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Red, swollen, painful itchy spot on side of knee. Applied Benadryl itch gel. No relief. What is this spot?

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Gastroenterologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 1989
Answered : 883 Questions
My 7 year old daughter, woke up this morning with an itchy spot on the side of her knee and we put benadryl itch gel on it, now it is 10 p.m. and she is crying that it hurts and is itching and I when I look at it, you can't see a bite XXXXXXX but the area is large, red, swollen, hurts to the touch and itchy. It is about 3 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. What is it?
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Skin Rash
Answered by Dr. Ketan Vagholkar 3 hours later

From your description it seems to be either a unnoticed bite or a streptococcal or staphylococcal infection. The size seems to be big. You can apply local pain killer like a preparation of DISPRIN tablet in 1 tsp of water to dissolve it and apply over the local area. An over the counter baby Motrin / ADVIL 100mg can relieve her pain tonight.

If the problem is not resolved by tomorrow I would suggest you take her to the local doctor. She requires antibiotics and antiinflammatory medications in view of the redness and inability to move the limb. There is also a likelihood of spread of infection which is very common in children.

Hope this helps.
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Follow-up: Red, swollen, painful itchy spot on side of knee. Applied Benadryl itch gel. No relief. What is this spot? 7 hours later
Today it is less read and she is moving around great. However, she says it still itchs and it is still as big as it was, but does not appear to be bigger. Thanks for your help.
Answered by Dr. Ketan Vagholkar 17 hours later

Thanks for writing back.

It is good to hear that the condition is not worsening. It could be allergic or infective in origin. In order to prevent any septic complications, I would suggest that you seek a opinion of a orthopaedic surgeon in order to rule out joint involvement which is quite common in children especially if they suffer from septic conditions.

I hope I have addressed your concerns. I shall be available for follow ups. Please close this discussion if you have no more questions.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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