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Having itchy red rash on chin, cheeks, neck, shoulders and arms. On benadryl and piriton. Any advice?

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Practicing since : 2001
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Hi My 14 year old son woke up with a fine red rash on his chin, cheeks, neck, shoulders and arms. It is incredibly itchy. The rash feels rough to touch and is quite sparse on his arms, being more intense on his face and neck. His face is also slightly swollen because of this. Other than the discomfort of this somewhat dramatic red rash, he feels well. No temperature, arthralgia or swollen glands. No other symptoms at all. He has no known allergies either. He has not had a change in lifestyle or foodstuffs in the last few days. He has been in contact with a friends reptile pet a few days ago. That's all I can think of. (lol)
Piriton tablets, benadryl and topical cortisone creams have done little to relieve the rash and it's discomfort. Any advise? It's ruining his half term break!
Posted Wed, 14 Nov 2012 in Skin Rash
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 2 hours later
Hi , thanks for using healthcare magic

The fact that the rash has confined itself mostly to the face and neck implies that the rash is related to something that has come into contact to his upper body.
Itchy, allergic rashes are often worse if extra moisture is not applied to the skin at the same time that the other medication is being used, not just a normal cream but something like cetaphil that is specifically designed to provide intense skin moisture.
In addition, the cortisone skin cream is a weak steroid usually reserved for small children and may not be effective in a person your son's age. You will likely need a steroid cream with a stronger potency, apply it twice daily for one week.
It may not be possible to obtain the stonger steroid topical creams without a prescription.
The pirition can be continued because the drowsy antihistamines are stronger than the non drowsy.You may have to give regularly for 24 to 48 hours till the steroid cream kicks in.
In addition ,it would be good to figure out what caused this response so it can be avoided.
I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
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