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Sudden bright, red, and itchy rash on torso

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I noticed a strange bright red rash on my torso, covering nearly my entire abdomen and reaching around my sides to my back. The rash is BRIGHT red (looks a lot like sun burn), warm to the touch, and itchy. When I scratch it it starts to burn terribly, unless I scratch it very gently. I've been taking OTC antihistamines, using cortisone cream, taking a shower but nothing seems to be making a difference. originally I thought it was hives but am now having doubts because my rash hasn't really changed at all over the past 24 hours (except maybe it has become more itchy and a bit more scaly). The rash appears more fluid than blotchy, generally flat but red areas are clearly raised above unaffected areas and you can feel small raised bumps but can't really see them just by looking at it. I haven't eaten anything new, and haven't recently started taking any new medications/ vitamins/ soap/ lotion/ etc.

I noticed my rash yesterday when I went to the bathroom and saw how red my skin was. I've only had hives one over time in my life and that was at least 15 years ago (I'm only 22 and female) and they occurred in the middle of the night and were gone by morning. I don't have any swelling or other symptoms that popped up with the rash. Has anyone else had something similar? I'm not sure if this is something I need to have checked out or if the doctor will more than likely tell me to give it more time and come back if it doesn't improve or worsens. I'm a college student and all the doctors seem to think everyone is a hypochondriac. Should I wait and go after the weekend if nothing gets better, or do I need to go in tomorrow.
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First Helper 1abc2
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replied December 17th, 2010
UPDATE: I just got back from the doctor (spent 3 hours there) and they had absolutely no idea what the rash was or why I have it. The doctor didn't even ask me if I had any other symptoms, but took my vitals about 30 times in all different positions, and concluded that I was very dehydrated and may need to get fluids through an IV, only to tell me a little later that my urine showed I wasn't very dehydrated after all. She got a second opinion on my rash, and again the other doctor had absolutely no idea. My pulse rate was elevated, and I had some red blood cells in my urine, so naturally she prescribed me antibiotics for a UTI she hasn't confirmed I have yet (I have no symptoms, and have never had a UTI before). When I asked her about my blood test she said it "showed elevated levels" that were above normal but not excessive??? I didn't even know what to say to that....When I asked her if there could be another cause for blood cells in my urine, she dodged the question. I have to go back tomorrow so they can check my vitals AGAIN. The only questions she asked me were about anything that could have caused an allergic reactions, even though I told her repeatedly I didn't eat/wear/apply anything new recently (so instead of asking me if I was having headaches, dizzy spells, loss of appetite, etc. she kept probing me to come up with anything that could have caused an allergic reaction). She couldn't tell me anything about what was going on, and said she needed to think about it. Definitely not going back to student health again.
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replied April 16th, 2011
Rash
I am very understanding of your plight, my daughter has had a rash twice that sounds exactly like yours. It came on very sudden and docs have no answers we even did allergy testing on the last rash. She just started with the 2nd one today and has no other symptoms and I can't figure it out. they also tested her for strep last time and it was negative as were all the allegy test. I am at a loss and she is miserable and nothing is helping and docs seem to blow it off as if it is nothing. I am wondering if you have had the rash again since you wrote this and if maybe you had a fever in the weeks before the rash. Both times she had a fever in which they had no answer for and then 2 weeks later she got a rash. Your entry is the first that I have read that describes what my 6 year old has. Please let me know if you have any info. Thanks Mama Bear T
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replied June 24th, 2012
Rash with bright red skin
I don't know how you ended up getting rid of the problem and if you ever figured it out, but your description sounds identical to what I have right now. I tried all kinds of home remedies for about 10 days and the rash kept spreading to the point that it got all the way up to my neck and would have started covering my face had I not found a solution. I had stayed at a hotel and had gotten bitten and wondered if it might be a bedbug bite and that maybe I was having an allergic reaction to it. So I finally went to see a doctor when I could take the itching no more and she immediately reassured me that the bite I had was not from a bedbug, nor was the rash an allergic reaction to whatever it was that bit me, but rather that I was experiencing a staph infection. She said that scratching a bite could have easily caused it and prescribed me some antibiotics. I remained skeptical since all she did was look at the rash and when I looked up staph infection on the Internet, what I found written on the subject all seemed very different. Good news is that after taking the antibiotics for 1 day I felt a marked difference and after the 2nd day the itching practically disappeared. And from all I'm reading the bright red skin is definitely one of the signs of staph.
