This is my first post in this forum.
I have read many of your postings since about a week ago, and I find your experience very informative and useful. Thanks for sharing!
By the way, just if you might want to know, I am a Malaysian Chinese, male, age 42+, living in Malaysia and Singapore (tropical countries in Asia with a lot of sun shine). I just want to share with you my story as a "probable" PLC sufferer (my case is more of being irritating than suffering I would say).
About a week ago, I visited a skin specialist who diagnosed my skin condition as a "probable" case of PLC - the first time I have ever heard of it. After googling a bit, I found this forum where you share your experience - when or how it broke out and when it recurred, how severe it was, how long each breakout lasted, how you dealt with it etc. Now, I will share with you what happened to me.
About 2 years ago around March, I had my first outbreak or attack. It started with itchy rashes on both sides of the neck about an inch plus below the ears. Then it spread to the back of the neck below the hairline (not centre back of the neck but slightly off-centre on the sides), and then to the shoulder area joining with the neck (always on both sides, so it was strangely quite symmetrical). The rash was slightly reddish with tiny bumps (similar to goose bumps), very itchy, and it became somewhat scaly on the surface and a bit of rough skin sensation a few days later. It would become very itchy whenever I wore collared shirts as the collar would rub against the skin around my neck. The itchyness and discomfort would be exacerbated if I was sweating outdoor (due to hot weather and high humidity). The affected areas (neck and shoulder) would itch and subside a few times a day, and this would continue for a few weeks before fully going into remission. Luckily, the rashes did not look very obvious as they were only in small clusters or colonies.
A week or two into the outbreak, the rash would spread (from neck and shoulder) to the back - in the area between the shoulder blades and the armpits (again symmetrical on both sides). These affected areas would be quite large, stretching about 3 to 4 inches down from the armpits, and about 2 inches wide. About the same time, some small clusters of rashes (circular or irregular in shape) and pimple-like lesions (1 - 3mm in diameter) would also form on the chest and the back between the shoulder blades (as well as on the forearms albeit to a lesser extent), and the lesions at the back were very widespread, severe and extremely itchy therefore very irritating. There was the feeling of a tiny scale or flake on each lesion and I would scratch it. The smaller lesions bled a little due to scratching but the larger lesions, if scratched or peeled hard, would end up with craters that bled much more (these larger lesions with crusts would look a bit like chicken pox honestly). The rashes eventually would spread in large swaths to both sides of the abdomen and both sides of the lower back, plus half a dozen very itchy lesions below the belly button. The small clusters of rashes would fade almost completely after a few weeks, while the large swathes of rashes would last a month or two and leaving the skin with a dry and darkened complexion. The lesions would leave behind dark spots that would not fade away until after several months later.
About 3 to 4 weeks into the outbreak, the lesions would spread to the thighs (with over a dozen of lesions on each thigh) and lower legs (lesser in extent). Occasionally, one or two lessions were found on the scalp, and they were itchy.
In between, there was the occasional outbreak of another kind when itchy and scratched - large area of bumps (patches of raised skin, flat on top), while some was just a small round spot that looked like a mosquito bite.
Somethimes, it would be itchy on the knuckles, lower legs (near to the ankles).
During the outbreak, my skin was dryer than usual, and there was constipation and the sensation of "heat" in my body. I was also peeing much more frequently during the night.
After 3 to 4 months, the itchiness was finally gone and the dark spots gradually faded away (some spots never faded off completely) and the skin condition returned to normal (no more dry). There was no more constipation and "heat" sensation in my body, and less peeing during the night. During the whole episode, my appetite was normal and I wasn't feeling tired or sick except it was really irritating when it was itchy. Just as what everyone in this forum is saying, it rarely breakout in the face as in my case. I was not covering up my arms or legs as the rashes or lesions there were not very extensive thus not too unsightly (they were most severe and looked really ugly on my back when it was full blown though).
On my first attack, my family doctor thought my condition was due to mite bites, or my skin was allergic to mites. The anti-histamine pills he prescribe was not that helpful for the itch therefore I did not return to him and waited it out.
About six months later, it came back in a less severe manner and I waited it out. There was no trigger that I could think off for this attack (or for that matter the first attack).
It attacked again about a year after the first outbreak, this time it was as severe as the first outbreak. The attack came a few days after I went doing some work outdoor under intense sunshine and heat for a few hours. This might be the trigger. It was gone after 2 to 3 months.
The third attack, which was mild, happened a few months later. I just waited it out. There was no obvious trigger for this attack.
The current outbreak started late February. It was severe but I felt it was slightly less severe than the first or the third outbreak. To find out why I had these attacks, I decided to see a skin specialist and that was how I found out I was a "probable" case of PLC.
The doctor took a piece of my lesion on my right thigh for a biopsy and did a blood test. The result will be known next week and I will keep you posted. In the meantime, I have been given an anti-histamine "Cetirizine 2HCl 10mg" tablets and Betamethasone cream to relieve the symptoms. I only took the pills and apply the steroid cream for just a few times, and they helped a lot. I stopped using them as the pill was a bit drowsy and the cream had side effects if over-used.
I will update again after getting the biopsy and blood test results. Sorry it this is a bit lengthy.