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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

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What does an itchy rash on the leg indicate?

Answered by
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 15820 Questions

Posted on Wed, 9 May 2018 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: What could be cause of my rash? I was traveling in COZUMEL and Cancun. The last morning ( Nov. 22 ) I swam in the heated pool, which was being cleaned ( walls) at far end. I subsequently walked on beach for about an hour and took a swim in the ocean. Walk back I felt stinging on back of legs ( sun strong ). Did not notice rash till next morning, which became VERY ITCHY. Thought it could be bed bugs, but my husband has no symptoms.
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
may be viral or bacterial infection, needs re assessment

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

Based on the description given, it is possible that it may be a viral or bacterial infection.

Dermatology is mostly a visual field of medicine require close assessment of the lesions. I know that you tried already but you may need to be reassessed by your doctor or a dermatologist who diagnoses and treats rashes.

The bacterial infection, impetigo, is associated with the presence of bumps or small blisters then open and crust over, heal , new lesions form. It can be itchy and it spreads.
It is treated with a course of antibiotics.

Viral infections can also causes these symptoms eg hand foot and mouth disease- though far more common in children, it can occur in adults as well.
Chicken pox is one of other viruses that can cause this to occur.

With viral infection, treatment is mostly symptomatic, eg treating the symptoms not the cause eg itching with antihistamines and calamine lotion etc

It would be best , to try and be seen again, if possible

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 4 days later
It is not chicken pox, as I had that as child. Not impetigo, no crusting, etc. my husband does NOT have any symptoms. Calamine did not help. Thought it was possibly scabies, but I did the test with scraping in baby oil, No moving scabies. The drying effect of the original medicine made all worse. ZINC OXIDE remedied. At this point, it seems likely that I received a dose of pool chemicals ( I am highly sensitive to chlorine ) which dried and burned on my skin. My husband who sleeps in the same bed and is in close contact does not have symptoms or outbreak of rash. At this point I am going to have to go to emergency or back to urgent care.
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 7 hours later
Brief Answer:
agree, should be assessed, may need a swab

Detailed Answer:


I agree with you in terms of a review of the rash, letting someone, preferably a dermatologist who assesses rashes, take a physical look at the lesions again.

It is possible since the use of topical or oral steroids that were prescribed did not help, that a dermatologist, if it is difficult to simply assess the lesions visibly, they may need to take a swab of the area to send to the lab for definitive answers.

The fact that your husband has no symptoms, does make the likelihood of a bacterial infection such as impetigo less.
Chicken pox does not affect a person twice (would not have known medical history), so that is ruled out as well, as you said.

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

The User accepted the expert's answer

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