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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 26383
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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I have a small cluster of bumps on my back in one spot only.

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I have a small cluster of bumps on my back in one spot only. It hurts at about a five on a 1-10 level. What could this be?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.

Hi--how long have they been there and can you more fully describe the appearance and extent?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
About five raised bumps, similar to large pimples in a cluster about the size of a half dollar. I noticed them last night but they did not begin to hurt until today.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
You mentioned research--were you looking at photos of skin disorders? Pimples, or more like blisters? Color?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I finally figured a good way to see them closely. They are blisters. Red base with a clear "skin" at the top.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
A perfect circle or more irregular? Did you have chickenpox as a child?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
More Oval. 3 blisters in a row at top, 3 in a row at bottom. Yes, I had them at 10-11 years old
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
Well, without actually being able to see this, I can't give you a for certain diagnosis, but given the description and the pain involved, my first thought is shingles. The chicken pox virus stays inactive in the body for life, but it can become reactivated and cause this kind of scenario. Although the course is usually about a week, there can be a postherpetic syndrome with pain lasting for months, so it is best for this to be treated as soon as possible with a medication called acyclovir. The other options, a contact dermatitis, ringworm, or inflammatory eczema, all are much less likely here. I suggest you see your doctor tomorrow if possible for an evaluation.
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