I'm 26 and female, and for the last 5-6 years, I sporadically get this rash on my neck (mostly) and a little on my chest, armpits and sometimes a couple of random bumps just under my eyes or on my lower face/cheeks. The rash does not itch and begins with a blotchy redness, and then about 4-12 hours later (sometimes it will "mature" overnight) a spray of white-headed bumps wll occur where the redness was. These bumps usually stay for 2-3 days and then sort-of die down, and the whole rash clears up after about 4-6 days. The white-heads are pretty small, and I can easily scratch the tops off to get rid of the whiteness, and then 10-30 minutes later, the white is back. It doesn't leave any marking or scarring once it clears up. It is more an eyesore than anything, as it does not hurt or itch, and it does not spread to other parts of my body, and my husband does not contract it after being in contact with the rash.
After it happend 1 to 2 times a year for the first few years, we thought we were sure it was a food allergy, maybe shellfish (I thought it happened the night/day after I had had shellfish each time). I went to an allergist, and he said first that it didn't sound like a food allergy especially since it didn't happen RIGHT after I ate--it would start developing maybe 6 or so hours after I ate. He did an allergy test anyway, and I'm only slightly allergic to shrimp, and not at all to crab, which was our supposed culprit. It ususally comes 1-2 times a year, and this year I've had it a few times over the last few months. I can't think of any soap or clothing or anything that I have on my skin each of the times it happens. Could it be stress-related? It doesn't necessarily come right when I'm in a stressful situation--could it be displaced, like a symptom of panic disorder?
On a side note, I have had an odd breathing problem for the past 1.5 years that makes me have the need to yawn or sigh deeply all the time--sometimes worse than others, and I went to my GP about it who thought it MAY be a manifestation of panic disorder, but I've been so busy I haven't followed up with her on the blood test she wanted to rule out something to do with thyroid. This could be way too much info, but I'm wondering if the rash-ish thing could be panic or stress related at all, and not a food or skin allergy. Thanks so much in advance.
I'm afraid I really don't know. This doesn't sound like anything serious, or anything allergic or contagious either. I don't think it's a good idea for you to scratch the tops off these spots. I think you should just ignore it, or at least I can't think of any reason why you'll run into any difficulty if you do. Soaps and detergents don't cause rashes of this kind. I can't think of any connection with your breathing problem either. Sorry I can't be more illuminating.
Do not pick at your skin as this will aggreviate the problem. Use products designed for sensitive skin such as Eucerin, Oiltum or Lutsine Hydrafnia, all of which are available on line or in drugstores. If you suspect a certain food is causing an undesirable reaction it is sensible to avoid it. If your rash is not accompanied by any other symptoms it is probably not serious. However if you also experience swelling and difficulting breathing seek medical attention as you may need treatment with anti-histamines, hydrocortisone or steriods. It does also sound as if you're anxious and may benefit from some anti-anxiety treatment.
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