Itchy red rash and spots on your skin, what could they be?

by | Sep 23, 2017 | Allergy, Blog, Eczema, Hives, Itchy, Rash

Itchy rash

Outbreaks of rashes that are itchy, red, spots or bumps on the skin are very common and have many different causes. If you have an outbreak, you need to do some itchy rash “investigation” yourself, and there are a few things to consider before talking to a doctor.

Firstly, did you come into contact with something unusual recently? This can include both natural materials (such as fruit or leaves) and artificial materials (like household chemicals) or work related (nickel). Anything unusual? Maybe you ate a fruit that you do not usually eat or used new cosmetics or a new brand of detergent. Any of these, you likely have an allergy-related rash. An online dermatologist can confirm a case of an allergy-related rash in just a few hours.

Over-The-Counter (OTC) products

70% of First Derm™ users get well with an OTC that can bought at your nearest pharmacy or an online pharmacy. OTCs range from cortizone, topical antibiotics, sunscreen, moisturizing creams and disinfectants. It is important to know what your skin concern is, before embarking on self-treatment, for example perioral or periorbital dermatitis; cortizone creams are counter productive. While impetigo and acne can have a good effect with good hygiene and disinfectants bought at your local pharmacy.

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Allergy-related rash tests

There are ways to verify which allergen you are allergic to, with simple allergy tests, either with a “prick test” or a “blood test”. The blood tests are more accurate and can see a lott more parameters with only drawing blood. This blood test can test your sensitivity to hundreds of different allergens and give you a complete picture of your allergy. This information is useful to avoid outbreaks in the future. If your findings do not seem related to an external source, the second most likely cause is an underlying disease or an infection. Infection-related rashes are easy to detect, because they usually come along with other symptoms. They can also appear after contact with an infected person or animal.

Below are some typical examples of typical itchy skin rashes.

1. Itchy red rash and spots on my breast – Urticaria (hives)

Online Dermatologist question
I am a 39 year old woman. I have itchy red rash and spots on my neck, chest, stomach, back and bikini line. Not on my arms or legs. I first noticed the larger one on my stomach a week ago. Thought maybe it was dry skin or from sweat from my workouts. On Friday I noticed red bumps on my neck. They itched. It’s just gotten worse. They aren’t blisters. Just dry red patches. I thought maybe it was stress since I don’t have any skin problems. I have additional pictures if you need them

Urticaria itchy rash on breast ICD 10 L50.9
Received         26th March 2016
Given answer 26th March 2016

Online Dermatologist answer
Thank you for sending your case. Based on the information and images of your breast, this is possibly a URTICARIA: Urticaria or “Hives” is commonly caused by medication, infection, heat, cold, pressure on the skin or an external irritant for example. This results in the release of the substance histamine in the skin, which causes local inflammation with swelling and gives rise to itching or burning, raised, red skin lesions known as wheals. These lesions have a tendency to move around and disappear within 24 hours only to appear again in other places. Over-the-counter antihistamine pills (e.g. Desloratadine 5 mg, once daily) are recommended to alleviate itching. Most often this will pass within a matter of days or weeks. If no improvement or if it spreads, see a dermatologist in person for a new evaluation and testing. 

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2. Itches red rash on arm – Armpit dermatitis (atopic)

Online dermatologist question
I am 53 year old woman. Left side of my pit arm. Approximately 3 cms long. Red color. Itches. Has grown throughout days. Noticed it two weeks ago.

Itchy red rash under armpit

Received 5th March 2016 at 8:22 pm
Answered 5th March 2016 at 11:45 pm

Online dermatologist question answer 
Thank you for sending your case. Based on the information and images, this is possibly a DERMATITIS: Dermatitis is a type of inflammation of the skin that is commonly referred to as eczema. This condition is usually induced by dry skin, excessive exposure to water or contact with allergens or irritant chemicals such as deodorants. Skin may appear red, dry and itchy. Scratching should be avoided since this just makes it worse. At-home treatment options include: avoiding substances that may be irritants, applying over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream (twice daily for a week, then once daily for another week and then every other day for 2 weeks) plus moisturizing cream. If it doesn’t improve, see a dermatologist in person since more potent steroid creams requiring a prescription may be needed.

