A few days ago I was really feeling down - not sick but exhausted. I believe I have a "Herald's Patch" on my lower back. Initially it just itched like crazy but now it's about the size of a quarter and is scaly. Since then I have been getting bumps all over my body that itch and itch. What can I do to help this? Do I need to see a dermatologist or is that a waste of time? How do I stop it from spreading?
It is very difficult to precisely confirm a diagnosis without examination and investigations but from the symptoms that you have mentioned, it can be either a viral infection which presents as generalized itchy bumps all over the body, folliculitis which is inflammation of the hair follicles or pityriasis rosea.
Folliculitis is the inflammation of one or more hair follicles. The condition may occur anywhere on the skin. It starts when hair follicles are damaged by friction from clothing or blockage of the follicle. In most cases of folliculitis, the damaged follicles are then infected with the bacteria Staphylococcus (staph).
Pityriasis rosea is a common human skin disease which presents as numerous patches of pink or red oval rash. The rash may be accompanied by low-grade headache, fever, nausea and fatigue and itching. Initially, a primary plaque, called a herald patch, is seen. Then it is followed by a distinctive, generalized rash 1-2 weeks later. The rash lasts approximately 2-6 weeks and is found in a Christmas tree pattern over the trunk and abdomen.
Keep the area clean and apply some topical calamine lotion which will help in relieving itching. Also wear loose-fitting cotton clothing and use an antibacterial soap or mild soap like dove. Avoid any kind of cosmetics. Topical antibiotics such as mupirocin or neomycin containing ointment are also useful if the rash is folliculitis but if it is pityriasis rosea then topical and oral steroids are needed. You need to get it examined from a dermatologist to confirm the diagnosis.
Rash of pityriasis rosea is not contagious but if it is folliculitis or viral infection then wear cotton clothes, maintain hygiene and eat a well balanced healthy diet to avoid its worsening or spread.
Hope that this information helps and hope that you get better soon.
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