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Red bumps on both sides of body

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i am a young woman with the majority of bite looking red bumps on both sides of my body. I\'ve have chicken pox about 4 to 5 times. What on earth could it be? its so itchy!!!

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replied June 2nd, 2010
Skin Answer A12798
Hi, welcome to the ehealth forum and I am glad to help you.
You seem concerned by the recurrence of chickenpox about 4-5 times. Now you are again having bite looking red bumps on both sides of yours.
Once infected with chicken pox, a person is considered immune. Very rarely, it is possible to get a chicken pox infection more than once. It is usually a mild outbreak and is called a breakthrough infection.
The re-activated virus lying dormant in nerves will most likely cause shingles and shingles can recur more than once. Thus technically chickenpox infections occur once. However after a chickenpox infection, the varicella virus remains in the body forever. The virus, for reasons not clearly understood, lives "asleep" in the nerves. For a variety of reasons, usually in older people or those with weakened immune systems the virus appears on the skin again. However, this time it only comes out in the area that specific nerve feeds, called a dermatome. It looks like a patch of varicella blisters. This is called Herpes Zoster(Zona) or shingles. People who have not yet had chickenpox or have not had the varicella vaccination can actually contract the virus and develop typical chickenpox infection if they come into contact with someone who has shingles. People who have had the disease or have been vaccinated will be protected from the virus whether they come into contact with someone who has either active typical chickenpox or shingles.
You have made a mention of being suffering from chickenpox 4-5 times but sometimes chicken pox can be confused with herpes simplex, impetigo, insect bites, or scabies. Sometimes a viral culture can be performed to confirm the diagnosis, but it takes from 1 to 14 days to get the results.
You must consult your dermatologist for definitive diagnosis as the same is not possible online.
Hope this helps. Take care.

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