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Have red itchy rash on torso and back. Temporary relief from calamine. Took benadryl. Underlying cause?

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General & Family Physician
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I have a bright red rash on my torso and back.. small red bumps that itch terribly, and the skin is bright pink/red like a sunburn. Calamine helps the itching, but only for a little while. I just used Aveeno Collodial oatmeal bath and took 2 benedryl, but just wondering what can cause this? I did not eat anything or use any new products.
Thank you,
Posted Mon, 22 Apr 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Mamun Kabir 5 hours later

Welcome to XXXXXXX
Thank you for your query.

There are many causes of these itchy red bumps on trunk.

Prickly heat (also called miliria rubra) is one of the possibility.
This rash looks like small, red, dome shaped bumps. It usually appears in places where sweat pools, including the waist, upper body, armpits, the insides of the elbows, and the back of the neck. The bumps are harmless, but they itch and may burn.

A variety of conditions, from viral illnesses to allergic reactions, can cause red bumps to appear on the trunk of body.

Guttate psoriasis & scabies should be considered also.
Lesions of scabies itch terribly & more in night.

It would be easier for diagnosis, once the lesions are examined by a dermatologist.

I hope I have been some help of your query. Please write if you have any doubt.
Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have red itchy rash on torso and back. Temporary relief from calamine. Took benadryl. Underlying cause? 5 hours later
How long does prickly heat usually last?

I don't believe it's an allergic reaction to anything as I haven't introduced anything new into my life in the way of food, soap, lotion, animals, etc.
Also, I read up on scabies and this does not look like that at all.

My torso, arms, back, and part way down my legs are bright pink with tiny little bumps, almost looks like an orange peel. The bumps do not have any pattern and cover almost completely.
Answered by Dr. Mamun Kabir 19 minutes later
Thank you for your follow up question.

The trapped sweat gland leads to irritation (prickling), itching and to a rash of very small blisters.
It usually occurs in a localized area of the skin.

Prickly heat can be prevented by avoiding activities that induce sweating, using air conditioning to cool the environment.
Wearing light clothing and in general, avoiding hot and humid weather helps a lot. Frequent cool showers or cool baths with mild soap can help to prevent heat rash.

Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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