So anyway, anyone with similar symptoms might want to look into that. I'm assuming my infection was mild as it didn't get into my blood, but once it does it can get a lot more severe, so you definitely want to get that taken care of sooner rather than later.
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replied April 12th, 2013
Thank you for posting. Thought I'd chime in. I had unexplained fevers for almost two months. They went away for a week and then I caught a bad cold. Now I've got this sunburn like rash (most noticeable on my face). Some raised lumps in the crook of my arm, and fever,nausea, sweating and cold symptoms
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replied December 31st, 2010
red spots all over my body
I need help, I have red bumbps all over my torso and it has spread to my back and around the ears now is going to my face. They start off little than get scabby and bigger. last years I had the same thing the lasted for 6 weeks and than turned white ( now I can not tan in those spots)This year its alot worse and is kinda painful. This has been going on for over 3 months. If anyone can help, write me.I can send pictures.
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replied July 16th, 2012
i've had tinea versicolor twice when i was 15 and 17. the dermatologist took a skin sample and told me what it was. It was all over my torso, red, patchy, kinda dry, and itchy. It's an overgrowth of a natural bacteria and went away with either "Head and Shoulders" shampoo or a prescribed pill.
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replied December 19th, 2011
Have the same thing - red circles, bumps and large blotches!!!!!
12/19/11 - I woke up this morning with the same thing. Very itchy and either small red circles, small red bumps or just plain light red (almost pink) blotches from my neck down to my belly button and on my back. Took benadryl and that stopped the itching for about 1/2 hour. I had tons of crab legs two days ago at a Chinese buffet (more than I usually eat) so I thought this was an allergic reaction (one I never had before). I'll wait until tomorrow to see if this improves. If note, I'll go to my doctor.
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replied March 8th, 2012
to rachelshirer... sounds like you've lost pigmentation in that area that the rash occurred... it sounds like vitaligo... my dad has it... you should ask your dr. about that.... I've had sudden red rashes appear on my arms, legs, stomach, and very little on my face... they itch terribly and burn (kind of like someone sticking warm sewing needles on me) and the rashes have a little heat to them.. I recently found out that my daughter's school had an outbreak of "fifth disease" and adults can get that too... you may want to ask your dr. about that... I went to the dr. 3 weeks ago and all they did was prescribe Rx strength itch medication.... i'll be going back tomorrow
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replied April 4th, 2013
I'm no doctor but what you guys are describing sounds like fifth and sixth disease, more common in young children my daughter had it at 14 months, started as a fever for a few days then a rash over her torso and then spread to her limbs, then her face.....
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replied April 7th, 2013
check out grovers disease
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replied July 22nd, 2013
Burning Neck Rash - possible cause?
Have you used topical corticosteroids for eczema or dermatitis in the past? Check out Red Skin Syndrome, starting with the following link : http://www.itsan.org/eczema_questions_answ ered.html
I have had ongoing eczema and contact dermatitis for many years, using steroid creams, but in the last few months have developed a burning neck rash and some dry skin and flushing around my face, ears etc, totally different from previous symptoms - after months of fruitless searching on the internet this article seems to hit the nail on the head for me ..
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replied March 22nd, 2014
I just had this same thing happen this morning. I had been taking these vitamins for cardio support. It can cause Niasin Flushing...I believe that is what happenend I didnt eat anything with the pills but it wasnt fifteen minutes after I took it on the way to work my skin felt like it was on fire and started to itch and burn real bad..I felt like I needed to remove my clothing.. It is easing up some now.Skin is still sunburnt looking but face and skin doesnt feel as tight. Kinda nervous about taking anymore of them...
