like these, but to be absolutely sure, thorough clinical examination and relevant investigations (Absolute Eosinophil count and/ allergy panel test etc.) is needed.. Subsiding of blisters and hardening of under surface of skin is indication of body's own immune response and healing process actually.. Well the DNS must have been there for a while so not likely contributing to this present condition.. Try to apply soothing moisturizer and body lotion like Aloe-vera over the area, it'll provide some symptomatic relief, meanwhile just schedule the appointment with the Infectious Disease Specialist for a detailed clinical evaluation.. Please let me know if you have any further queries, I'll be glad to clarify.. Let me know how you stay in the due course.. Take Care Kind Regards