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Red spots under skin on arms - not itchy, scaly, or raised...help?
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Red spots under skin on arms - not itchy, scaly, or raised...help?

For at least 10 or so years I have had a consistent issue with small subdermal white spots on my arms and legs.  I have asked a few doctors but they didn't quite know what it was.  They are not raised, are not scaly, do not have a well defined border, and do not itch.  These spots are only visible on my arms and legs and they are not horribly obvious, but can be very noticeable at times.  I have done some serious searching around the web and finally found an image that someone else posted that is absolutely identical to my symptoms:

http://img502.imageshack.us/img502/277/cimg3829to4.jpg
http://img517.imageshack.us/img517/6398/cimg3827wm5.jpg

If anyone has any idea what these could be, I would really, really like to know.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi

How old are you?

Has this been present in childhood. I say the images and I am thinking of pityriasis alba. Have you had this condition assessed by an internist? Pityriasis alba is a benign skin condition and may resolve spontaneously."Pityriasis alba is a common hypopigmented dermatitis that occurs primarily in preadolescent children. It is often an incidental finding made on clinical examination. This is a self-limited disorder that usually resolves by adulthood."

Source:http://www.emedicine.com/emerg/topic425.htm


Is this also present on the face?


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Avatar_m_tn
I only remember really noticing it around 15...I'm 25 now.  I've never had it on my face luckily.  It seems limited to my arms and legs.  I reviewed some pictures of the condition you listed and some do appear to resemble the look of what I'm describing, but I have never had any scaly macules or any sort of epidermal scabbing, scarring, or anything of the like.  It seems strictly subdermal.  Also, the spots are relatively uniform in size at approximately 2cm in diameter across and are all pretty much identical in their round shape (a few exceptions in shape but none are larger than 2.5cm that I have ever seen).

Unfortunately I have never had it properly diagnosed and have mentioned it only twice in earlier doctor's visits.  It was recommended that I check with a dermatologist but I was told that it did not appear to be a serious issue.  Unfortunately I have either forgotten, or am too busy to actually make an appointment with a dermatoligist on a regular basis so I've got no actual medical diagnosis or recommendation to go on.

Thank you very much for getting back to me so quickly.  Obviously I should consult with a local doctor about this, but in the meantime I would really like to understand whether or not this is something I should be concerned about and it would be nice to identify it in some way hehe.  Thanks again.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi

You are welcome.

Upon seeing the image pityriasis came to mind as a differential. However  ambient temperature may also change skin character .Extreme cold may cause blotches on the skin. Is this in any way associated with temperature change? This may not be something that you need immediate intervention. I suggest that you have this assessed by your dermatologist. This has been present for years and as for most chronic skin conditions , this should resolve on its own. But yes, this has to have an explanation.
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Avatar_m_tn
Current temperature here is approx 90 degrees during the day/75 during the night.  I had assumed that cold had some part to play when I began investigating it more thoroughly about a year and a half ago during winter, but I continued to notice the same issue even after the colder season had come and gone.

As you said, I have had this condition for years with no actual issue other than the appearance so I'm pretty confident that, at least, this is not a serious problem.  I think I will go ahead and just schedule the appointment with a dermatologist.  It is always easier to get an objective opinion based upon my specific symptoms in person.  In the meantime, though, if you or anyone else has any other ideas, I am definitely all ears.  Thanks again!
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