A 50-year-old male patient contacted a rheumatologist on iCliniq.com, as he was suffering from photosensitivity. The patient was getting eczema-like rashes on his hands and feet when he was exposed to the sun at the beach. The rashes looked like tiny itchy blisters, and his forearms and calves also started to itch with very slight rashes. The local doctor told him that he apparently had very dry skin, and was not going to order a blood test. But as the patient insisted, the doctor ran some tests, and the ANA (antinuclear antibody) test came back positive.
As the test came back positive, the patient was waiting for the rheumatologist appointment. The appointment was a month away, and the patient was getting anxious, so he decided to message us about his problem to gain some clarity. For a clearer picture for our doctor to help him, he also mentioned that he does not have any other symptoms, such as joint pain. He works out five times a week and takes medicine for high cholesterol and vitamin D deficiency. The patient wanted to know what he was dealing with. Was it a false positive or an early stage of something serious?
Our doctor read the details provided carefully and felt that he needed some more questions answered before he diagnosed the condition. After understanding the patient’s concerns and getting a clearer picture, the doctor educated the patient saying that ANA can be a false positive in a lot of people. But it needs to be determined that it is not the start of a disease. For this, the doctor suggested to get an ENA (extractable nuclear antigen) profile to be sure there is no underlying connective tissue disease. ENA tests for all the subset of antibodies under ANA. And if something comes up in this test, then only routine monitoring will be needed. Based on the patient's history, the doctor diagnosed the condition as polymorphous light eruption (PMLE), which usually improves on its own. Patients with PMLE are sensitive to UV light, so prolonged exposure to sun rays can be harmful.
The patient found the doctor’s reply brief and to the point, which helped take away much of his anxiety. He thanked us for our services as it provides quick and accurate responses from experienced doctors and specialists. It gives the patient time to research about their health condition and ask precise questions, without having to wait in queues and traveling anywhere.