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Strange dark red/brown rash on both hands.
I am currently working in Ethiopia and nearly 2 weeks ago I came up with two non-itchy, non-painful rashes on my hands. The rashes started as dark red to purple in colour and have since progressed to a brown and is slowly fading. The rash had no blistering of any sort (initially thought sunburn) and is now starting to become drier than the rest of my skin.  
Please see the pictures here: (note that the cuts came after the rash, also note that the pictures are recent so it is not so red now!)
https://www.dropbox.com/s/zc3sm9zbkr273jq/20130209_173344.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/9qtkv5dez0mc479/20130209_173351.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/eb0jtr9q3naphbx/20130206_114639.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/dr9z62ddwveoxbw/20130206_114611.jpg

Any ideas would be well appreciated!
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5 Answers
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3149845 tn?1452625053
Hi and welcome. im not a doctor but also worked over seas many years and got all kinds of infections. My last stay was a 3 year job in Kenya.
On the pictures i seen 2 inch scratch marks in the center of the redness so it could be in allergic reaction to what ever made the scratch marks. It dosent seem to be infected more of a reaction
To be honest it looks like a bruise. I had a dog bite my leg once and it left the same type of marking. The doctor said it as an impact wound. Did you bang your hand on something? Do you know how the scratches got there?
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Hi & thanks, you are right it does look like a bruise, but there has been no impact on either of the sites. I work in an area with dense vegetation and the scratches are are from trees. I believe these scratches occurred after the rash came up. It started as dark red, and almost looked bruised to start but disappeared when the skin is pulled tight. it is now turning brown and dry so I do no think it is bruising.
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3149845 tn?1452625053
It must be connected with working in dense vegetation as its on both hands in the same spot. Red is a sign of ruptured blood vessel like you brushed up against something slightly toxic. Did you squeeze into a small opening where your hands pressed up against something.
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3149845 tn?1452625053
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Sure, the  vegetation is thick elephant grass with areas of small bushes and other grasses. My arms are covered in scratches from this so it is very possible my hands have come into contact with something. The strange thing is that the rash is not painful or itchy. I have also read that symmetrical rashes can be indicative of viral infections?
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Think I have nailed it down to this: Phytophotodermatitis, sun poising after touching certain plant material. Its almost gone now anyway :)
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