34 answers

Large Rash on Body

Hello moms! i have been having problems with a rash for almost a week. It looks like poison ivy but it does not act like it. there is no weeping and i have not been in contact with anything that could have given it to me. It started on my arms around my armpits. then it was on the backs of my legs, behind my knees. now it is spreading down the rest of my arms and legs. It itches like crazy!!!!!!!!!! i have tried to put poison ivy creams and stuff on it but nothing helps. i cannot go to a doctor b/c of no insurance. my hubby has been talking about going to the hospital on Monday if it continues. I DON'T WANT TO GO!!!!!! please help! Thanks in advance!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Have you recently changed detergent or fabric softener? Sounds like it could be an allergic reaction. Try to use cortizone cream on the effected areas 2 or 3 times a day. Also, aveeno has several products that help.

If you have ever had the chicken pox, you might be getting shingles. You will need to go to the doctor of some medication. I hope you feel better soon!

When I was young, I developed a rash like that. Behind my knee's, on the inside of my arms (where my elbows are) and it spread and got bigger and bigger - my dad finally took me to a dermatologist and said it was an allergic reaction.

Are you eating something new? New lotion? New perfume? New detergent?

We pinpointed mine to be a new detergent my mom had been using./ We had to rewash ALL of my clothes and linens and my rash started getting better and better, until it cleared up.

Aveeno works wonders too.
I even use it on my kids. My 7mo old DD just had a rash on her leg last week and I used the aveeno wash and then the aveeno lotion and it cleared it up!


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I think you might need something over the counter for allergies.I could be something you ate or drank.Don't wait too long before going to the hospital.If you have to go don't worry about the bill there are things that can not be helped or put off and this might be one of those times.We will all have bills but your health is not something to put off.Most hospitals will work something with you in order to pay your bill.If you need to make money to pay that bill please check my website at www.irenecandles.candlebizfromhome.com

Please let me know how it works out for you.


I would definitely go to a clinic and get it checked out. Without more detail, it sounds a lot like numular (sp) eczema, with can strike in adulthood. I use baby oh baby oil on the areas. Since it has not perfumes or additives, it is very soothing. I also had to switch to unscented laundry soaps, and bath gels without sodium laurel sulfate (target has them). It's pretty much under control at this point, just flares up if I'm under too much stress or overdo alcohol or caffeine.


Try calling one of the Ask a Nurse phone lines provided by hospitals. They can't diagnose you, but they may be able to give you a direction for what to do.

Have you changed detergents recently? Soaps? Shampoos? Maybe it's a reaction to one of those. Those sound like the sensitive areas that would be susceptible to break out due to clothing rubbing. Any new clothes with excessive dyes in them that were worn before being washed? If it keeps up, you really do need to get it looked at! You may want to inquire about Fifths Disease? (rash... not a "disease" per say.)

Try an old fashioned oatmeal bath... warm water and dump Quaker Oats in. It helped my daughter's itching from hives more than anything else.

Blessings and I hope you feel better soon,

Maybe it's eczema; I've had it off and on since childhood. It's largely hereditary (but not always) and can be triggered by an allergy, and also by stress. I've also had it when I could not pinpoint the cause. My husband gets it under his arms, too. My youngest son gets it all over (mostly on his back).
If it is eczema, moisturize your skin frequently (we use Eucerin cream), and apply hydrocortisone cream for the itch.
I hope you're feeling better soon. Go to a walk-in clinic if possible.

Since it's under your arms and behind your knees it sounds like it could be a heat rash. Make sure you keep yourself as dry as possible in those areas. I burned my forehead with my curling iron a few months ago and developed a rash from that. I was told by a pharmacist to put aloe vera on it. You might try that if nothing else works for you. God bless!

I would like to advise you to go to a Pro-Med Clinic. When I didn't have insurance I would go there and be seen and it was around 60 bucks. If you go to the hospital you will wait for around 2 hours or more because its not an emergency and they will charge you closer to 100 bucks or more. They have pro-med clinics all over town. You shouldn't have to wait very long.

If you have ever had the chicken pox, you might be getting shingles. You will need to go to the doctor of some medication. I hope you feel better soon!

