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Dr. Nair
Dr. Nair, Dermatologist
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 9190
Experience:  MBBS, MD (Dermatology, Venereology & Leprology)
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What could cause flesh like bumps on my arms?

Customer Question

I have tiny bumps on my arms that have appeared out of nowhere. They look like bug bites but are flesh colored, not red, and are small and hard bumps. They are clustered together in either rows or groups of 3 or 4 on my inner arm and elbow on left arm and wrist and elbow of my right. They are itchy on random occasion but otherwise do not bother me. One set has been present since last Tuesday and the other appeared this past Saturday. I have checked my animals for fleas and my bed for bed bugs; also I have not switched my laundry detergent or skin products. Any idea what they could be and should I be concerned?

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dermatology
Expert:  Dr. Nair replied 6 years ago.

Can you take a photograph of these bumps?

Expert:  Dr. Nair replied 6 years ago.

The bumps look faintly red although the picture is not very clear. They are suggestive of papular urticaria based on their clinical appearance. Papular urticaria occurs due to a hypersensitivity response to insect bite. Other features in their favor is the grouping of the lesions and their sudden appearance.

This is a harmless condition and will subside in a few weeks. This will help:

1. 1% Cortizone cream + Bacitracin ointment: Mix in equal parts and apply over the bumps twice a day for 7-14 days depending on how long they take to subside.

2. Tab Claritin 10 mg once a day for 7 days.

NOTE: All three of the above are available without a prescription.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I am more concerned with the type of bites that they are because I am concerned with exterminating my house if need be. Is there any idea what kind of insect it is or any way to find out because I would rather not keep getting bit if I could figure that out?

Expert:  Dr. Nair replied 6 years ago.

It’s hard to say for sure since a large variety of insects can cause this type of a reaction and only a few (e.g. spider bite and wasp sting) have clear cut characteristics. Aside from general precautions like wearing insect repellent lotions etc., dusting the rugs and mattresses and leaving them out in the sun for 6 hours is usually all that is required. Pets also must be treated for fleas and ticks.