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I have a rash on my lower back. Why is it painful and sensitive? What should I do about it?

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I have a rash on my lower back that has bothered me for 4 days now. This morning it is painful and sensitive to touch like a sunburn. What could this be and should I see a doctor?
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 7 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
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. You can also apply a local antiseptic ointment alongwith to avoid any infection.
The patches usually take 5-7 days to disappear.
If the patches become more of purple rather than red then you must consult a dermatologist immediately.

Hope this answers your query. 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.
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