It could be hives. My daughter who is not allergic to strawberries - ate a ton of strawberries a few years ago and got hives from them. She could not wear clothes. We went to a demotologist and he gave us some prescription allergy meds. We bought tons of anti itch lotion and she soaked in an almost cool bath tub with aveeno anti itch stuff for the bath tub. Any thing hot seemed to make it worse. good luck. ( I have heard eating alot of tomatoes will also cause this)

When I was young, I developed a rash like that. Behind my knee's, on the inside of my arms (where my elbows are) and it spread and got bigger and bigger - my dad finally took me to a dermatologist and said it was an allergic reaction.

Are you eating something new? New lotion? New perfume? New detergent?

We pinpointed mine to be a new detergent my mom had been using./ We had to rewash ALL of my clothes and linens and my rash started getting better and better, until it cleared up.

Aveeno works wonders too.
I even use it on my kids. My 7mo old DD just had a rash on her leg last week and I used the aveeno wash and then the aveeno lotion and it cleared it up!


I see you've gotten quite a few responses already, and admit to not having read them all (sorry!). One of my friends had this happen to her in school. It ended up being a bacterial infection on her skin. She had no idea where she got it, it just showed up. You could try treating it at home with some fungal cream, just to see if it will go away. Try some benadryl in case it was an allergic reaction to something. I hope you get it figured out soon!

Try benadryl or some other allergy medicine and see if that works. It may be a allergy to your lotion or soap. Good Luck

As others have said, a walk in clinic is probably the best way to go. The ER is quite expensive and you will have to wait a very long time- my husband had acute appendicitis and was in the hospital for 9 hours before they ran tests on him! He could have died! They did surgery in four hours and the dr said his appendix had was on the verge of rupturing.

Anyway, as others said, they sound like hives which can be caused by stress or allergies. My husband broke out in this rash and when it started to go away it came back again- both times he had cayenne pepper. But before that and since then he was fine with it. So I really don't know but it did seem to be related.

It does sound like hives or a running rash and it could be an allergic reaction. Since it has been a week and is getting worse you definitely need to go to a walk in clinic. As someone else mentioned many stores have them, Wal-mart etc. They are much less expensive than the ER. If you do not go soon you run the risk of infection. I have severe skin allergies and get poison ivy all the time. You probably need a prescription steroid to help clear it up and you may need a topical treatment for the itch or even a prescription antihistamine.

Once I waited too long and ended up in the ER with borderline cellulitis, and I was miserable and in a lot of pain! Definitely do not wait until you are sick. Also it could be something else, best t get it checked out and start the correct treatment.

Good luck and I hope you feel better!

i have been suffering with the same thing now for a month. I have gone to the doctors twice already. The first time he said it was an allergic reaction and put me on steroids for two week and gave me a fungal topical to put on twice a day. None of this helped. It just got worse. Went back and he put me a Diflucan. It's a yeast medicine. That seem to have helped more than anything else. I am still itching but not as bad. If you can get Diflucan maybe that will help. I had this under my arms, breast, and right at the bikini area. It's miserable and I feel your pain. If you have changed soaps, or laundry detergent etc. you may want to switch back if this is a reaction. My rash is almost gone but I still have the itching but not near as bad.. Hope this helps. I have been told not to use the Benadryl cream.. It makes it worse.. Good Luck

Morning Jennia;

Sounds like an allergy! Try Benadryl Cream or Cortizon 10
They cost about 8 bucks but are cheaper than a doctor. Put
a little cream on a couple of spots and see if the rash clears up there, if it does, then apply all over the rash
Instead of a Hospital, try what are called neighborhood clinics
they are all over town, cheaper than a hospital emergency room and they can determine if it is an allergy or poison oak or ivy!
Good Luck,
B. C.

Do you have a free clinic in your town? Go there. Posion Ivy spreads like crazy the more you scratch it the more it spreads. If you scratched your arm then a few mins later had a little itch on your leg you spread it. Ask the pharmasist at Walgreens or another drug store what you should put on it and show your arm and tell them you think it might be posin ivy. They will help you.

Go to one of the many after hour clinics at many CVS or Walgreen pharmacies and let them look at it. Our favorite after hours pahrmacy is at Dairy Ashford & I-10; my youngest daughter has had many ear infections so we've been to a lot of places. All of them are under $100 to see someone.

Like the others, I did not read the replies, but I had the same problem. What worked with me was benadryl or generic claritin (loratadine). These are OTC allergy medicines. The benadryl causes drowsiness, but the loratadine does not and the latter only takes one dose every 24 hours. I never found out the cause of my rash either, but those medicines work.

