Mysterious Skin....rash
October 26, 2010 8:00 PM   Subscribe

YANAD, but, can you help me identify this rash? Is it an allergic reaction, bed bugs, or something else?

I suddenly developed a lot of pink spots on my torso. They don't seem to follow any pattern, have uneven edges, and haven't spread to anywhere else on my body. They don't itch unless I am thinking about it, so that could be psychosomatic. The marks don't have a central 'bite' or dark spot, they're a very even pink. They look like this (NSFW probably, it's my abdomen. Best I could do with the camera in my computer). I can't make a dermatologist appointment until tomorrow, and who knows when they'll actually be able to see me, so any help you can give is extremely appreciated. I'd like to know if I should start prepping for bedbug removal or taking antihistamines or, really, anything I could do to get rid of these spots!

I am a mid-20s female in an urban area that's been getting a lot of bedbug-centric press lately. I've checked for signs of an infestation, but I haven't been able to find any evidence other than my spots.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (11 answers total)
My initial internet IANAD diagnosis is pityriasis rosea. But I've had it so I am probably biased as far as torso-centric spotty rashes go. If that's what it is, there's not much you can do but wait it out. Sorry.

But what I really wanted to say is that you should be able to go to your GP or regular doctor, if that's quicker than waiting for a dermatologist.
posted by grapesaresour at 8:21 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

This may sound random, but did you recently have something of above average temperature on you recently? Such as a heating pad?

I use a hot water bottle on my stomach whenever it hurts for whatever reason (over ate, ate something that didn't sit well, etc) and once I left it on over night and woke up with spots. They took about two weeks to go away. They didn't hurt, but there were just spots where the hot water bottle was.
posted by darkgroove at 8:23 PM on October 26, 2010

It reminds me of tinea versicolor. It's especially common in the summer or when you wear form-fitting clothing (or just in general if you're a sweaty person).

I'd suggest googling it to learn more. The only thing is, you might see a lot of pictures where it looks like light colored spots on dark/tan skin which might make you think it's not what you have. Just remember that it looks the opposite if you're pale. Definitely see your doctor to confirm but it's really easy to treat, basically by using prescription strength dandruff shampoo as body wash.
posted by joan_holloway at 8:37 PM on October 26, 2010

When I had bedbugs, the bites were usually farther apart than that. That said, bedbugs are hell on earth and you should probably take a few precautions anyway - bedbug monitors on your bed legs, etc.
posted by ripley_ at 8:39 PM on October 26, 2010

My first thought was tinea versicolor. If you use Selsun Blue as a body wash until you see a doctor, it might go away on its own. If I were you, I'd get it checked ASAP!
posted by aquafortis at 8:39 PM on October 26, 2010

That sort of spotting is what I get when I unintentially ingest a small dose of gluten.

I'm covered in them - literally, from the top of my head to my knees - when I stupidly knowingly ingest a large dose of gluten. (Case in point: Sunday night when I succumbed to a craving for a meat pie.)

I have no idea, get thee to your dermotologist as quickly as possible, but don't be surprised if it's an allergy. IANAD but I don't think an antihistamine would hurt in the meantime?
posted by malibustacey9999 at 9:24 PM on October 26, 2010

Along the lines of darkgroove's suggestion: could it be prickly heat? Where I live , we had a high of 92 degrees F today, and prickly heat can also happen under too many clothes even in the cold winter.
posted by Ery at 9:28 PM on October 26, 2010

I was dropping in to say pityriasis rosea, too. My classmate had spots that looked just like that and that's what hers were. The doctor gave her some sort of cream and they cleared up after a month or so.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 9:55 PM on October 26, 2010

Looks like heat rash maybe?
posted by Jacqueline at 10:25 PM on October 26, 2010

Look for one spot, larger than all the others, that is kind of scaly &/or crusty looking, and shaped like ringworm. If you have one, this is called the herald spot and you have pityriasis rosea.
posted by elizardbits at 3:46 AM on October 27, 2010

As someone who had near identical spots, I can say this is very likely Tinea versicolor. Athlete's foot cream/spray makes it go away (though, I get repeated outbreaks when it's really humid).
posted by duckierose at 12:56 PM on October 27, 2010

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