6 doctors weighed in:

Itchy rash on my arms that spread burns when I scratch it?

6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Payam Rafat
Podiatry
2 doctors agree

In brief: Many possibilities

There are many things that could cause the skin to itch.
Several types of inflammatory conditions of the skin, allergic reactions, and sometimes bacterial, viral or fungal infections can cause rashes on the skin. Insect bites can also be the cause of a rash on the skin. Have it evaluated by a professional and get the appropriate treatment.

In brief: Many possibilities

There are many things that could cause the skin to itch.
Several types of inflammatory conditions of the skin, allergic reactions, and sometimes bacterial, viral or fungal infections can cause rashes on the skin. Insect bites can also be the cause of a rash on the skin. Have it evaluated by a professional and get the appropriate treatment.
Dr. Payam Rafat
Dr. Payam Rafat
Thank
Dr. Joseph Eastern
Dermatology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Hives

A rash that spreads when you scratch it is almost always hives (urticaria).
(poison ivy and other contact rashes do spread, but not when you scratch them.) lots of things cause hives, from foods to drugs to stress to most anything else. Try a non-sedating antihistamine like allegra (fexofenadine). If that has no effect, you'll need to have a dermatologist look at the rash.

In brief: Hives

A rash that spreads when you scratch it is almost always hives (urticaria).
(poison ivy and other contact rashes do spread, but not when you scratch them.) lots of things cause hives, from foods to drugs to stress to most anything else. Try a non-sedating antihistamine like allegra (fexofenadine). If that has no effect, you'll need to have a dermatologist look at the rash.
Dr. Joseph Eastern
Dr. Joseph Eastern
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Charles Owen
Thanks for wading in. I interpreted the 'spread when scratch' to mean they were carrying the allergen. I expect you are right. I defer to 'higher authority' (no tongue in cheek). Thanks again.
Dr. Charles Owen
Emergency Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Contact allergy

Can't say for sure - two clues.
Itching (histamine-mediated which often implies allergen) and spreads with scratching (often a substance that is carried on the fingers). Poison oak, ivy and sumac are the archetypical contact allergens; there are hundreds of others. Treat with gentle soap and water wash and cleaning everything which contacts it. Antihistamines and over the counter steroids optional.

In brief: Contact allergy

Can't say for sure - two clues.
Itching (histamine-mediated which often implies allergen) and spreads with scratching (often a substance that is carried on the fingers). Poison oak, ivy and sumac are the archetypical contact allergens; there are hundreds of others. Treat with gentle soap and water wash and cleaning everything which contacts it. Antihistamines and over the counter steroids optional.
Dr. Charles Owen
Dr. Charles Owen
Thank
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