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Have red, itchy, blotchy skin on arms and torso. Not cured by hydo cortizon. Any cure?

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i have red blotchy skin on arms and torso- that itches- ive used hydo cortizone. no help
Posted Thu, 6 Dec 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Stephen Christensen 2 hours later

Thanks for the query. I'm Dr. Christensen.

It sounds like you might be dealing with urticaria, or hives, which can be triggered by a number of factors: allergic reactions to foods, medications, supplements, insect stings and topical agents (creams, lotions, etc.) are a common cause of hives.

You can also develop hives without ever being exposed to an allergen: in such cases, hives result from misdirected XXXXXXX cues that lead to the release of histamines and other chemicals from immune cells in your skin. This type of urticaria is called "idiopathic urticaria XXXXXXX and no one really knows what causes this condition. Idiopathic urticaria is often triggered by physical stimuli, such as heat, cold, pressure, friction or exercise. Most of the time, idiopathic urticaria resolves on its own within several weeks, but it may persist for many months in some individuals.

Since hives result from the release of chemicals in the deeper layers of your skin, topical corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone, may be of limited use. Oral antihistamines, such as Benadryl or Zyrtec, are typically more helpful. Adding an H2 blocker (cimetidine, ranitidine, famotidine, etc.) is often beneficial when oral antihistamines don't provide adequate relief. (H2 blockers are available over the counter; they're usually used to treat acid reflux and GERD.)

It's usually not possible to diagnose a skin condition without an examination. Therefore, I'd recommend you see your physician to confirm your diagnosis and discuss your treatment options.

I hope that helps. I'll be available to answer any additional questions you might have. Please be patient, though, as I'll be stepping away from my computer from time to time.

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