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3. Itchy red rash all over body – Hives (urticaria)

Online Dermatologist question I am 21 years old female. I have had hives, swollen lips, raised hives and bumps all over my body for a week

Red itchy rash all over body - hives

Online Dermatologist answer Based on the information and images submitted, this is possibly a URTICARIA: Hives commonly caused by medication, infection or an external irritant resulting in an allergic reaction but can also be triggered by different stimuli such as contact with certain plants, insect bites, etc. The hives arise from the release of the substance histamine in the skin causing local inflammation. Symptoms include swelling, itching or burning, raised, red skin welts. Acute urticaria, as in your case, usually lasts days to weeks and can be treated with antihistamines (eg Aerius 2.5 mg once daily, over-the-counter in most countries. If the reaction is acute see your doctor immediately. If no improvement after some days or if it spreads, see a dermatologist or your doctor in person for an evaluation.

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4. Itchy rash on legs, arms and shoulders –  Insect bites

Online Dermatologist question
Mostly legs, arms and shoulders It started with just a few small bumps here and there and now it’s spread all over.

Itchy red rash all over -Arthropod reaction - bug bite reaction

Received 1st January 2016 at 2:05 am
Answered 1st January 2016 at 10:49 pm

Online Dermatologist answer
Based on the information and images provided, Possibly ARTHROPOD BITE REACTION (reaction to bug bites). If the bumps are itchy and appeared suddenly, this may suggest bug bites. An over the counter topical corticosteroid, like hydrocortisone, can be applied twice daily as needed for itching for 3 days. Many bug bites may be prevented by using a bug repellent or covering skin with long pants and long sleeves. If severe pain, swelling, tenderness or fever occurs, an immediate office visit is called for. Since it is the winter season and wearing long-sleeves and pants is common, have a low threshold for office visit for evaluation if no resolution within 3-7 days.

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5. Itchy rash spreading all over my body – Psoriasis

Online Dermatologist question Hi I am a 28 years man. At first it was only one rash which is the first picture I sent you, it started about a month and a half ago. Then 2 weeks ago, it just started spreading all over my body. They are small, but itch and leave like a scab if I scratch them. I have been to two doctors which one said it was eczema and the other one could not determine. I have been taking triamcinolone acetonide and ketoconazole as a cream for 4 days now, but the symptoms seem to be getting worse. Please what should I do? I’m starting to get really worried about this. Psoriasis_on leg_ICD_10_L40.9 Received 23rd May 4:03am Given answer 23rd May 5:26am Online Dermatologist answer Thank you for sending your case of itchy red rash spreading over the body. Based on the information and images, this is possibly PSORIASIS: Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the skin which can present at any age. Red patches usually with white scales are seen on different skin areas such as elbows, knees, lower legs and/or scalp. Nevertheless, it can appear anywhere on the skin. A variable amount of itching can be experienced or none at all. Sometimes there are more family members with the condition. I recommend that you see a dermatologist or your family doctor in order to obtain prescriptions. Prescription treatment options include vitamin D-derived creams (e g Daivonex) with or without topical steroids (e g Daivobet), sun light or medical UV-therapy. In cases that don’t respond to this treatment, other systemic alternatives are available.

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6. Itchy red rash after shower –  Dermatitis

Online Dermatologist question
60 year old male. Itchy red rashes not in any particular shape. Irritates when showering or sweating. If scratched they get damp but not fluid filled. Started on lower legs now thighs arms back and front torso.

Dermatitis_on arm_ICD 10 L30.9

Received 10th April at 11:05 pm
Answered 11th April 03:03 am

Online Dermatologist answer
Based on the information and images submitted, this is possibly a DERMATITIS: Dermatitis is a type of inflammation of the skin that is commonly referred to as eczema. This condition is usually induced by dry skin, excessive exposure to water or contact with allergens or irritant chemicals. Skin may appear red, dry and itchy. Scratching should be avoided since this just makes it worse. At-home treatment options include: avoiding substances that may be irritants, applying over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream (twice daily for a week, then once daily for another week and then every other day for 2 weeks) plus moisturizing cream. If it doesn’t improve, see a dermatologist in person since more potent steroid creams requiring a prescription may be needed.

