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Having rash on wrist arm and finger with little swelling. Its red and itchy. Took benedryl. Advise?

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Woke up with a rash on my wrist and side of arm, along with palm and one particular finger (same arm). The next day the redness went away for a bit and its itchy, especially my knuckle and finger is slightly swollen. it appears like small red bumps on my wrist/arm and dead center of my palm. It is all itchy but especially my finger. Benedryl didn't seem to do much but I only took one. I feel fine otherwise. My left arm is fine but had very small red bumps (maybe 4 of them) appear but not itchy and seem to be gone.

The first day it seemed to be more red and not bumpy but the 2nd day now itchy and bumpy and finger is the worst & is swollen.
Posted Wed, 29 May 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Geetika Paul 37 minutes later

Thanks for your query.

From the description of the skin lesions that you have given, the first thing that I could think of is herpes zoster or shingles. Also I am sure that you have similar concerns. But having gone through your detailed history, you had an episode of shingles in the past. I can assure you that a person develops shingles only once in a lifetime.

Also the most important complaint in your case seems to be that of itching rather than pain, so that also helps in ruling out shingles.

Now coming to your present condition, the sudden overnight appearance of such itchy skin lesions mainly on one side of the body point towards a diagnosis of vector dermatitis, also known as Paederus dermatitis.

Paederus dermatitis is a peculiar, irritant contact dermatitis characterized by a sudden onset of red lesions on exposed areas of the body. The disease is provoked by an insect belonging to the genus Paederus.

Such an insect bite can lead to redness over the affected part along with development of red raised skin lesions and these can lead to a severe allergic reaction leading to swelling of the surrounding area.
You need to apply an antibiotic/steroid combination cream over the lesion twice a day.
A single dose of benedryl might not be helpful. You will need to take regular oral antihistamines for few days together to decrease the swelling and the allergic reaction

Do not use any moisturizer or oils over the affected area. Sometimes in severe cases, oral steroid or oral antibiotics may be requires according to the clinical presentation. So if the swelling increases inspite of the above measures, you may need to consult a specialist for proper assessment.

Hope it helps.

Wishing you speedy recovery.
If you have any further queries, I would be happy to help.

Dr Geetika Paul
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having rash on wrist arm and finger with little swelling. Its red and itchy. Took benedryl. Advise? 1 hour later
Looking this up I'm not sure if this is the case. It happened when I woke up and got out of bed, then i noticed it forming. I will say the day before my sink was clogged and I did pull some black gunk out of it with my right hand (the infected hand). Althugh it is on my wrist too and my palm and not really fingertips I feel this isn't the cause. Any other possible causes?
Answered by Dr. Geetika Paul 19 hours later

The only next possibility that I can think of is allergic contact dermatitis which means that you have developed a kind to allergic reaction to any of the things that you have touched during the cleaning that you did. Sometimes you come in contact with any such chemicals or waste products to which your skin is sensitive. And the skin reacts by becoming red and developing reddish raised lesions .
Such type of allergies usually settle on application of topical steroids and intake of oral antihistamines. If you have been taking oral anti allergics since the beginning of the skin rash, i am sure the rash would have settled a bit by now.

If you could send me a picture of the skin rash, that would be really helpful in reaching the exact diagnosis. You have a feature to upload the image by yourself at the right side of the query page, please utilize that so that I can answer your queries better. If you are unable to upload it here, you can send them to YYYY@YYYY with the subject as 'Attn: Dr. Geetika Paul'.

Dr Geetika Paul
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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