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Small, itchy bumps on forearm (rash?)

Hi,

I really don't know what's going on with my arms so any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!

I've noticed recently that my forearms often become itchy and whenever I scratch my arms, the area I scratched develops a pink-ish hue and small bumps appear. The small bumps themselves aren't weirdly colored or anything...in fact they kind of look like abnormal goosebumps (when I say abnormal I mean that the bump sizes aren't consistent..some smaller and some larger...but never bigger than say 3/16 inches..which is still pretty small). If I don't irritate the area for a day, the bumps eventually go down (sometimes still a little visible) and the pinkish hue fades away. That's basically the jist of my symptoms. It doesn't sound like much, but the appearance of the bumps are pretty alarming...and definitely not normal.  

I'm not an outdoors person, so the possibility of it being poison ivy or some plant is out of the question. Also, I'm pretty hygenic...showering everyday to every other day. I have an acne problem but it's restricted to just my face...never heard of ppl getting acne on their arms. I rarely have contact with animals/pets.

So...anyone have any idea of what this could be??? -.-''
44 Responses
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi

Differentials for this will be dermatitis, an allergic reaction or keratosis pilaris. These are just differentials but based on your history this appears to be a mild form of dermatitis or dermatographia. Dermatographia refers to a form of hives or urticaria wherein the skin elevates after pressure of some kind is applied on the area. Some forms of dermatitis or allergies may be induced by friction or pressure.

Avoid scratching your skin. Instead, you may apply cold compress over itchy areas. If itching is not relieved taking oral antihistamines may help. There are second generation of antihistamines that do not present with drowsiness.
Avatar universal
I have the same problem! It comes and goes and I've been trying to get rid of it. It only appears on my left forearm and it itches at random times and goes away in a few hours, but it comes back days or weeks later. The problem is I've tried putting ice on it and rash medication, but they always come back. It's been like this for almost 2 years now and it is really annoying. Were you able to find anything for it or can i say a "cure" for it?
Avatar universal
          been getting these bumps on forearms for about 7 weeks.I thought it was poison ivy but it goes away but before the irritated areas are healed it will act up again.Driving me nuts.Have no idea what it is.I live in Atlanta,GA.I dont think im allergic to anything but I guess I could be wrong.PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1 Comments
My left arm also has the itching tash and I found out it is caused by the intensity of the sun these days. The left arm gets more exposure when driving, so I wear a sleeve on my arm to prevent further irritation when in my car
Avatar universal
I've been having the same problem for a bout one month (that's as far back as I can remember noticing it), any improvement?
I'm thinking on looking for a dermatologist (haven't tried the cold compresses or antihistamines)
Avatar universal
Actually, my symptoms disappeared a long time ago. I just controlled my urge to scratch my arms and the itchiness+redness naturally went away. Yeah, sorry this doesn't really help. I hope you find the solution soon!
Avatar universal
Hi there,

I had the same problem, raised little bumps on my forearms.  It happened over summer, especially on exposure to sun.  Tended to react when it got hot.

So heres what i did, i took luke warm baths, this is not a cleanliness thing. My theory is the water helps with cooling down the whole body, i did this twice a day for about two weeks and it completely disappeared.  I know baths can be annoying and time consuming, but i just made up a shallow bath, do not put in any bubble bath etc, but feel free to put any bath oils etc recommended by your pharmacist for similar skin conditions.  Also I went swimming a few times in this week, and i believe this works equally as well.  

My mum and I had the same condition, i tried cold showers and she had baths.  The showers did not help at all.  So the key is to emerse your body in the water.

So basically keep the exposed area out of the sun, avoid tight fitting clothes that could heat the area, and have cold baths... well not to cold that would be unbearable, just comfortably luke warmish, but definitely not hot.  

Twice a day is ideal because it cools you before you start your day, and after been out and about.  Similarly if the itching gets really bad,and unbearable, hop into bath.

I used others things recommended by doctor, such as hydrocortisine, this only helped with itching at first and became ineffective after a while.  Similarly it made my skin tough and scaly.

Hope this helps :)  Former sufferer
Avatar universal
Hi there,

I had the same problem, raised little bumps on my forearms.  It happened over summer, especially on exposure to sun.  Tended to react when it got hot.

So heres what i did, i took luke warm baths, this is not a cleanliness thing. My theory is the water helps with cooling down the whole body, i did this twice a day for about two weeks and it completely disappeared.  I know baths can be annoying and time consuming, but i just made up a shallow bath, do not put in any bubble bath etc, but feel free to put any bath oils etc recommended by your pharmacist for similar skin conditions.  Also I went swimming a few times in this week, and i believe this works equally as well.  

My mum and I had the same condition, i tried cold showers and she had baths.  The showers did not help at all.  So the key is to emerse your body in the water.

So basically keep the exposed area out of the sun, avoid tight fitting clothes that could heat the area, and have cold baths... well not to cold that would be unbearable, just comfortably luke warmish, but definitely not hot.  

Twice a day is ideal because it cools you before you start your day, and after been out and about.  Similarly if the itching gets really bad,and unbearable, hop into bath.

I used others things recommended by doctor, such as hydrocortisine, this only helped with itching at first and became ineffective after a while.  Similarly it made my skin tough and scaly.