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7. Itchy red rash in groin –  Intertrigo

Online Dermatologist question
45 Male I have had an itchy red rash on my inner thighs and on my scrotum where they touch the inner thighs for 2 months … was wondering if this is heat rash, jock itch, or chaffing and what would be the best treatment … I have tried some Jock itch medicine for a week but it didn’t really help … diaper rash ointment seems to help with symptoms but I know it would be contraindicated if it is heat rash / prickly heat…. I have not had this problem before in the summer but I may be be 3-5 pounds heavier … not sure if that is what set it off?

Intertrigo_groin_jock_rash_ICD_10_L30.4

Received 13th September at 11:05 am
Answered 13th September at 2016 at 12:49 pm

Online Dermatologist answer
Possibly INTERTRIGO or CANDIDIASIS, an irritation that sometimes occurs simultaneously with a colonization by fungi. Frequent in sites like armpits, under the breasts or like in your case in the groin, it is not dangerous. You should respond promptly to a combined cream containing a mild cortisone cream eg hydrocortisone and an anti-fungal agent such as myconazole, which can be bought over-the-counter. The cream should be used twice daily for the first week, once daily for the second week, every other day on the third week and then twice weekly for a while. It is also important to keep these sites dry, especially after taking showers and avoid to get too sweaty. If it does not improve see a physician for a more accurate examination. In a minor number of cases oral treatment becomes necessary. Too lose a few pounds is always a good piece of advice.

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8. Itchy rash all over – Dermatitis

Online Dermatologist question
Female 46. I have had this itchy red rash with bumps for about two weeks. There is some swelling in my legs. The rash is located on. Both lower legs, both arms, and my left breast. My arms and breasts are not quite as itchy but it’s definitely there. I se to get relief from cool cloths because it burns a little. It is very itchy . I had this rash two years ago for about two weeks during the same time of the year. My skin is very dry but I can’t seem to find anything that will soak in as far as moisturizer.

Dermatitis_eczema_leg_ICD_10_L30.9

Received 10th January at 4:16 pm
Answered 10th January at 2016 at 6:49 pm

Online Dermatologist answer
Possibly DERMATITIS, a type of inflammation of the skin that is commonly referred to as eczema. This condition is usually induced by dry skin (more common during the colder parts of the year which is when you seem to get problems with this), excessive exposure to water or contact with allergens or irritant chemicals. The skin may appear red, dry and itchy. In your case you can also see some small blisters starting to form. Scratching should be avoided since this just makes it worse. At-home treatment options include: avoiding substances that may be irritants, applying over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream (twice daily for a week, then once daily for another week and then every other day for 2 weeks) plus moisturizing cream as often as possible. If it doesn’t improve, see a dermatologist in person since more potent steroid creams requiring a prescription may be needed.

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9. Itchy rash on neck – Dermatitis

Online Dermatologist question
Male 33. Itchy red rash on neck and some other places like on arm and knee.

Eczema_Neck_ICD_10_L30.9

Received 26th December at 6:33 pm
Answered 26th December at 2016 at 9:04 pm

Online Dermatologist answer
Based on the information and images submitted, this is possibly a DERMATITIS: Dermatitis is an inflammation of skin that is commonly referred to as eczema. This condition is usually induced by an allerigc reaction caused by irritants such as cleaning solvents, detergents, UV rays, or dry conditions. Long term contact with these substances damages the skin’s ability to heal itself upon repeated exposure, even if the irritant is mild. More strongly concentrated irritants can cause immediate burning, stinging, and itching, in addition to redness, swelling, and blistering. Skin may appear red, dry and itchy. While in more serious cases, skin may have crusty scales or oozing blisters. At-home treatment options include: avoiding substances that may be irritants, applying hydrocortizone cream (1%) twice daily for a week to start with, then once daily for another week. If it doesn’t improve, see your physician.

