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Feeling cold and reddish elongated area appeared on spine. Looking for treatment

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Emergency Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 300 Questions
my daughter 16 has a reddish elongated area about 2 1/2 long and ranging from 1/2 inch to 1" wideth that appeared on her spine (middle) it doesn't itch but she said if she sits back on it in a chair or so, it hurts. She has recently had the head cold chest cold
Posted Tue, 19 Feb 2013 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Sheeba Stephen 2 hours later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

Redness and tenderness are indicative of an inflammatory response. The common causes for this could be:
1) an allergic reaction - probably due to a skin irritant (e.g. something on her clothing or dust mites, etc.)
2) an insect bite
3) an inadvertent trauma to that area
4) certain viral infections can result in a post-infection rash (possible since she has recently has cold)
5) Rarely, this could mean a bleeding under the skin due to a low platelet count or a problem in the clotting mechanisms.

I would suggest the following:
- You can give her an anti-histamine / anti-allergy medication (benadryl syrup available over the counter should be the easiest option).
- You can also give her an anti-inflammatory medication - Tylenol or Advil, till the tenderness and redness subside.
- Apply an emollient solution or cream e.g. vaseline (don't use any other cosmetic or perfumed lotions or creams)
- Wait and Observe. In case, the red patch keeps persisiting or increases in size or if she develops other such patches or fever or any other complications, then seek urgent medical attention.

Hope this has been informative and helpful to you.
Wish you all the best.

Dr. Sheeba Stephen
Emergency Medicine Specialist
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