Hope this helps :)  Former sufferer
Avatar universal
i have the same thing on elbows chest and forearms doc says mayb bacteria infection...anyone??
Avatar universal
http://www.drbaileyskincare.com/blog/a-new-explanation-for-intensely-itchy-arms/
It could be brachioradial pruritus.  It started on my arms not long ago, and the above link is what I found that makes the most sense for me.
Avatar universal
hello!! :)
i just started wotking as a dish washer at sheri's restaurant, and I started getting little tiny, itchy, goosebump looking bumps on my arms!! Could it be an allergic reaction to the water?? Pls help!! :\
1 Comments
I'm having the same problem but its with soap at my new job. Its the only new thing I've used. Have you found a solution?
Avatar universal
hi i think i can help i currenty have the same problem its like little bumps an my arms and chest it comes and it goes but its nothing serious to some people if you start having pain in the muscle or joint its prob lymes but it could also be arthritis its most likely caused by an allergic reaction try changing laundry detergents and soaps if you go to the doctors all they can do is take blood and test it to see what it is when they confirm a diagnosis they give you medicine so i hope you get rid of your rash
4877070 tn?1360385134
Hey!! I know it's been years, but I came across this post and I'm suffering from the same exact thing!! : ( Did you ever figure it out or did it ever go away? It's only been about a month for me so far, but it's really freaking me out. Any help appreciated : )
Avatar universal
I'm having the same problem its on both my arms fully but mostly my forearms and upper arms itch the most but it's only on my arms. It looks just as you described it. Like goosebumps the redness only occurs from me scratching at them. If I don't scratch them then the bumps are barley visible. This occurred like 2 weeks ago I noticed it, I'm still trying to figure out what it may be or what caused it. And like you said I don't have animals and its winter so I haven't been outside to get poison ivy or anything like that . I've even switched my soap so I know it can't be that. Any suggestions to ehat it may be?
Avatar universal
I also have the same problem. if you find anything out please let me know its only been going on for about two weeks for me but id really like to figure this out it freaks me out as well and I can't think of what it could be or what have caused it
Avatar universal
Friends - I was going through the same situation for a month. started with itching and many bumps on my both the arms....I was so frustrated..
I did all search in internet and also went to the doctor who suggested to apply some allergy lotion. Still this continued and I saw that some of them suggested to look for bed bugs but I couldn't find a single.
Later I just had a thought to contact the pest control company and they have a dog which comes and check for bed bugs.. she came and showed many places where the bugs where hiding. so ..please check your home with a professional to find whether you have bed bug there..trust me..you wont see it even if you use flash light or all sorts of things..just pay 100 bucks and do a  test..
Avatar universal
So did you end up having bedbugs then?  If so and they are gone....have you noticed your symptoms declining?
Avatar universal
Hi. Anybody with this problem should check out this page. This could be what you are suffering from. It is called Keratosis Pilaris (a.k.a. KP). Here's the link. Hope this helps you out!!!

http://www.divinecaroline.com/self/what-are-those-bumps-my-arms-rough-guide-kp
Avatar universal
I get the same thing.  Got it last year, and got it again this year.  I work long hours and am not in the sun much.  To get exercise and some fresh air, I will walk for 45 minutes to an hour over the noon hours a few days each week.  It appears as soon as I do that and itches a lot in the afternoon.  I think my fair skin, lack of exposure to the sun, then an hour at peak sun time, does it.  My forearms are the only place exposed to the sun, except my face which is exposed year round.  
Avatar universal
Forgot to mention this starts in late spring, early summer when I start to walk outside without a jacket.  
Avatar universal
Goes away later in the summer, once my body has gotten used to the sun again.
Avatar universal
Thnx for the link but I would not take it is as the gospel: it is a sponsored message: this zinc cream. Also, this medical doctor - if the author is one -  tells us she prescribes cortison for itching. These have side effects: cortisons are imapacting negatively on the system. It belongs to the realm of immune suppressing approaches: a gold mine for the big pharma and medical providers but has no place in today's world. Today we try to be patient and outcome centered  and have the option of immune boosting instead. The first is like shutting down your sprinkler system the moment a fire starts... the latter is allowing the sprinkler become smarter and more powerful in putting it out.
Avatar universal
guys all of you should try using calamine lotion. It did wonders for me.
Avatar universal
I have been putting up with this itch for 6 weeks now.  The itch has been driving me crazy.  I lose sleep and it is really getting me down. My skin initially becomes slightly heated in the area that is about to itch.  There is only ONE thing to stop the itch !!! Ice !!!.  My arms are scarred and very rough from itching.  I have been to 3 doctors who don't seem too concerned (hope they get it one day !! ha). Have tried 2 variations of cream...does not work....only ice works.  I go to bed with an ice pack.  I am OVER IT and would love a physician to read these posts to give us some REAL insight into the possibilities of the cause.  I finally add, not scratching DOES help BUT, one needs to go back to the breathing method used in childbirth to try stop the urge to scratch.  Happy days !!! Uggghh    
9025961 tn?1401245343
Yea i have the same too and I was just chilling with friends then all of a sudden they just appeared I don't know what it is im going to see the nurse at my facility and see if she knows anything about it.
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