What is this rash?
December 9, 2008 10:18 AM   Subscribe

Can you identify this rash from this poorly focused photo?

You're not my doctor. I know that. You're also not her secretary, who I dislike immensely, and who drives me to avoid seeing my doctor unless I really must, so I'm asking you anyway.

Any idea what this rash is?

It started out as little individual patches a couple of months back, and some of those individual patches have started to fuse into big giant patches. It itches periodically throughout the day -- when I'm in the shower, when I'm working out, some other times that I can't pin down to specific things. The patches weren't as red until I scratched them, but damnit, when they're in itchiness mode, they really itch.

The patch in the photo is between 4 and 6 inches across, and the little individual spots are usually about half to three quarters of an inch, though some are smaller. They are mostly on my hips and stomach in areas that are routinely covered by my underwear, though there are some on my legs and arms, as well.

So, thoughts on what this might be? What might be causing it? How I can cure it?

If the answer is that I have to go to my doctor, I will, but I'd rather not.
posted by jacquilynne to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
It looks very much like the doctor-diagnosed case of pityriasis rosea I had a while ago.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:30 AM on December 9, 2008

Oops, lost my second sentence: In my case I went to the doctor and they prescribed some cortisone cream for the itchiness (That I barely touched, since overuse can be more damaging to the skin than the rash itself, IIRC), but there really wasn't anything I could do but let it take its course.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:34 AM on December 9, 2008


Though really » switch doctors » see doctor.
posted by mandal at 10:46 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Looks like ringworm, a fungal infection.
posted by the Real Dan at 10:52 AM on December 9, 2008

Depending on the cause, and rashes can be caused by many things, including allergies, you will need different types of treatment. If ringworm, for example (and note that ringworm is very contagious), you would need an antifungal. Other problems might respond better to cortisone. It is really better to go to a doctor and get properly diagnosed, and I would say get thee to a dermatologist.
posted by gudrun at 11:10 AM on December 9, 2008

IANAD. Before running off to the doctor, have you tried an OTC anti-fungal like tolnaftate or ketoconazole?
posted by mkultra at 11:54 AM on December 9, 2008

I had something that looked like that on my shoulder, which ended up being contact dermatitis. Doc gave me a prescription cream and it was gone in a few days. But yeah, go see your doc ASAP.
posted by Verdandi at 12:21 PM on December 9, 2008

usually i hate the people who're like "see your doctor" but really. it's a rash. so many rashes look like that. my chronic autoimmune urticaria looks like that sometimes. so does psoriasis, contact dermatitis, ringworm, some insect bites, eczema, etc. etc.

your doc will probably give you some anti-itch cream (as always, i recommend benadryl GEL) and maybe take a culture if she's unsure. but she's a derm and probably can diagnosis this in 3 seconds. but not via a crappy photo.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 12:39 PM on December 9, 2008

posted by saxamo at 10:36 PM on December 9, 2008

It looks a lot like ringworm because of the "satellite" lesions and the central clearing within each spot. Use any antifungal twice daily. If no improvement at ten days, see your doctor. Complete cure will take a month. (I'm an internist in practice 14 years.)
posted by neuron at 11:08 PM on December 9, 2008

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