I was in the woods and suddenly my belly started itching and burning and now it is spreading to my back and butt. the rash is getting redder and blotching together looking like welts. What could it be?
This could be due to the plants you were exposed to when you were in the woods. Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac are plants that contain an irritating, oily sap called urushiol. Urushiol triggers an allergic reaction when it comes into contact with skin, resulting in an itchy rash. This can appear within hours of exposure or up to several days later. Urushiol is found in all parts of these plants, including the leaves, stems and roots, and is even present after the plant has died. Urushiol is absorbed quickly into the skin. Symptoms may include: redness and itching of the skin, rash erupts on the skin,and the rash develops into red bumps, called papules, or large, oozing blisters.
An allergic reaction to a poison plant is diagnosed based on the typical pattern of symptoms and the appearance of the rash. It cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be treated. You may take cool showers and apply an over-the-counter lotion -- such as calamine lotion -- to help relieve the itch. If your reaction is more severe or involves mucus membranes ( eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals), it would be best to see your doctor for proper management.
You might be having some allergic response to some allergen or irritant encountered in the woods.
This could have led to hives or urticaria, which causes red and sometimes itchy bumps on your skin. Hives are usually due to allergy (food, medication, insect stings, and irritants such as pollen, grass, mold, pet dander and dust mites) but may also be due to infections, some hereditary conditions and stress. Many a times no specific cause for them is ever found. Hives can occur anywhere on the body such as the trunk, arms, and legs.
If the symptoms persist or increase in frequency or intensity or you experience any difficulty in breathing or sweating etc, you should immediately consult a doctor.
They usually go away on their own, but in a few serious cases, medicine might be needed. The most commonly used oral treatments are antihistaminics (such as cetirizine, loratidine, benadryl available over the counter).
Do write in if you need any other information.
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