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weird non-itchy, flesh-colored bumps on upper body
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weird non-itchy, flesh-colored bumps on upper body

3 or 4 days ago, I noticed bumps on my skin after I came home from work to shower. They all appeared at once. They are kind of oval-shaped, flesh-colored or pinkish, raised, smooth. They don't itch and they are either painless or slightly tender to press. A few bumps developed a white flaky area in the middle that rubbed off like dry skin. They seem to be in the form of patches. They are on my chest, up my neck to my jawbone mostly on the right side, on the tops of my shoulders, and there are even some on my upper back.

These are the areas where I have been sunburned the most. I am fair-skinned, female and 25 years old.

I don't know if this is related, but the last few weeks I've felt like I've had a persistent, mild headcold. My nose runs or is congested. My left nostril was often dry and bled a little. I had a reoccuring sore throat, was sometimes painful to swallow. My nose and eyes burned. I felt tired and stuffy. I'd eat some oranges and rest, feel better for a couple days, then feel sick again. I seem to finally be over it.

I had chicken pox when I was 12. I got the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, last year.

I don't know of any allergies, except I suspect that eating peanut butter gives me canker sores in my mouth. I've been eating a lot of peanbut butter lately just to see if I'll get cankers. Yesterday one finally developed after 19 days of eating peanut butter.

So, I'm not sure if all that's related, but I thought I'd mention it. I'm afraid I have skin cancer or warts. I don't have any health insurance. What could these bumps be and what can I do?
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Dear Beth_S,

Thanks for writing in.

The bumps that you have described can occur in number of conditions. In order for me to help you better, I would like to clarify a few things first.

As I believe that more information can help a physician help a patient better, I would request you to answer the following questions:
•         Did you have a similar problem in the past? How many times have you experienced a similar thing?
•         Is the lesion painful? If yes, how severe is it?
•         Do you have any history of oral lesions like oral ulcers?
•         Do you have any other known allergies/food/drug sensitivity (apart from peanut butter)?
•         Do you have fever /sore throat /joint pain /swollen glands in groin /any other symptoms?
•         Does your partner or anybody in your family have similar symptoms?
•         Do these bumps heal on their own? Are they increasing or decreasing in size and number?

Awaiting your reply.

Thank you for using MedHelp's "Ask an Expert" Service, where we feature some of world's renowned medical experts in their fields. Millions have benefitted from our service to get personalized advice for them and for their loved ones.

Best Regards,
Dr. Sudarshan
7 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
It has been about 10 days now since I first noticed these bumps. They are still present and have changed.

Just after I posted my question, a two of the bumps on my chest and neck got flaky. There was one near my collarbone, another on the right side of my neck. I rubbed the skin away, though it was difficult coming off. After rubbing the flaky white skin away the bumps flattened and reddened, but are still present. The bumps don't cause me any pain. All of the bumps, in general, seem to be kind of fading, getting smaller. None have disappeared, they're reddish/pinkish, seem to have shrunk or flattened in a way. It's difficult to describe. There are a lot of small flesh-colored bumps all over the affected areas that I can feel but only really see if I turn in the light.

I think I have some on my lower back now but I can't see to tell. I think one appeared near my chin and lower lip~it was reddish and got flaky quickly and I've been rubbing at it~maybe that one is just dry skin. (It's cold where I live.) After rubbing away the flaky skin near my mouth and applying lotion, it stung.

More history:
Generally, my skin is sensitive to cold weather. I have mild dandruff often. Since I was eleven, in cold weather, my fingers and the tops of my hands dry out very easily and even crack and bleed. But I never get bumps or lesions on my hands.

One or two winters ago, I noticed a patch of small, raised, reddish, dot-like bumps in the middle of my back. They didn't itch or anything either. They went away after a little while and I assumed something had just irritated my skin. I couldn't ever see them well, so I don't know if they resemble what's happening to me now or not.

A few times over the last year I've also noticed a few reddish, raised, freckle-like dots appear on the inside of my right elbow, the area where blood is usually drawn. They don't hurt or itch and just fade away. I have no idea what that is and it doesn't look the same as what's on my chest and neck~those were small red raised dots and this new outbreak started out with large raised smooth bumps.

My twin brother, when we were little, had some kind of skin rash outbreaks mostly on his arms, not contagious, but they didn't look like what I'm having. His were like scaly red/white streaks.

My paternal grandfather, who is about 83, has some kind of dry skin problem now and has to moisturize his entire body every day. He can't swim in chlorinated water.

I've had what I think are canker sores since I was about 17. If I brush hard, get injured by eating food like potato chips, I usually get them. They're oval-shaped, white, very painful, appear near the gums, last for about 2 weeks. Sometimes I have 2 or 3 at a time, or one right after the other. Only lately have I suspected peanut butter of causing them. Once the recent sore broke out, for my experiment, I stopped eating peanut butter, and no more have appeared. The sore that formed is long gone and never got very painful.

Other than that I have no allergies to anything that I know of~not metals, not food, not medicine, not latex, nothing. I wear a necklace made of white gold every day but have removed it since these bumps appeared, because I didn't want anything rubbing on them.

I haven't had a partner since December.

I've never had warts or anything like that. I never had acne either. These bumps, of course, don't have heads or pus. I've tested negative for herpes 1 and 2 the last few years.

I haven't noticed any swollen glands. I still have an occasional sore throat~a few days ago I was sucking cough drops all day at work and that helped. This last week I felt very tired and went to bed 2 or 3 hours early for about 4 nights in a row. I don't know if it's because I'm ill or because my work schedule changed and I'm adjusting.

I have an appointment with a local dermatologist tomorrow morning, but I would still welcome any ideas, to compare. These bumps aren't causing me pain, but they're making me self-conscious and I know they're not normal. I just want to know what they are and if I can get them to go away.
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Dear Beth_S,

Thanks for providing detailed answers to the questions.

At this moment, it appears that you have Pityriasis rosea which is a kind of viral infection.

This is a self limiting condition and will subside on its own in 15-21 days.

Hope I answered all your questions. Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries. Wish you Good Health.

Best Regards,
Dr Sudarshan
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Avatar_f_tn
That is what the dermatologist told me also. He prescribed me Acyclovir for a week, to helpfully shorten the duration of the illness. Recently, the area of my neck near my throat and chin started mildly itching so I also got some ointment for that. After one application the itching has stopped.

I still have a slightly runny nose with a little blood in the left nostril, a phlegmy sore throat, and I feel very tired. I guess it's all related.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you.
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Avatar_f_tn
Same exact symptoms I stay I'm hotels pretty much more than home I almost was thinking bedbugs or scabies idk what anything is! Just know I woke up after staying in different hotels for last month pimple like bumps on my back and shoulders I see it on my hands few randomly on legs and rest of body, am I being a hypochondriac or is it something else? I swear I see little black things on bed after reading about stuff might be hypochondria-ism help!  :)
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Avatar_f_tn
My bumps don't have pimples. Pityriasis rosea limits itself to the upper body also. You should Google pictures of PR to see if it looks like your bumps.
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