Spreading itchy skin patches

Belton, KY

#21 Nov 29, 2011
I am a 52 year old male. I had some small itchy, red patches on my legs last winter that also gradually appeared on my sides, and across my shoulders and back...over several months. I had a biopsy done with no results and was diagnosed with a contact dermatitis, treated with a steroid shot and prescription topical cream. The treatment worked and I was itch free all summer, but now the patches have come back with a vengeance....terrible rash breaking out on my back, sides, arms, legs,chest and belly. Back to the doc next week, if I can stand to wait that long. Some are big as a quarter, some are small hives and some areas are a blanket rash...I am miserable!

Seneca Falls, NY

#22 Nov 29, 2011
John, have you tried heat application to reduce itching?

Using a blow drier to apply dry heat directly to the affected area always works for me; I've seen it recommended elsewhere on a website... just don't overheat and cause burn damage, but do heat enough so that the itch actually increases, and when the heat is taken away it will suddenly improve.

Folsom, CA

#23 Nov 30, 2011
Liska wrote:
I believe this a condition called notalgia paresthetica.
Notalgia Paresthetica generally only occurs on the mid-back. My doctor ruled that out in my case.

Folsom, CA

#24 Nov 30, 2011
Sid wrote:
My mother is 84 and in otherwise excellent health. Several months ago she noticed 1 or 2 small brown skin patches around her waist. The patches were not raised, just a skin discoloration and they were very itchy. Over the past several months the patches have spread all around her waist, up her back and down to the thigh area, and they are still itchy and still spreading.
She has seen a dermatologist and her general practice doctor, they have prescribed various treatments, including topical treatments and antihistimines, but nothing seems to help the itching and the patches continue to spread. They can't even give her a name for the condition or or a cause.
Any ideas what this could be?
I have an almost identical condition - have had it for almost 2 years now. My GP sent me to a dermatologist who had me use a steroid cream, which did absolutely nothing. Next my GP sent me to a doctor specializing in cancer and other diseases of the skin. Two biopsies later, they still don't know what it is, what causes it, or how to get rid of it. Mine started on my lower back as an upside-down triangle, with a right-side-up triangle connected to it on my mid-back. Months later, the patches spread to my hips and belly, then under my breasts. Sometimes it's itchy, other times there's no sensation. The skin isn't raised, rough, or otherwise abnormal in any way - just discolored and randomly itchy. I've been using Aveena Skin Relief, which helps the itching. This is the 3rd unexplained rash I've had in the past 4-5 years; the other two were totally different from this one, and from each other, but were also unexplained, with no known cause. Fortunately, they went away within weeks. I've seen so many posts with a similar rash - it's odd that no one knows what it is or what causes it.

Hollywood, FL

#25 Jan 25, 2012
Cassi wrote:
<quoted text>
Sid, did the doctors ever discover what your mother's condition was? I have something very similar, with no diagnosis.
I have dry itchy spots that form on my back shoulders and chest sometimes I figured my own theory I quit drinking sodas the dark ones that is and it seems to help I think thats were the problem lays because when I drink coke or pepsi the itching is worst and the spots come when I dont drink soda,I dont have any problems

Silverdale, WA

#26 Jan 26, 2012
I get those spots. They're quite itchy & once they appear they spread like wildfire! And they're contagious. It's called tinea versicolor. It's caused by yeast & the treatment I get from my doctor is a pill called Ketoconazole. It comes back every year or two & I take another round of pills for a week or two & it goes away again.

West Chester, PA

#27 Mar 7, 2012
Did you ever figure out what yours was?
Brandon wrote:
I am 22 yrs old and i too have light brown patches that started on my stomach and has continued to spread to my chest, back, sholders and recently has started on my neck and inside of my elbows... it has been extremely itchy but appears to be randomly itchy latly. I know that it is not ringworm, I have not yet made an appointment with a dermatoligist but i have gone to a walk in and they too gave me a antihistimines creams and a pill but they have not helped. I plan to make a appointment with a dermatoligist this week and if i should get any awnsers or even a suggested treatment i will make another post so that you may help your mother.

Corpus Christi, TX

#28 Mar 15, 2012
I get on my stomach chest arms discolored skin and on the outside of the discoloration it fades to spots


#29 Mar 15, 2012
I have the brown patches surrounded by redness around my waist and hip area. At times, there is no sensation. At others, it is so itchy I wake up scratching. I always try to rub through clothing and never with my nails. I've had this before but never this badly and it's never spread to such a big area before. It just went away by itself before and all I used were lotions and 1% hydrocortizone. I think it may be brought on by stress but I'm seeing a doctor to see if there is something else that will help.

Mohnton, PA

#30 Apr 30, 2012
I also have a skin condition, where the patches are brownish gray. Darker in the middle, so it's mostly gray looking. The one on my left shoulder blade is a big patch and it's spreading down my spine a bit (I've had for about 11 years now, and it's still itchy once and in awhile). I had this patch biopsied about 6 years ago... benign for cancer. He called it "basilar hyperpigmentation". Big deal! I now have a new patch that started a few months ago, same color but has raised ripples of thicker skin, just under my right breast. It's constantly itchy and growing. It's driving me crazy.

