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What causes itchy small,flattish bumps on the skin?

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Infectious Diseases Specialist
Practicing since : 1973
Answered : 546 Questions
I am a 46 year old woman with freckled, fair skin who has had multiple burns over the course of her life, esp on her shoulders and back. For the past several months (under a year) I have had these small, flattish bumps on the skin of my right shoulder blade and they itch. They are not red, they do not feel as if they have any mass inside the skin tissue, they are just itchy, flesh-colored bumps. I put avocado and coconut oils on them regularly and they seem to go up and down with regards to itchiness and inflammation (they respond well to these oils). I have dry skin, adult onset asthma and allergies. As a kid and young adult I had keratosis pilaris on my arms for years and years but they have been gone for years now and this is definitely different...not as pin-point, more diffuse and larger in some spots than those little bumps were. My mom also had hypothyroidism but my thyroid, while full, apparently is not hypo or blood work always comes back normal every year. This patch is approximately the size of my palm with no single bump being larger than the width of say a regular sized nail head. I have had one esthetician, a doctor, a PA and even a friend with skin cancer look at this, no one seems concerned, but it bugs me and I'd like to know what might be causing this condition and I'd of course like to rule out skin cancer.
Posted Sun, 5 Jan 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Fatbardha Sejdini 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Really fair skin,probably dry skin... Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for your query. I have seen your reports and I can tell that there is nothing to be worried about although the itching the bumps can cause. Your skin looks really fair, but if it is cold where you live, your skin might become dry, causing itchiness. So, using healthy moisturizers (such as coconut and/or avocado oil) would keep it well moisten and healthy too. Furthermore, there is no visual evidence of skin cancer; at least with regards to the skin patch for the which you sent in the photo. All the best my dear! Dr.Bardha Feel free to ask me other questions you might have at the next follow up!
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Follow-up: What causes itchy small,flattish bumps on the skin? 2 hours later
I live in San XXXXXXX CA and this condition (bumps and itching) has been bothering me for well over 6 months now... I do have dry skin and certainly in the winter months I am accustomed to experiencing some itching associated with dry skin (often on my calves) but never bumps, and certainly never bumps like this. I use a wooden/bamboo back scratcher quite frequently, could that cause an allergic reaction or make this worse/prevent it from getting better? I recently had blood work done and my liver enzymes were fine, but I've heard that some rashes are connected to liver disease and I know I do have a slightly enlarged liver. I do drink wine....not every day, but often more than one or two glasses at a sitting, over dinner or while hanging out with friends and family....let's be honest, I simply like to relax with wine a few nights a week.
Answered by Dr. Fatbardha Sejdini 16 hours later
Brief Answer: Please refer to the following answer... Detailed Answer: Hi again, Thank you for sending in more of your medical data. I usually, do not advise my patients with dry skin to scratch or scrub it roughly as you are doing with wooden scratcher as it might worsen your situation. If I was your caring doctor would advise to use mild cleansers instead and non-perfumed moisturizers. With regards to drinking wine or other alcoholic drinks, please do not use them in regular basis. Furthermore, when you drink them, do not exceed (no more than a medium cup). At the end, keep regular follow ups with your dermatologist for further assistance! Dr.Bardha
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