A reader asks: Since one week I have small red patches on my stomach and chest. Sometimes it’s itching. Now I have some two three as well on my back shoulder. Kindly advice what can be the cause and the remedy for it. I am 43-years old this is the first time I am facing this problem.
Dr Nameer Abdul Majeed (Specialist Dermatologist, ASTER), replies: Red patches are generally a minor problem caused due to irritation in the skin. In some cases it can be treated with home remedy, but at times when it gets severe it requires medical attention. The tingling effect called itching provides an urge to scratch the skin irritation. It can occur all over the body or only one part or portion of the skin.
There are many causes which lead to this such as allergic reactions, childhood infections, hepatitis, iron deficiency (anaemia), or reaction to medications (drug allergy). The red patches could most probably be due to an allergic reaction. Some other possibilities are an allergic response to an insect bite like bed bugs, or due to food allergies.
In any case, the size of the lesion, its appearance, distribution, and the time it persist is important in confirming the diagnosis. Look closely at the skin and try and identify any bites, stings, rashes, irritation, or dry skin.
Keep a check on the food consumed recently, specially milk, nuts, types of meat, fish and so on, and also keep track of any new medicines taken recently. Do nor scratch or rub on the itchy area, wear cool clothes and also keep the skin moisturized always. Keep a check on the soap and shower gels which you use as sometimes they might not suit a particular skin. Avoid any kind of contact with animals till your skin reaction does not reduce.
If the red patches persists, or increases, then you need to visit your doctor. In such cases fungal infections like Tinea, and Seborrhoiec dermatitis, viral infections like Pityriasis Rosea, Infestaions (Scabies) and other dermatological conditions need to be ruled out.
In case of eczema, the rash should reduce in a few days. Eczema usually occurs more in children but it can happen to adults to, as you have mentioned this is the first time the problem has occurred for you. Eczema is called Atopic Dermatitis in medical terms, and can be treated with oral medications and steroid creams.
Meanwhile, you can take Tab. Levocetrizine (OTC), once at night for five nights and apply 1% Hydrocortisone cream (OTC) twice daily over the lesion for five days.
Disclaimer: This blog is a conversation and is not an alternative for treatment. The recommendations and suggestions offered by our panel of doctors are their own and Gulf News will not take any responsibility for the advice they provide.