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Red itchy spots on the skin, swollen eyes, fever, took benadryl. Can it be due to poison ivy?

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Female 56 5'5" 130lbs. Hello, about a month ago i noticed a red quarter moon shaped patch a out 1 1/2" long- looked like someone had hit me but also looked liked very burned skin - but and itched a bit but not much and redness on the skin around my eyes and forehead and parts of my chin and a few red itchy spots on my wrists. then a couple of days later my eyes got very swollen along with parts of my face swelling and felt a bit malaise like i was trying to come down with something. Almost 4 weeks later the swelling has gone down with eyes and face but the skin around eyes and forehead is still slightly itchy as is very dry and a bit peely. Then about a week ago after showering i got a rash allover my chest arms parts of my stomach back and legs - and forehead and chin and sides of my face and neck - it doesn't itch much but seems to make my eyes look peeked (sp) and some days feel low grade feverish or slight ache in tonsils and ears - I was wondering at first if it was poison ivy that spread later but doesn't itch lots just very little like dry skin would itch. Do you know what it might be? (I also took benedryl one night) and wondering if it could cause the rash allover my body 3 days later? I soaked with Aveeno but rash is still there just eased the slight itch i have on and off.
Posted Tue, 17 Apr 2012 in Skin Rash
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 5 hours later
Thanks for writing to us.
The generalized skin rash that you are having is most likely a widespread allergic reaction as there was angioedema associated with it. The other possible causes in my opinion are-
1. Erythema multiforme.
2. Dermatitis-There are several different classes of dermatitis. This includes allergic bacterial and fungal among others. There are inflammatory conditions also which could contribute to such presentation. In the absence of any family history of autoimmune disorders I would hesitate to think that this is purely related to inflammation.
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 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.

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful. Waiting for your further follow up queries if any.
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