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Rash that disappears in 15 to 45 minutes
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Rash that disappears in 15 to 45 minutes

I am a 29 year old fair skinned female.  Three months back I would get very itchy feet, legs, hands, etc...but there would be nothing on my skin.  This would especially happen at night and in the morning.  Then about 4-6 weeks ago I started getting rashes between my elbow and wrist on the inside of my arm or above my knee.  They are red and spotty, about the size of a quarter or or a bit larger.  There could be one or a few at a time.  When they come they only last about 15 minutes and then start to fade and can no longer be seen about a half hour or 45 minutes later, then it looks like nothing was ever there.  This usually happens a couple times per day.  It's only a little itchy if at all.  Then I'm getting a second type of "rash".  Usually on my feet or hands I'll get a raised very slightly swollen area about the size of a dime.  There is no puss.  This is usually more itchy.  This happens less frequently then the other rash.  Lately it happens for about a half hour a couple times per week.  The other day when the first rash I talked about happened I went directly to an urgent care facility.  The MD on staff said it looked like a dermatitis of some type.  Can a dermatitis come on quickly and disappear in 15 to 45 minutes and leave no mark at all??  I have not changed or used different soaps or eatten any different foods lately.  I don't wear any perfume.  I seen a dermatologist today when I did not have the rash and she was really no help at all. She just told me to get some blood tests.  Can the red spotty rash that disappears quickly be an "early" form of a hive?  There is no "weel" or swollenness.  Can a dermatitis disappear quickly?  Could I be allergic to something?  Can a skin allery disappear quickly?  Does this sound like a symptom of any disease that you can think of?  I feel fine and am VERY nervous and scared about this.  Please give me any help you could in helping me determine what this could possibly be.  The urgent care doctor gave me a prescription for Zyrtec.  I have not started it yet.  The dermatologist said to take it for a month and see if it will suppress it and maybe whatever it is it will burn itself out.  Also both doctors checked me for dermographism and said it was negative.
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The only rash that comes and goes in minutes is hives, or urticaria.  These can be large, red welts, but they can indeed look like what you're describing.  Only a very small percentage of hives are allergic.  Most have no cause, come and go for a few weeks, and then burn themselves out, just as the dermatologist said.  I generally tell patients not to tie themselves in knots looking for foods, detergents, or other factors, nor are blood tests likely to be productive.  Just treat the symptoms--Zyrtec and topical anti-itch creams like Sarna or Benadryl are fine.  And please don't be nervous or scared about this, because you don't need to be.

Best.

Dr. Rockoff
2 Comments
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Hi!

I have been experiencing a similar type of situation over the past week.  My legs have been breaking out in what looks like a SERIOUS rash, mostly in the morning and late at night, and itches like crazy!  Then, after about an hour, the itching stops and the bumps go down.  My mother thinks that it's just hives, but, I have a doctor's appointment in a few days just in case.  I've been taking Benadryl for it and that helps a lot.

Thanks,
Josie
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