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Itchy purple spots with pain on leg. What is the reason?

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Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 520 Questions
itchy purple spots on skin surface, ... skin feeling a sharp sting shoots through it.
I have it on my leg, just above knee for few days. Also I have a couple dots on the same leg
Posted Wed, 11 Apr 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Gaurang Krishna 1 hour later

Thanks for the query and the pictures sent.

After having read through your symptoms and seen the picture, I think you probably have Herpes Zoster infection. This is a viral infection caused by the same virus which causes Chicken Pox.

It is not concerning problem and as it happens only once in life.

As far as treating it, now that you have had it for a few days now, you do not need any medication. However, you may apply acyclovir cream twice daily (if you are not allergic to it) for faster resolution.

Please be informed that the pain or stinginess may persist for a few days or weeks as nerves are damaged in this infection. This mild discomfort does not warrant any treatment and it subsides gradually.

If the discomfort is bothering you a lot even after resolution of skin lesions, you may consult your family physician.

To summarize, this is just a trivial problem and you shouldn’t be very worried about it.
It will go away in a few more days.

I hope I have answered your query. Feel free to ask any further questions, should you have them.

Wish you good and speedy recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Itchy purple spots with pain on leg. What is the reason? 8 hours later
Dear doctor,

If ti is a viral infection should I be isolated from relative for while?

Thank you,

Answered by Dr. Gaurang Krishna 16 hours later
Hello and thanks again,

No, I do not see any reason for isolation as Herpes Zoster is not very infectious (unlike chicken pox) as viral shedding is minimal.
Nevertheless, if there is an unvaccinated toddler around you, it is best that you maintain distance from him/her to prevent chicken pox.

Hope this answers all your queries. Do accept the answer if you do not have any further queries. Let me know if you I have missed out on any concerns.

Wish you good health and speedy recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Itchy purple spots with pain on leg. What is the reason? 1 hour later
Dear doctor,

I have this about one week. I observe similar symptoms, as described for the Herpes Zoster. My concern that I noticed a new little red stain on my face (chin) now: I am worried it that it spreads. Also the progression of herpes zoster looks different-I do not see blisters fill with lymph, break open or with crust over yet. I am still experiencing a local stinging pain.
I realize that I am taking your valuable time, and it is my last message.

Thanks for your help.
Answered by Dr. Gaurang Krishna 7 minutes later

I understand your worries.

Herpes zoster may have a varied presentation and it is not necessarily always filled with fluid. I am sure you will be pretty Ok in a week or so.

As for the face lesion it might be just a coincident non-specific papule (like a pimple).
Zoster doesn’t spread over large areas in healthy individuals.

Hope this answer suffices. Let me know if you do not show any signs of recovery. If you wish to post queries to me in the further, you can address them to my attention “Dr. Gaurang Krishna”.

I wish you good health and speedy recovery.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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