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Developed a red splotch on arm. Lightened up and spread. Small red spot on other arm. What could this be?

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Practicing since : 2001
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developed red and very dark red splotch on arm, approx. 2"x3" seven days ago, now lightened up and has spread to about 7'long and 3" wide, also just noticed small red spot on other arm.
Posted Fri, 16 Aug 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 4 hours later
Thanks for trusting us with your health concern.
From your description the most possible causes in my opinion are-
1. Erythema multiforme.
2. Dermatitis- due to skin infection, allergy,etc.
3. Dry skin- Xerosis.
4. Heat rash.
A direct examination by a dermatologist is the best way to get it diagnosed.
Most simple rashes improve with gentle skin care and avoiding irritating substances. You can help the improvement by
* Avoid scrubbing your skin.
* Use as little soap as possible. Use gentle cleansers instead.
* Avoid applying cosmetic lotions or ointments directly on the rash.
* Use warm (not hot) water for cleaning. XXXXXXX dry, don't rub.
* Eliminate any newly added cosmetics or lotions.
* Leave the affected area exposed to the air as much as possible.
* Try calamine medicated lotion.
* Hydrocortisone cream (1%) is available without a prescription and may soothe many rashes.
The red area usually takes 5-7 days to disappear.
If the area becomes more of purple rather than red then you must consult a dermatologist immediately.

Please feel free to discuss further. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Rakhi Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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