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Upper and lower arms feel very itchy. Used benedryl cream and cortisone cream. Skin feels dry and worse at night. What can be done?

Dec 2013
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Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 4128 Questions
My upper and lower arms have been very itchy for the last week. I've used Benedryl cream, 1% Cortisone cream etc which helps somewhat, but not completely. There isn't a rash or not a typical red rash, just small "bumps" similar to what one gets when chilled. My skin seems very dry as well. The itch is worse at night.
Posted Sun, 3 Nov 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Protect yourself from external enviromental factor

Detailed Answer:
Welcome and thanks for posting your query to Healthcare magic.

I have thoroughly gone through the all the pictures sent by you and correlating with the history I can make out these as the bumps formed due to "Actininc dermatitis" or Polymorphous light eruptions or any other environmental factor coming in contact with the skin of arms and forearms.

TO explain you simply- Due to higher of sun exposure to the skin or the environmental factor such as extremes of cold or hot even for a very little time causes irritation to the skin. This is expressed in form of mild inflammation appearing as bumps which you are feeling. If you can notice these must be higher on the outer side of arms and forearms (which are more exposed) rather than the inner side.

For the betterment kindly follow the suggestions below:
- DO not expose yourself to the external environment most importantly direct sunlight.
- Protection from extremes of weather such as hot or cold even not for 2 minutes.
- Wear full sleeves cotton clothes.
- Do cold or XXXXXXX warm compresses over the affected area for 3-4 times a day according weather (if cold then XXXXXXX warm or if hot then cold compressions).
- Apply calamine lotion mixed with a moisturizing cream available over the counter in a very thin layer for 3-4 times.
- The mainstay of the treatment is to apply moderate potency steroid cream such as Mometasone or clobetasol for 7 days which will give immediate relief.
- If benadryl is not effective then you can take Loratadine (Claritin) up to 3 times day.

By all these measures you will be quite better in next couple of days.

I hope these information will help you, if you have any further queries I will be glad to help.

With good health wishes,

Dr Sanjay
MD Dermatology
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