A Black man says he was left completely bald and with white patches on his skin all over his body after taking prescription acne medication.
Kirt Thibodeaux II from Martinville, Louisiana says he was first prescribed the acne medication minocycline in 2017 and started having severe reactions after just a few doses.
The 31-year-old project manager was diagnosed with a rare condition called drug hypersensitivity syndrome or drug eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS). DRESS is a severe allergic reaction to a medication that can be fatal if not properly treated.
“This drug, which I’ve never taken before sent me on a bit of a ride and caused extreme medical side effects,” Kirt wrote in an Instagram post. “To say I was terrified would be an understatement.”
At first, Kirt says he didn’t immediately seek medical treatment since he thought the initial reactions –– fever, chills, peeling skin –– were just his body adjusting to the medication, “however,” Kirt continued in the post, “I was wrong in every possible way.”
Kirt eventually continued to experience more severe reactions including loss of toenails before going to the doctor, who told him if he had waited any longer, his condition could have been fatal.
For many diagnosed with DRESS, the symptoms don’t progress beyond fever and rash, however in Kirt’s case, the symptoms progressed to alopecia and vitiligo –– both of which are considered autoimmune reactions –– leaving him completely bald and with white patches all over his body.
Kirt said he stopped going outside after his conditions worsened, because of their impact on his self esteem. With the help of friends and family, he adjusted.
“Through it all, I can say I’m a TRULY blessed man to have the amazing family and friends that have supported me,” Kirt wrote. “Without their love, I would not have survived this medical experience.”