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Rough Patch on Upper Arm
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Rough Patch on Upper Arm

Hello, I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this...but I found this website while searching for answers on some symptoms I've been having, and saw that actual doctors responded to the posts. Here's hoping:

I am a female, 17 years old, caucasian, history of asthma but no notable allergies. Three years ago a pre-cancerous mole was removed from my back, which I believe had something to do with a form of skin cancer involving the term "carcinoma" - which is what sparked my concern with this patch on my arm. (I apologize for the vagueness, I was young and can't quite remember.)

A few weeks ago I noticed a dry patch of skin on my upper arm, just below the shoulder. It began relatively small (2cm long and 1cm wide, about) but I think it may have grown in size slightly. It causes me no pain and doesn't itch, but the area feels like very dry skin and has several bumps inside of it. It looks kind of like one of my co-worker's egzemas, but it's only in that one tiny patch and is normal-colored for the most part (it's barely a deeper pink at best). No amount of lotion has had any effect on it.

Is this something I should be concerned about? What are the possible causes?

Thanks for any and all help.
CB
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563773_tn?1374250139
Hello,
From the symptoms that you have mentioned it can be xerosis of the skin due to too much soapy water, exposure to harsh chemicals and other cosmetics or it can be eczema skin. Please don’t worry as any skin malignancy does not present as just dry skin.
Wash the areas several times with fresh water and do not use any cosmetic products at the sites. You can apply some calamine lotion at the rash as it will help in soothing the skin. You can take some OTC oral antihistamine medications like Benadryl or Claritin and see if it helps.

Also use mild steroid cream and good quality moisturizers to prevent moisture loss from the skin.

If still the symptoms do not improve then please get a clinical examination done by a dermatologist. I hope it helps. Take care and please do keep me posted on how you are doing. Kind regards.


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Avatar_f_tn
I have set up an appointment with my regular physician for this Thursday, but I am still fairly concerned. Several sources regarding the keywords "dry patch" referenced a condition called Actinic keratoses, though I have yet to look more deeply in it.

Almost every source I have looked at says to seek help from a medical professional if the patch has not been responding to moisturizers...a symptom I have been experiencing since I noticed the patch. Why is this dangerous, and what could it mean?
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563773_tn?1374250139
Hello,
The point that the dry patch if resistant to moisturizers should be evaluated is because it can be actinic keratosis. An actinic keratosis develops in areas of skin that have undergone repeated or long-term exposure to the sun's UV light, and it is a warning sign of increased risk of skin cancer. About 10%–15% of actinic keratoses eventually change into squamous cell cancers of the skin. Hence it requires evaluation by a dermatologist.

It is very difficult to precisely confirm a diagnosis without examination and investigations and the answer is based on the medical information provided. For exact diagnosis, you are requested to consult your dermatologist. I sincerely hope that helps. Take care and please do keep me posted on how you are doing.

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Avatar_f_tn
Hello again -

I had my physician take a look, and he prescribed me Clotrimazole and Betamethasone Dipropionate cream to trial for two weeks. He thought it would be best to assure it was not just an eczema before further investigation.

Since the visit, however, I've noticed a similar patch of skin (but with a few soft, non-painful lumps) under my left breast. They itch on occasion but are soft and moveable. Should I apply the cream to this patch as well?

Thanks for your advice thus far,
-cb92
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Avatar_m_tn
I've had a similar problem the last year or so. I'm sixteen, caucasian, female also have a history with asthma, my dad for one has it really bad. I'm also not aware of any allergies except of poison ivy and ants. Those didn't strike me as related though. I've never had any skin cancer. About a year and a half ago, i noticed patch on my right arm smaller than a dime that looked dry and paler than the rest of my skin. This has now spread to both arms (mostly upper arms). My mom wasn't concerned  when i showed her and my dad said it was just the 'cooties', which i probably would have believed in, say, kindergarten. i've been getting comments about it lately and its very visible in sunlight. Has the prescribed medicine been working? I must also add that during marching season i spend around 9 hours a day in the blazing sun for camp and three and a half a day for rehearsals. Thanks!
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