Good luck! Feel free to pm me if you have other questions.

Try taking some benadryl and maybe rubbing some Cetaphil lotion on it...it could be execma? That is what I would try but if it doens't get better I would bit the bullet and go to the Dr. you don't want that stuff spreading or leaving scars.

My husband has had something similar...he went through all of the allergy testing and everything and nothing showed up. He has been told it is stress related....he is on an allergy medicine. I would try benedryl and take it faithfully for a couple of weeks os it has time to build up teh antihistamine in your system.

If you haven't recently switched soaps, detergents, lotions, or deodorants then I really think you need to see a doctor. My sister recently had a rash & it turned out to be shingles. This use to be something that mostly older people got, but it's becoming more common in younger people, like my sister. I don't know for sure that's what you have, but I think you should have it checked out. Shingles is a viral infection that actually comes from the dormant virus that causes chicken pox. Anyone who has had the chicken pox can get shingles later in life. It can be very painful & itchy. Again, I'm not a doctor, so I can't say for sure that's what you have, but you should really try to get to a clinic of some sort. I hope you get better soon.

Sounds crazy, but, put a gallon of vinegar in your shower with a sponge. Don't scratch or the vinegar will burn worse in the abrasions your fingernails make. The vinegar will probably burn some though no matter. Sponge on the vinegar all over. Leave on as long as you can stand it. Rinse. Relax. Repeat. Do this each time you shower. Vinegar helps with most skin issues; most rashes(not oozing ones), athletes foot, psoriasis, jock itch, scabies, ring worm, nail fungus, and other funguses. It will clear up the white scaly fungus that old women get on their elbows. If you already have bad toe nail fungus then you have to soak and it takes months, it works better as a preventative. Just using it in the shower helps keep the grout clear of funky stuff and then family members don't share stuff from school and gyms.

God Bless

perhaps chigger bites? My son had them and where you say you have the rash is where they can be found. They are small like head lice and could be living in your sheets or something. There a number of sites on teh internet that shows what these bites look like. I did benadryl and antoibotc cream for my son and then we went to steroids after 3 days. Hang in there!

You can go to Rapid Care in Leander on Crystal Falls or the HEB in Leander has a clinic inside it. It is a walk-in and cost $50.00. This is much cheaper than the hospital and they can diagnose what it is and give you a prescription.


Have you recently changed detergent or fabric softener? Sounds like it could be an allergic reaction. Try to use cortizone cream on the effected areas 2 or 3 times a day. Also, aveeno has several products that help.

Hey Jennia, I also experienced the same symptoms, after applying lotrimen for several days, I decided to go to the doctor, she rec. aveeno products, after the first application the rash was GONE, also she said to take Zyrtec which costs @ $12. I have never been allergic to anything ever in my life so this rash was mysterious to me, but it was all over my body just like the way you described. I am not a doctor but this was helpful to me, it is worth a try. I bought Aveeno bath soap, cream like the one in the tube, and bath soak, which my children even enjoyed using b/c it makes your skin feel soft. If you do decide to go to the doctor they will prob. examine the area with a night light, so dress where you can show the areas easily. Good luck , don't panic.


There are several "home" remedies, below, that I would try to stop the itch. However, if these do not work in 24-48 hours, I would go to a doctor. Keep in mind that a doctor's visit is cheaper than a hospital visit. And you could go to one of the 24X7 walk-in clinics in your area.

(1) Make a shallow, warm bath with Epsom Salts. Sit in the tub and "dip" water over your body. You might try sprinkling some dry Epsom Salts directly on the rash and rub lightly (I have done this to stop itching of mosquito bites, once when I was bitten badly) and the relief is wonderful. You cannot rub hard or long, but it will satisfy the scratch sensation. As the Epsom Salts "melts" (dissolves) just continue to dip the warm bath water over your body to rinse the residue off. Get out and pat dry. DO NOT TOUCH afterwards.

(2) Use Apple Cider Vinegar to pat on the rash. Once again, I would get in the bathtub, naked. Place the vinegar you will use in a plastic glass. Pour/pat the vinegar onto the rash and let it dry. DO NOT TOUCH afterwards.

(3). This is the best option, if you have a source of fresh aloe vera leaves. Split the also vera leaves into "manageable" sized pieces, with the split going through the gel of the leaf, such that you can fold the halves back and have a "slick" side. Get in the bathtub, naked. Rub the gel across the rash covering all with as much goo as you can. Continue to rub until you have used up the piece and the gel is beginning to dry in spots. Let it dry thoroughly and (can you guess?) DO NOT TOUCH afterwards.

