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Have raised itchy spots in sternum area. Is this the first stages of chicken pox?

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Dr. Praveen Tayal

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 10507 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 12 Dec 2012 in Skin Rash
Question: My 7 yr old son has small raised spots in the sternum area and between the shoulder blades on his back with a few wrapping around his side. He has none in the armpit area nor in the belt line. He had complained of them itching yesterday but today says they do not itch anymore. Today I noticed a small pencil eraser sized cluster of raised red bumps near his mouth that also do not itch. He is not running a fever. What should I do? Is this the first stages of chicken pox? Or some type of contact rash? Please help
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Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 6 hours later
Hello,
Thanks for posting your query.
From your description the most possible causes in my opinion are-
1. Erythema multiforme.
2. Dermatitis- due to skin infection, allergy,etc.
3. Dry skin- Xerosis.
4. Heat rash.
Since there is no fever or any systemic symptoms, chicken pox is not likely. Chicken pox produces an itchy, blistery , pimply pus filled rash that typically lasts about a week and is sometimes accompanied by a fever or other symptoms. The rash begins on the trunk.
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 the 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 rashes usually take 5-7 days to disappear.
If the rashes become more of purple rather than red then you must consult a dermatologist immediately.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Regards.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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