I don't know if my other symptoms have anything to do with this but lately I've noticed that I'm sensitive to hot things like touching toast, my fingers hurt like their burning and I usually like hot showers but hot also feels, more like burning lately. And I wake up with dry mouth, so dry I can't talk or voice is raspy and goes out. And... my lower back has been killing me. Sleeping is agony while laying on my back and if I turn to one side, I feel better but after awhile my hips start to hurt. I don't know what the heck is going on... but something is going on.

Cardiff, UK

#31 May 13, 2012
i have a brown patch on my top right hand of my back which itchs
sometimes then goes months without itching
Had it

Boaz, AL

#32 Jul 14, 2012
mr itchy wrote:
I have many little bumps on my legs and my hands fill with water and itch so much I havent been to a DR but many different creams nd none seems to work
You sir, have scabies.. I had it for 6 months before I ever found out what it was!!

Lake Worth, FL

#33 Aug 8, 2012
It itches more when I am nervous about something work,life.i eat candy and sweets a lot after reading this I wonder. Sometimes I scratch it a lot and feel a drawing sedation I have had it about 5yrs need to check on it
just me

Dallas, TX

#34 Sep 1, 2012
Has eney body found a cure

Fort Worth, TX

#35 Nov 26, 2012
Sarah wrote:
I get those spots. They're quite itchy & once they appear they spread like wildfire! And they're contagious. It's called tinea versicolor. It's caused by yeast & the treatment I get from my doctor is a pill called Ketoconazole. It comes back every year or two & I take another round of pills for a week or two & it goes away again.

Sarah, by reading your posting I just discovered I have Tinea Versicolor, my skin is quite etchy, once i scratch, it gets discolored and it is spreading rapidly on both my legs and going up on my upper legs as well. I just discovered its on my arms as well and they are quite etchy. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow and in the meantime I am applying seldun blue shampoo.

Herndon, VA

#36 Dec 29, 2012
Melinda wrote:
My husband started itching around the groin area;doctors thought it was the joggers itch.Finally he was prescribed Extina 2% foam that took care of the itch.Six months later i developed flat itchy patches that became discolored with subsequent itching.The patches have spread to my neck,shoulders,stomach,back,si des of the abdomen and behind my knees.The dermatologists stated that it was eczema or allergy to powder detergent that i had started using.I know that i had switched my milk products to using Almond and Soy milk frequently.I cannot pinpoint what triggered the itch.The clothes that never bothered me in the past now appear to make me itch more.The doctor prescribed me steroid cream and antihistamine;nothing seems to work.I even used my husbands cream since my skin patches are similar to his past skin discoloration.The frustration mounts especially when i sweat and the itchy does off the roof.I hope some dermatologist can put a finger to this.Thanks for reading and good luck.
I have been experiencing the same symptoms over the past several months - small bumps that started on my arm and within weeks was all over.....doctors are clueless and have been applying the 'shotgun' approach throwing all kinds of greasy steroid creams, antihistamines and what not at it with virtually no success,,,,,,until I went to a beach....the sea water and the sun produced better results in a few days than what my 'doctors' had accomplished with all of these ridiculous priced creams....so when I returned. I purchased some Dead Sea Salt products that have nearly eliminated these bumps.... I purchase these products from Amazon and use them once a day and have nearly cleared up...I still don't know the cause but have figured out how to treat this symptom.....and life has improved no thanks to my 'doctors'

United States

#37 Feb 22, 2013
I am 28 and have dark brown circular shaped patches of itchy skin on my back. They are slightly raised and feel coarse. It is so annoying, but not bad enough to make me spend a specialist copay.

League City, TX

#38 Feb 27, 2013

Also, another person above had a good link as well to Notalgia Parasthetica. Both sound like good candidates

Roseville, CA

#39 May 14, 2013
Ill also developed brown spots like your mom and started at my belly then at my back and now itchy spots on my thigh. Been to doctor and had cortisone shots and topical ointments as well , nothing works , had oral cortisone pill and did not work. Had antibiotics for 2 weeks, did not work. It itch like hell for about 4 months now. Been relieving the itch with oatmeal bath at night

Cleveland, OH

#40 May 24, 2013
Hello. I am wondering did your oncologist ever find out what the problem was. I have three different reddish burgundy discolorations that just came out last year. Every once in a while the areas itch and is sore. My dermatologist did a biopsies and it came back nothing found. He said he thought it was something rubbing against my skin. I have used hydrocortisone cream, baking soda. I need something.
Cassi wrote:
I will check with my skin specialist to see if
he's considered Notalgia Paresthetica. About a year and a half ago I developed an unraised diamond-shaped itchy discolored patch on my lower back. Shortly afterwards, another identical patch appeared, connected to the original one, which covered my middle back. Then I developed an uneven shaped fist-sized patch on the left side of my abdomen, which then led to one developing on the right side, in addition to other, smaller random patches on my abdomen. Then the dark, itchy patches appeared under my breasts. The dermatologist I first went to prescribed a steroid, Fluocinonide, which did nothing. After two visits with him and no answers, I saw a skin oncologist. He took two biopsies, which showed nothing, so he had then re-run the tests, with no result. He's very interested in this, as it's something he hasn't encountered before, so will be following me on this. The itching is random - some days it's itchy all day, sometimes I go for weeks with no symptoms, other than the dark patches. I use Aveeno Skin Relief, which does a pretty good job of stopping the itching. Other than that, I don't have a clue what caused this, what it is, how to make it go away. Fortunately, it hasn't seriously impacted my life - but it would be nice to have a name to put on it, and a solution to getting rid of it.

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