(4) Various commercial creams have some value. I like Lanacain because it "numbs" the itching sensation. Hydrocortisone cream helps itching to subside, but you should not use it for prolonged periods. Also, no hydrocortisone if there is any "broken or raw" skin. Cortisone will not allow an area to heal. Liquid Benedryl is good to coat the area. I would also take some Benedryl capsules. There are some generic anti-itch creams that work on some itches (but I have not found them successful on maddening, incessant itches.

If it is hives or some other internally generated itch, it will probably be necessary to have a doctor's help to determine the triggers. Be sure that you make a note of what you have been eating and drinking when this started. I wish you success and RELIEF! I have been there and an itch can drive you crazy.

God bless,

P.S. I do not believe that adversity (like your rash) comes FROM God, but I do believe a proper relationship with God, through prayer and meditation, can enable you to separate yourself from the physical and manage your responses to it! You might want to grab a Bible and read the Book of Job while you are trying to keep your hands off the itch. It is a "good read" as well as it may encourage you by knowing that that things can be worse. Even the Book of Job ends great, there are a lot of other "happier" and equally interesting passages to read elsewhere in the Bible, too.

Job 5:17-1817 - "Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For He inflicts pain, and gives relief; He wounds, and His hands also heal."

Yikes! I had a rash like that once and it turned out to be a fungal infection on my skin. No clue how I got it. Went through the same where did I get it, what did I eat, what did I touch questions. I never did figure it out. I ended up slathering myself in foot fungus cream (or jock itch cream). It's all the same, Lotrimin, so don't let the disgusting idea of the cream deter you from trying it. Either way it can't hurt you to give it a whirl. Try it on a sensitive spot like your arm pit and see if it works. One of the things my doctor said before we figured out that it was fungal was that it could be a bacterial infection on the skin. If you exhaust all the other efforts you might have to break down get to the doctor. If you go to the hospital don't let them just brush you off with a simple "allergy" before testing you for fungal or bacterial infections too.

Good luck

I cannot say what this is, but I too have red, itchy rashes under both of my armpits. So far it hasn't spread to either my arms or legs. I have had it since the end of Sept. I saw a doctor (but for other reasons) and he told me to put Clotrimazole on it. He didn't say what it is. So far the cream hasn't helped. If you somehow find out what the rash is or how to treat it, would you please let me know? I might have the same thing.


I am thinking (I am not a doctor) you could be having an allergic reaction! Have you taken Benadryl?
You may want to see if this helps it...
You need to think back if you have eaten anything lately that you had not in awhile. I recently had a reaction to fish and the doctor explained to me that as our bodies get older (which stinks!) we have built up so much.....and then it starts to fight whatever! Just a thought before you panic.
However, you do not want to have a SEVERE reaction to something...it can be very dangerous. Take the Benadryl !
If not relief, you must go to doctor.

Start taking some vitamin D. Try tanning. I had a rash for 3 years & spent $ on creams from the doctor over & over. I got rid of it by tanning & taking vit D.

I went through a similart thing with my husband. He had a huge rash under his arms which turned out to be a candita infection. The candita infecton was due to an overabundance of sugar in his diet. He was eating very healthy diet but the wheat and other grains were too much for his body. He is not a Celiac but we ended up having a Celiac diet for awhile till things cleared up. We did all the testing and he is not Celiac but has to watch his diet, so pasta is a rarity in our household now. I would definately see a doctor about the rash as it is hard to predict what you really do have. Good luck!

Check out pityriasis rosea (I have no idea if I spelled that right!!!) and see if that's what it looks like. I had that a while back...they gave me antihistimines and it will go away eventually.

Here's a link, but a lousy picture of the rash!

it is possible to develop food allergies at any time of your life, as well as sensitivities to other substances (new laundry detergent? even those dryer sheets can get you...) the other thing is, stress! my mother used to break out in these horrible rashes, she would scratch them even in her sleep, looked and felt awful. well, bless her heart, i have inherited that too! my left arm feels like it is on fire. i am trying tea tree oil, even cortizone cream, but i really want to jump in a freezing cold swimming pool. so, check in with an allergy specialist, it can start as a little itch, to something like you have. i am going to do the same, but also check in with your stress level, and stress triggers. good luck!

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