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    Suggest treatment for itchy rashes on the back

Posted on Sat, 29 Jul 2017 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: Hi, I have developed a group of bumps or rash, in back of arms and fleshy side of back. They do not hurt. Could this be shingles or more likely hives?
Answered by Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
It doesn't seem like to be Shingles. Please send us some images for a closer review

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for asking at HealthcareMagic.

I read your question carefully and understand your concern.

It doesn't seem to be a Shingles infection especially if both your arms are affected, Shingles is one sided and does not cross the middle line. Also, Shingles would be very painful blisters over a spreading area. The fact that your rash is not painful reduces the chance for Shingles.

Hives are very common but they would be itchy most of the times.

Sending us a picture of the lesions is very helpful to confirm what this rash might be as depending on the rash we can understand the cause of it.

So to conclude:

1. it is very unlikely this is Shingles
2. please send us a picture to better evaluate the rash and be even more helpful. You can simply attach/upload it to the reports section of this web page.

Kind regards and hope to hear back from you soon.

Antoneta Zotaj, MD

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
Follow up: Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 1 hour later
/Users/elbertyaw/Pictures/Photos Library.photoslibrary/resources/proxies/derivatives/59/00/5982/UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_5982.jpg

It now itches and covers back and back of arms above the elbow.
Answered by Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 8 hours later
Brief Answer:
Advises and treatment options given

Detailed Answer:
Hello again,

I am trying to access the picture but the link does not function so I can not see the rash.
If the rash is itchy than hives is an opportunity, especially if you have history of them and you can relate it to a certain food or medication or other triggers. Hives change very quick, within hours, you see a lesion here and in 2-3 hours you don't see it there any more and you notice lesion in areas that did not have lesions before. Also hives are well demarcated, of different sizes and are pale in the center. Taking a Cetirizine at night for a few nights might help with it.

There are other causes of the rash depending on the timing also. If the rash has been there for more than 10 days than eczema might be considered especially if it is symmetrical. A steroid cream twice a day and keeping the area well hydrated would help in that case.

If the rash is in areas of friction than foliculitis might be the cause- mild infection and a cream with antibiotic would be beneficial.

So to conclude i would say:
- take oral Cetirizine 10 mg at night for 4-5 nights (this will help with the itchiness also)
- use on the rash a combination cream with antibiotic and steroid twice a day for 5 days
- keep the area well hydrated by using a moisturising cream (or vaseline) there in midday
- if no improvement in 4-5 days you will need to see your doctor.

I hope this is helpful and answers to your question but please feel free to write in case more clarification is needed on this.

Kind regards

Antoneta Zotaj, MD

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
Answered by
Dr. Antoneta Zotaj

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 4363 Questions


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