Aa
A
A
A
Close
Dermatology Community
53.6k Members
Avatar universal

Skin feels raw, but no rash

For years I've been having occasional episodes where small areas of my skin feel sore and tender. It tends to be on my torso somewhere, but I think I've experienced it on my upper legs and rear end as well.  Right now it's an area starting at my spine below my ribcage, and wrapping around my side to the front a bit. It's a sensation that my skin is raw, as if it's been scraped or carpet-burned.  Any contact with the area feels exactly as if I'm touching raw tender skin (probably less painful) and the discomfort seems to be just skin-deep.  There is never a rash or injury of any kind, and I can't trace it to any kind of lifestyle thing, activity, detergent, etc.  It's been going on for years, never lasts more than a few days, and is never more than mildly annoying.  It hasn't killed me yet, so I'm really not concerned that something's terribly wrong, but I'd like to know what it is and if anyone else has ever experienced it.  
143 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi,

I know this is an old query and I hope you don't have this anymore but I have recently had shingles and what you describe (apart from not having a rash) sounds similar. Have you had shingles in the past? Maybe you are getting mild flares of it. Is it a post-viral phenomenom? Is it on your left?

I also read your posts on the breast cancer site as I have something similar (I think). I also have decided it is a form of stretch mark as I was recently pregnant then had a miscarriage and my breasts seem to have shrunk dramatically so not surprising they look slightly different.
Avatar universal
Hello Hypervigilant.

Sounds like you and I might have something similar.

I just came across your post while googling the symptoms I feel. I'm a 29 year old male in decent health but for years I've been feeling the same thing. Seems like it's always on my left side and comes around several times a year. The raw feeling arms to last a few days but sometimes (such as right now) it can last a week. Mine seems to get me around my inner thigh, hip, chest, and armpit area (again all on the left side).

My doctor has not clue what it might be other than shingles without the rash. Nothings changed in my life to bring this on. Same diet, same soaps, same laundry detergent, etc.

Have you had any luck determining what might be the cause of yours?
1 Comments
I've read most of the 136 answers and have come across a treatment for my tender, left inner thigh.  I'm 78 and never experienced this before. I don't know what caused it -- I'm a sun worshipper, have 1 to 2 alchohol drinks a day, and  havevery few allergies.

It started about 2 weeks ago and had been very annoying and painfull. I tried several hand creams and skin soothers to no success.

My wife (highly allergic to bee and wasp stings) suggested using some of her Hydrocortisone cream (OTC) in combination with one of her Hydroxyzine HCL 25mg tablets (Rx) that recently expired.  I did this for 3 or 4 days and noticed relief within the second day -- at first the fiery skin evolved to an itchy skin but the next day the itch went away 'til I'm almost normal.  I still apply the cream if I feel it's coming back.

IT WORKS so far.  I think both the cream and tablets are anti-histamines.  Good luck!
                                          2Dbunk
9/16/2017