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10. Itchy red rash after sexual intercourse – Molluscum contagiousum

Online Dermatologist question
26 male. Rash has been itching for a month on and off now. The bumps showed up the day after i applyed anit-itch cream and sexual intercourse. Itchy red rash. Small raised shiny bumps sometimes red, pinkish or fleshed colored. Bumps dont hurt, pop or itch although the rash itches ever now and then. I cant really see a crater in the bumps either.

Red spots Molluscum contagiosum penis

Received 2014-08-02 02:00
Given answer 2014-08-02 11:46

Online Dermatologist answer
Possibly DERMATITIS and MOLLUSCUM CONTAGIOSUM, a viral infection (poxvirus) which gives rise to small shiny bumps in the genital region in adults. However, SCABIES cannot be fully excluded. Scabies gives rise to inflammatory lesions caused by a mite that digs burrows in the skin. This parasite is transmitted through direct physical contact with another person with scabies. The lesions cause itching of varying degree and is more common during the evening/night. Before treating the lesions, it is of utmost importance to confirm the diagnosis with a dermatologist in person. To relieve the itching until you have your appointment, you can apply hydrocortisone cream (sold over-the-counter) twice daily and mositurizing cream. Try to avoid scratching the lesions.

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11. Itchy rash for 5 weeks – Scabies

Online Dermatologist question
Female 34. I’ve had this rash for 5 weeks now. It started after I was sitting outside and I was bit by mosquitos. Those bites were on my upper arms and my legs and they resolved in a couple of days. Around that time is when I started getting this rash on my arms and briefly on my right thigh. On my arms, it started out on my wrists and quickly progressed to my forearms as well as to the palms of my hands and the backs of my hands. At that point it looked red circular and raised. I had numerous bumps underneath my skin on the palms of my hands. It became increasingly more itchy, and then noticed I had a couple of spots of peeling skin between my fingers. I work in a jail and I was concerned that I may have contracted scabies. I went to an urgent care and the physician did not think it was scabies because there were no Burrows. I still asked for the treatment and I did a treatment with malathion. That is when I noticed that I had small red raised bumps to the back of my knees and the top of my feet. My husband was treated with malathion as well and we washed all our linens. Of note my husband does not have any rash. The next day when I woke up to wash off the medication I noticed that I had a different red raised diffuse itchy rash on the same thigh. Shortly after I started using triamcinolone. I noticed that within a day or two the rash on my forearms and my Legs/feet were almost gone. I’m not sure if it was from the malathion or from the triamcinolone. However the rash on my hands have persisted and have become increasingly itchy. Over time the bumps on my hands have gotten darker, and now I have a peeling rash on my hands. It continues to be very itchy and I take Zyrtec/benadryl, I keep my hands moisturized throughout the day, and occasionally I still use triamcinolone (I had stopped using it after one week as I saw no improvement to my hands). None of them truly help but I do them anyway, as I’m desperate. I haven’t started any new detergents/soaps/lotions/medications prior to the rash. I was in Hawaii 2 weeks before the rash, no other travel. I don’t have pets but I’ve been around a couple of dogs during this time (their owners don’t have any similar issues). I have a history of hypothyroidism on levothyroxine, Vitamin D deficiency on ergocalciferol, and an eczema patch on the back of my neck that hasn’t bothered me in years.

Scabies on arm and hand_ICD 10_B.86

Received 2016-12-06 07:15
Given answer 2016-12-06 10:41

Online Dermatologist answer
Thank you for sending your case. Based on the information and images of your hand, SCABIES must be ruled out with full certainty: Scabies are inflammatory lesions caused by a mite that digs burrows in the skin, that sometimes can be difficult to see. This parasite is transmitted through direct physical contact with another person with scabies. The lesions cause itching which can be severe. The itch is usually more common during the evening or night. In order to confirm Scabies it is of utmost importance that a dermatologist in person takes a sample to be able to see the causing mite in the microscope. If the diagnosis is confirmed I usually prescribe Permethrin cream 5% during 24 hours, single use over the whole body surface except face and head as first choice.

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