How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Terry Your Own Question
Terry, Nurse, RN, BSN
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 693
Experience:  Adult/ Respiratory/ Neonatal ICU, Pediatric/Adolescent Care, Geriatrics, Patient/Parent Counseling
Type Your Health Question Here...
Terry is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

skin redness and marks on my arms and upper chest area..Skin..itching

Resolved Question:

What can cause skin redness and marks on my arms and upper chest area? Skin is very sensitive to anything rubbing against it - will cause marks which will disappear in a few hours if left alone. Some itching but not a lot. No blisters or raised spots.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Terry replied 8 years ago.

Hello Bob,

Since you don't have any other significant symptoms, then it is safe to say that you have skin sensitivity. This can be more common with fair skinned people. Your skin may react to the pressure of what it is coming in contact with it, or it can react to the material. In the case of the blood pressure cuff, for instance, you most likely reacted to the increased pressur it provided against your skin. However, your skin may have been irritated from the material of the cuff or a chemical that was used to clean the cuff. If the mark is gone within in a couple hours, that is fine. If you are bruising from the contact then you should talk to the doctor about it.



Terry, Nurse, RN, BSN
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 693
Experience: Adult/ Respiratory/ Neonatal ICU, Pediatric/Adolescent Care, Geriatrics, Patient/Parent Counseling
Terry and 2 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Terry's Post: I realize I obviously have some sort of skin sensitivity, but I am wondering what is causing it. It is not normal and has only developed over the past year and the sensitivity is increasing. Just to acknowledge that there is an abnormality is not giving me any direction as to precisely what is happening and how I can take steps to attempt to rectify it. I was hoping for some kind of definition of possible causes. Maybe I should see a specialist but I live in a remote Alaskan town where medical help is not the greatest. My lifestyle has been the same (i.e., eating habits; cleanliness; clothing and laundry products, etc.) so I am puzzled as to what is going on.
Expert:  Terry replied 8 years ago.


I don't have much more to offer except that you seek medical examination, but that might be a problem for you because of your location. It is difficult without being able to examine the skin and see what is happening. Oftentimes, with skin conditions, you need to keep a journal to see what is bothering you, and note when the problem occurs, so you can avoid the irritant or stimulant. A doctor can do blood tests to see if your red blood cell count is normal and can observe your skin.

If you would like, I can opt out of your question and allow another expert to help you.

Please let me know.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Terry's Post: Thank you for your prompt replies. This is the July 4 weekend so I don't expect an answer for a few days.

To give you more of a background of what is happening, last December while at work I began experiencing pectoral muscle pain which was intensified by cold weather. Each time I went out in the cold, the pain began. This is muscle pain which is very sensitive to the touch. I've been to the local clinic; the ER in Juneau, Alaska; seen a rheumatologist and a cardiologist in Anchorage; had two visits to a Doctor of Internal Medicine; seen a physiatrist; and another cardiologist in Juneau. All are in agreement that it is not heart related, but muscular in nature. At the time that the pain first occurred, I was indoors using a new cleaning agent, which I have not used again. I have told that to the doctors but they have discounted that as a possible cause of anything. But the redness on my skin was there at the time also. All of the physicians that I have seen discount my remarks about redness and itching, except for the PA who noticed it, but focused on the cause of my pectoral pain. I am doing well with only limited muscle pain during the warmer summer weather, but the skin redness is there daily. Upon arising, I can see small faint red spots on my inner arms and on the upper part of my chest and neck. The areas will turn into large red blotches (nothing pimply or scabby - just blotches of red) if I put a shirt on, which seems to irritate it somehow. I can see an area (about an inch or so by six to eight inches in the collarbone area) when I am shaving in front of a mirror. If I scratch the areas on the arms, they will itch - not severely, just an itching feeling. I am wondering if this muscle pain; itching; and redness have a common cause. Blood tests have turned out normal. My latest:

January 2008

Hematocrit        50.4%
Hemoglobin        16.2 g/dl
MCHC              32.1 g/dl
Total WBC          6.3 x10(9)/L
Granulocytes       4.1 x10(9)/L
% Granulocytes    65%
Lymphs+Monos       2.2x10(9)/L
%Lymphs+Monos     35%
Platelets        316 x10(9)/L

The blood analyst typed a note on the bottom of the test which read: POSSIBLE EARLY IRON DEFICIENCY ANEMIA. None of the doctors I saw were concerned about that.

My muscle strength is good, but I am already fearing the cooler weather, as even now on some cool damp days I experience the same upperchest pain (to the touch) to a lesser degree than in winter. At times when I am experiencing the most intense pain in that area, I can also touch my neck just above the collarbone, and it is painful (like a dull, sore pain) to light pressure. There is no swelling anywhere - no joint pain either.

None of the physicians I have seen have been able to render an opinion as to what is going on, except for the Internal Medicine doctor who said I was a "puzzle". The Physiatrist agreed with him. All sent me home without a diagnosis. So when you recomment that I see a doctor to have myself checked, I am fearful and already anticipating that it will just result in another doctor bill and travel expenses without a finding. What do I do? I still think all of these symptoms are related somehow. I am strong and work full time doing manual labor and do not miss any work, except to having requested being relieved of snow removal by hand during the winter. Help.

Expert:  Terry replied 8 years ago.

Hi again Bob,

I've read your reply carefully and am trying to give you insight. I have done some research and have some ideas and recommendations for you.

First, you have been seen by several specialists, and have not gotten a definitive diagnosis, which is good because perhaps nothing is wrong. Unfortunately it can take a long time to determine the cause of symptoms.

I would like you to see a skin specialist, a dermatologist, at your earliest convenience. Take pictures of the blotched areas when they appear so that you can show them to the doctor just in case they disappear when you have your visit (this happens quite often). Next, I recommend that you consult with an allergist to rule out any type of allergy that is causing the breakout. You can askyour doctor to do a rast profile which is a preliminary blood test that would indicate what you may be allergic to.

Next, ask your doctor (rheumatologist) if he did an arthritis profile on you and find out if you were tested yet for any auto-immune diseases such as Lupus. Some of this testing may have been done.

You described that you work alot and do manual labor, and you may be straining your pectoral muscles. I am trying to reach for different possiblities with you. Thank you for giving me some of your past history. You can consult with the doctors that you have seen, over the phone and demand more definitive answers. Find out what their plan is for you.

I hope all will be well with you!

I am here if you would like to talk further.


JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Previous | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ

Meet The Experts:

  • Family Physician

    Family Physician

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
< Last | Next >
  • Family Physician's Avatar

    Family Physician

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
  • Nurse Milli, RN's Avatar

    Nurse Milli, RN

    Nurse (RN)

    Satisfied Customers:

    20 years experience in many areas of Nursing. Both Hospital and Private Practice experience.
  • Dr. Ketch's Avatar

    Dr. Ketch


    Satisfied Customers:

    Medical Degree, Former Assistant Professor at School of Medicine at Yale University
  • Dr. Arun Phophalia's Avatar

    Dr. Arun Phophalia

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
  • A. Schuyler, NP's Avatar

    A. Schuyler, NP

    Nurse Practitioner

    Satisfied Customers:

    Board Certified NP, MS, RN. Private practice & hospitalist
  • Dr. Mark's Avatar

    Dr. Mark

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
  • Dr. Gupta's Avatar

    Dr. Gupta

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    Vastly experienced MD Physician with 19 years of experience.

Related Health Questions