Avatar universal
I experience a raw to touch feeling but mines is all over.  It feels as if someone has removed a layer of skin and I can't be touched and it hurts to move.  I've been to both an Allergen and Rheumotologist but none has answers.  These symptoms go hand in hand with bone and joint ache, swelling of limbs and lumps on or around my feet and hands.  I've been tested for pious but nothing has come up.  All they are sure of is that I have some kind of autoimmune disease.  I'm looking for help too.
1 Comments
I have the same symptoms .. but is only the tops of my feet and the outside of my left thigh ..  my feet tend to feel swollen (but there not) hurts to walk at times or wear shoes .. in the last yr. Seems to be never ending. It is a constant pain and my skin feels like there as layers of skin missing .. at times I even get a golf ball size knot on the top of my left foot . Have you found out what it could ? Really would like to know if I have to deal with it or there is something they can do for it ...
Thanks for sharing this . Feel better
Avatar universal
Ive been to both specialist but received no answers.  I've been tested for lupus but all blood work comes back negative which is good but bad because I'm getting no relief or resolution.
Avatar universal
ive had that raw feeling only on my left side, on my thigh to my knee and inside my left thigh. anything that grazes it, is slightly painful. doesn't shingles show rashes, and blisters. could my keys in sweaty jeans be the cause.
please advise.
Avatar universal
For the last couple days, I too have had a raw, carpet burn feeling on my right side, just below my hip bone. I thought too it may be the start of shingles, since I just had a dramatic change in my life. But no rash. Any anwers?
Avatar universal
I have been experiencing these episodes of feeling raw and sore.it seems to be only my left side and on my bottom. Bottom of thigh and inner thigh. It hurts to sit on the toilet aa it is normally colder and makes the pain worse. I work at costco and stand alot it hurts to stand. It is really affecting my work and life. If anyone has any info please contact me wild_pintohorse***@****  i am unable to see my doctor as shes super busy and walk ins here suck they dont care to help. I am only 21
Avatar universal
At yah  oo  ca
Avatar universal
I received a notification that this thread had been updated.  Almost 4 years after posting the question, I still have occasional episodes of this.  Never a rash, just the sensation.  I've never asked a doctor about it, but am still very much alive and well, so whatever it is doesn't appear to be fatal.  Must be just one of those weird things!
Avatar universal
A feeling of raw skin underneath left rib cage. Very sensitive to hot and cold items. It feels like being either scratched by a kitten or a paper cut. No rash, no underlying pain, Just on the surface. I originally thought it was just the skin being stretched due to a "small pot belly" but, this has been going on for over a week. And seems to expand horizontally on some days and stays local on other days. No surface damage. exposure to chicken pox when younger and do not know the symptoms of shingles except when it is full blown. *visual observation of great grandpa* Not sure what it is so treatment is unknown at this point. No changes of diet or other possible skin irritants.  
Avatar universal
I've got a patch on the left thigh of about the same size as my palm exactly what you all say, raw to touch, not painful just annoying with no marks on the skin, i do keep my mobile phone in the left leg pocket ALL the time though, so i'm wondering whether that has anything to do with it? I've taken my phone out of there for the last week. I've noticed the slightly same feeling under my ribcage on the sides of my stomach, this is after heavy alcohol consumption so i persumed it was something to do with that, but linking them both together and the fact i've been eating alot recently and noticed i've put on weight i'm thinking it could be weight gain and the skin stretching? Either way i'm going to consult my GP wiithin the coming weeks so i'll see what he says.
Avatar universal
You are all describing the same thing that is happening to me for the last few months.  Small patches of irritated skin on my back mostly, but no red marks or blemishes.  I have not seen a doctor about this, but I will mention it the next time I go.  I am glad hypervigilent is alive and well almost 4 years later, so I won't worry too much about it.   As an FYI, I don't drink, don't wear my cell phone on me much and have not gained any weight recently, so I don't think these are the causes of mine.  If anyone does get a diagnosis or finds things that work or make it worse, please share.
Avatar universal
I've had this same exact thing!  I have a area on my back, right side, right under my shoulder blade that has been bugging me for the past month.  Ferels like I have been scraped like a carpet burn, just on the surface.  I have had my wife look several times to see if she sees anything like a rash but nothing.  Even removed hair in case it was being pulled and causing the feeling.  Doesn't prevent me from doing normal activities but more annoyance than anything. Glad I am not the only one and not crazy!!
Avatar universal
OMG! I've been curious about my symptoms and just thought I'd google it, and came straight to this post. Not really sure how long it's been a problem, but more aware over the last few weeks. I had a patch of skin irritation on my left knee for a week or so which felt like a graze or skin burn, but no visible signs. Then it disappeared and the same feeling was on my far left buttock/hip, and also above my left knee at the base of my thigh.

No one seems to have had it diagnosed or confirmed as shingles, so I'm really none the wiser. It's hardly worth going to my GP, but if and when I need to go for something else I will tell her and see what transpires.

If I get an answer then I'll repost, but would love to hear if anybody else knows what it is.
Avatar universal
Hey bringing this back . Seen this thread has been going on for years and I too have recently felt this sensation for the first time in my life . I'm a 25 hear old male and I've been looking all over for answers . I seem to have the same symptoms as everyone on here . Raw sensitive skin on my left side inner thing and lower back but only on my left side . Any help I'm a bit concerned its irritating and there nothing visible on my skin . Has anyone heard of what this could b
Avatar universal
I have had these same symptoms for years. My Mother and one of my brothers gets the same. Dr doesn't have any idea on what it could be. At the moment I have it on my Left butt cheek more on the side and also just under my left elbow.
Sitting down on the cold toilet its painful but it only lasts a few days then it can be gone again for months

Hopefully someday someone will be able to help us all. I am just glad I am not alone in this. Makes hard trying to explain to people you talk to about it.
Avatar universal
I am a 63 year old male and just recently experienced this chaffed skin sensation on the left of my torso. Very puzzled by it so like others googled the symptoms. No sign of any rash or marks. Some months ago I also had a strange feeling on the surface of my left knee. It felt as though hairs were being pulled on tight skin, but again no sign of anything. It seemed to occur mostly when I bent my knee or went to kneel down but then after a week or so just disappeared. Anyone with any ideas ? Don't really want to bother Doctor with problem.
Thanks
Avatar universal
I found this thread through a Google search. I am a male in his early 40s with no serious medical conditions. My symptoms are painful skin with no rash or blistering that started about two weeks ago on my upper right front abdomen and right torso and has spread across my front midline.

The sensation is much like a "raspberry" of scraped skin. It is mildly to moderately painful, and is very noticeable on my belly where my shirt touches/brushes against my skin. I consider it persistent annoyance.

