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Ask Dr. S. Attili Your Own Question
Dr. S. Attili
Dr. S. Attili, Dermatologist & Dermatopathologist
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 5175
Experience:  MRCP (Dermatology), Int. Board Certification in Dermatopathology
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Red spots all over the abdomen, back, arms and legs

Resolved Question:

My 5 year old son had red spots all over his abdomen, back, arms and legs. I thought it might be poison oak because he was extremely itchy. Now the spots are red with white bubble-looking blisters. He has had 2 varicella vaccinations, but I'm still concerned that this might be chicken pox. When he was a baby he had very severe baby exzema, but never anything like this. I've been giving him childrens benadryl at night to help with the itching and calamine lotion during the day as well as oatmeal baths, however the rash seems to be getting worse each day. He has no other symptoms.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dermatology
Expert:  Dr. S. Attili replied 4 years ago.
Hi. I will do my best to advise. However, please note that this does not substitute an in-person consultation with a doctor.
Hi, are you able to upload a picture of the rash? Please let me know if you cannot & we will work around it. Thank you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

This is a picture from my phone... although it's not the best quality. I hope you can see the rash clearly. These little bumps are all over his body.

Expert:  Dr. S. Attili replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for the pictures. Please bear with me & I will be with you shortly.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Ok.
Expert:  Dr. S. Attili replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your patience? When did the spots occur? Are there any clear fluid filled blisters? I am unable to make out much from the picture you have sent. Is he getting any new ones? Is anyone else in the family affected?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The spots first started about 4 or 5 days ago and they were reddish brown and flat... so I thought it might have been poison oak, which is everywhere around here. This morning I checked him and they were very raised and over half of them look red with white centers... almost like little pimples. They have definately spread all over his body. His belly, back, arms, legs and tops of his hands and feet. There are a few on his face, but not as bad as everywhere else. They don't look like clear fluid... more like cloudy-white. Like milk or something. He has not had any other symptoms. No fever, no cough, no runny nose, nothing else but extremely itchy.
Expert:  Dr. S. Attili replied 4 years ago.
There are 2 possibilities. The most likely diagnosis is a viral rash which can present like this & takes 3-4 weeks to completely clear up on its own. This is harmless & is treated symptomatically with Benadryl tablets/ syrup every 4-6 hours , to help with the itch. In addition, using cortisone cream on the spots twice a day & petroleum jelly 3-4 times a day will soothe the skin.
The other possibility is scabies, however this would be unlikely if none of the family members, are affected.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Could it be related to swimming in our large pond at home? He went swimming in about 5 days ago.... it was the first time he's ever gone in it. My brother and daughter also went in... but they do not have the same symptoms. Immediately after swimming he said he was itchy and I noticed the spots the next day. Now they look like pimples with white stuff in the centers and there are new red spots everywhere.
Expert:  Dr. S. Attili replied 4 years ago.
It is possible, if he was bit by something in the pond and these are sort of insect bite like reactions. That is a possibility. But if that is the case, he should have had no new lesions for the last couple of days. Is that the case?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No. He has had a whole bunch of new ones crop up since then. I also haven't let him go back in the pond since then. I think they have more than tripled since then and now they are really big. Some of them look like he has scratched them open... and they have yellowish-clear stuff coming out.
Expert:  Dr. S. Attili replied 4 years ago.
Ok. If the spots are are still appearing I suspect it might just be a viral rash. However if the fluid in the spots is yellow then it would be a good idea to take him to your doctor and get a course of antibiotics as yellowish fluid might imply a secondary bacterial infection. This can happen even with viral rashes.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Gave me 2 possible answers that I do not think are correct.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The reason I asked on this site is because it looks almost identical to the rash I had when I had the chicken pox as a kid. I just didn't think he could chicken pox after being vaccinated.
Expert:  Dr. S. Attili replied 4 years ago.
You are quite right about thinking of chicken pox. However if he has been vaccinated, this is very unlikely. That is why I gave you the other possibilities. I would have suggested chicken pox, if he wasn't vaccinated. So the only other possibilities are a viral rash or scabies. As mentioned insect bites are a possibility, but the fact that he is still getting new ones makes this unlikely, unless he is still getting bitten by something. I was presuming this was unlikely as you would have found something by now.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes. We do not have bed bugs... I checked. There are no spiders in his room and I've been keeping him inside since the rash started. I used to work as a preventive medicine technician specializing in STD's/STI's and I know this is not scabies. But a viral infection might be the cause. If he gets worse I will take him into the ER this weekend, but if not I'll plan on getting him seen by his doctpr Monday. Thank you for your help. I appreciate it!
Expert:  replied 4 years ago.
A viral rash was my initial impression and that is what I think it is after our discussion. Hopefully it wouldn't get any worse than it is now, but your plan sounds good.
I am glad to have been of help.
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