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Users who thank 1abc2 for this post: DaveOhio 

replied November 7th, 2014
Thanks 1abc2
I had a sudden sunburn like rash all over my body. I looked online to see what it was but nothing fit. I felt just fine and every other rash that was like mine had many other symptoms. Nausea, fever and so on. I didn't have any of those.
I came to your post and realized I had just taken my vitamins including Niacin. Thanks again...Now I know what the cause is.
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replied May 22nd, 2014
I have had the same thing happen to me red swollen itchy sunburn looking places all over my body I recently went to the Beach for vacation and my Dr insisted that it was a sunburn only thing is it rained the whole time and was very cold so we never made it to the pool or beach I also have Fibromyalgia and I believe if may be a side effect of my illness at this point but I'm very frustrated that we can't find answers to what is causing this to happen....feeling like one of the seven drawls at this point!
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replied May 23rd, 2014
Hi,

Drink plenty of water or include food those are rich in water( cucumber, watermelon).
Don't squeeze acne.
Apply alovera http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloe_vera
Hope, my information helps you.
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replied August 19th, 2014
Bright Red Itch Skin Rash
I got a bright red itchy, sore raised bright red rash today on on the under side of my left breast and on my torso right below it. I have had small rashes in that area before, but this is no small rash. The first time it was actually a brown rash, very small and not that uncomfortable. I made an appointment with a dermatologist and instead they only let me see his PA who said it was some kind of skin disease with a long name and no big deal. I got no prescriptions or advice on what to do about it. Well for years it has been pretty much no big deal, occassionally getting a little itchy, but very small and quickly healing. Then about a year ago I had a slightly stronger outbreak. Slightly bigger and very itchy, but not painful. I went to a regular doctor at a walk in clinic and asked for antibiotics, because of the redness. She insisted it was a yeast infection (strange place for a yeast infection) and when I kept insisting on antibiotics she did give them to me, but she was so mad at me for insisting she was livid. Now maybe it was just a coincidence, but the antibiotics worked and the bright red patch began to go away fairly soon after starting the antibiotics. Now I have just gotten a huge rash many times the size of that rash in the same place and it is very sore in addition to being very itchy. While my chances of encountering the same doctor at the walk in clinic are small and the rest of the doctors there are very nice, I am loathe to go there again with this problem for fear of getting the same doctor. I have had a lot of allergy problems lately, so it may stem from an allergic reaction or something. The itching and soreness are way worse than ever before. I washed it really well and put some Iverest on it to dry it up and I took an allergy pill. It seems to have helped to some degree, because the rash is a lot less red, a lot less sore and also less itchy. My doctor's office doesn't do emergency visits so it would take me a while to be seen by him. Nasty as this rash is, I don't feel that it has risen to the level of the hospital emergency room, but reading these other posts puts it back into my mind that I don't want to fool with an infection, particularly that close to my heart, even though it is just a skin infection. That was my reason for insisting on antibiotics at the walk-in clinic a year ago. I guess that I will see how it looks tomorrow. I think that it will either get better if it is allergically caused and not infected or it will get worse if that is not the case. I may look for another walk-in clinic, but this one is so convenient and except for that one awful doctor, the doctors there have always been courteous and helpful and treated any medical problem that I have had appropriately, but I am really afraid of getting her. You can't believe how she acted. You would think that I was asking for drugs to get high or something instead of just an antibiotic to treat my skin rash. She told me she was going to put all kinds of horrible things on my medical record and everything. I just don't want to deal with her at all. It is the worst experience that I have ever had in my life with a doctor. I really don't want to ever deal with her again for any medical problem, much less the same one as I saw her for a year ago. Does anyone out there have any idea what this thing is. It never really goes away it just small and brown and dormant most of the time. I think the small brown dormant thing has been there for over 15 years. It is quite puzzling.
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