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Frequent itchy rashes on the body. Not spreading on the body. How to stop this?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 3618 Questions
I have a rash that recurs on one leg every four to six weeks. It starts with an itch, and if I scratch it, it blooms into a full on red, burning, itching rash. I have been to my doctor and been tested for diabetes and some other things. The cream he gave me didn't work and I've tried everything else OTC. The rash has not spread to any other part of my body, or to anyone else in my family and it has been happening for over a year now. Any idea on what it could be and what I could do to stop it from happening?
Posted Mon, 21 May 2012 in Skin Rash
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 30 minutes later

Thanks for your query.

I would like to know some more details on your problem to opine better on it like :

1)The exact site over the leg
2)Any discharge oozing or scaly appearance on the rash ?
3)The name of the ointments you have tried and didn't see a response,
4)Are you allergic to any substance ?
5)Is there any seasonal association with the appearance of the rash ?

If possible please do send a image of the rash ,which along with the information I asked above will surely help me to understand the problem better and hence I shall advice you specifically.

Anticipating your response,

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Frequent itchy rashes on the body. Not spreading on the body. How to stop this? 3 hours later
Here are the answers to the questions you asked
1) On my right XXXXXXX from just above the ankle to a few inches below the knee. Mostly on the front, but wraps around slightly to the back of the outside of my XXXXXXX once the rash is in full bloom
2) no discharge, but it becomes scaly if I scratch it (which I eventually end up doing in my sleep)
3) I have tried Benadryl, cortizone, and several other creams for anti-itch, anti-inflammation- eczema, and various other skin problems to no avail. The doctor gave me a cortizone cream which I believe had some sort of steroid in it, it worked even less than the otc ones did.
4)I am allergic to penicillin, but other than that, I have some pollen issues that would not account for an allergic reaction on the skin for almost 18 months.
5) the rash has been recurring every 4 to 6 weeks since Nov/Dec of 2010, so I don't believe it is has a seasonal association.
I saw the doctor in April of 2011 which is when I tried the cream and had him run tests.
I work nights and sleep days, and there is always a wait period to see the doctor, so it has been impossible to get in to see him when the rash is at an 'appropriate' stage for him to determine the cause.

The photos I uploaded are after one week of the rash, and I have scratched my leg on a few occasions because it is an itch that has to be scratched.

Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 2 hours later
Hi again,

Thanks for writing back.

After having gone through the images you attached and very informative description provided I suspect the lesion to be Contact Dermatitis. Most of times such a problem is triggered by contact with a strong allergen and a single exposure can lead to rashes for months.

For such a problem a better topical steroid is the answer one like Triamcinalone acetonide 0.5% (Kenalog, Aristocort cream). It is the best and has to be applied twice daily after cleaning the affected part . Apply the cream for a week to see the difference and stop two to three days after the rash disappears.

Hope I answered all your questions. Please use any answer clarification before closing and rating this answer. I will be happy to explain or expand on any issue you may have.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Frequent itchy rashes on the body. Not spreading on the body. How to stop this? 3 hours later
Is that cream one that I can buy OTC? Or do I need to get a scrip from my doctor for it? If it is available OTC, do you have a brand name that you can recommend.
Thank you for your information and help. I feel better after speaking to you that it might be something 'less drastic' than other things I had been looking into.
Thank you for your time and recommendations. I appreciate what you are doing. I am assuming that I will still need to go see my doctor and get a scrip for the Triamcinalone and that it is not available OTC?
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 22 hours later
Hi again,

You are welcome and we here to help you always,

Kenalog is a well known brand available as OTC , Do try for the same .If you do not get it then you can ask for an alternate brand available in your locality.Your treating doctor may help you in this regard.

Wish you a speedy recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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