I have felt slightly and occasionally feverish, with lethargy and moderate muscle soreness and stiffness. I am mildly depressive and am prone to migraineur symptoms, and both have been acting up concurrently. I've been sleeping much more than usual recently. Sometimes 10 or 12 hours at a stretch, with long naps most weekend days.

Yesterday, I began noticing similar sensitivity developing on my back on both sides where the skin is thin over the ribcage (slightly south of the latissimus dorsi).

I've had shingles once the past three years and this feels very similar; however my shingles pain was limited to the right side and did not cross over. Also, the shingles involved prominent blistering.

I can think of no detergent, food, new clothing, sun exposure, chemical or "new" agent that may have brought this on.

I have been under a great deal of stress recently (work and family), and something particularly stressful did occur within days of symptoms appearing.

Also, I did suffer mild thermal burns in a limited area of my right torso a week prior to symptoms (hot cooking oil spattered and caused blistering). I still have marks from this but the wounds have healed. Incidentally, the burns are exactly where my shingles blisters appeared before.

I saw a doctor about this over the weekend and she was stumped. She thinks the lethargy and feverishness is due to some form of virus. Blood tests and urine tests were negative for bacterial infection. WBC count was normal range.

She ruled out shingles because I had no blisters. Speculated the skin irritation is a mild form of dermatitis (she detected slight inflammation/purpling of skin). Prescribed no medications to treat. Told me to return if symptoms continue more than two weeks.

6066876 tn?1378872400
I just googled my symptoms and came across yours and all these other folks, which makes me feel somewhat better.  I have had this same thing on my right side for about a month, where my bra rubs against it.  It is extremely irritating! I figured it was shingles, but no rash and took a course of Valtrex.  It let up but has now come back again.   Apparently, if it was shingles, I should have developed a rash by  now.  With so many of you having the same thing, it makes me wonder.   I have been considering getting the shingles vaccine and not sure what to do with this going on.  Several years ago, something like this started and the doctor I worked for figured shingles were starting  and gave me some Valtrex to take and it went away and that was the end of it.
Avatar universal
I am 33 and have the same skin burning sensation but no sign of rash or shingles. I have it on the upper back on the right side below shoulder.
Its so annoying that there is nothing thats helping. It has just started like 4 weeks ago. Please post any treatment or solution you come across.
Avatar universal
I'm in the same boat as the rest of you and I'm a mostly-healthy 36-year-old male.  I call it a "phantom sunburn" because it feels like my skin has been sunburned or rubbed raw, yet there is no rash or physical indication.  It started on my left arm, moved down to my left hand, then started down my left back, side, and leg.  As I type this, my left leg feels moderately uncomfortable - probably a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10.

I have been feeling the phantom sunburn for 3 weeks or so, and it started soon after I began taking fluoxetine for my OCD symptoms.

I talked to my GP yesterday about this and he doesn't know what to make of it.  He ruled out shingles and side effects from my fluoxetine.  He did an exam and noticed my right arm's reflex is highly diminished and I have tremors in both hands, but the left hands shakes more than the right.  We did a full panel of blood tests and everything came back fine, so I just scheduled an MRI of my brain to see if there's something neurological going on.
Avatar universal
same thing here. I've had this off and on for years but it seems to be happening a little more often. it only lasts a couple or few days and then is gone. no visible rash or anything else beside the extreme sensitivity to touch.i've googled till my fingers are sore (an exaggeration) and can't find an answer. I suspect some kind of viral/neuro problem but I'm not any kind of medical pro, so, you know. like others have said, it's kind of a relief to know I'm not the only one - I'm not crazy. good luck to all.
Avatar universal
Found this thread looking for answers about the raw, painful feeling on my arm, which comes and goes. Here's the most probable answer:

Fibromyalgia/Tactile Allodynia

http://chronicfatigue.about.com/b/2009/03/07/painful-to-touch-fibromyalgia-tactile-allodynia.htm

http://chronicfatigue.about.com/od/whatisfibromyalgia/a/fibromyalgiapain.htm

Hope this helps!
Avatar universal
I experience these symptoms on my arms and lower left back. I have not sought medical advice as I am uninsured, but I have researched it a bit and it sounds like it is called tactile allodynia. I find that using a topical burn gel with lidocaine helps me. Hope this helps!
Have an Answer?
Top Dermatology Answerers
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn to identify and prevent bites from summer’s most common pests.
Doctors argue for legislation to curb this dangerous teen trend in the latest Missouri Medicine report.
10 ways to keep your skin healthy all winter long
How to get rid of lumpy fat on your arms, hips, thighs and bottom
Diet “do’s” and “don’ts” for healthy, radiant skin.
Images of rashes caused by common skin conditions