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Valarie, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1228
Experience:  36+ yrs exprience medical, surgical, wound/skin care, nutrition, geriatrics, rehab, management
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I just returned from Jamaica and have these red bumps on my

Resolved Question:

I just returned from Jamaica and have these red bumps on my chest, back and now my arms. The itching is awful and now they are oozing puss. It seems to be spreading. I am taking Benedryl and using cortizone but nothing seems to help. Can you tell what this is and how to treat it?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Valarie replied 8 years ago.

You have an infection, the question would be what kind.

There are a few of possibilities:
  1. It's a bacterial infection. In this case, your doctor would have to culture it and find out what antibiotic you need. There are topical antibiotic ointments and creams you can get over the counter, but if is is spreading, I wouldn't go there. Just see the doctor.
  2. It's scabies. This is a mite that burrows under the skin. It causes a spreading rash that itches "insanely". This can be diagnosed by a skin scraping of the lesions to look for the mite. You need a prescription for the lotion to treat it. You apply the lotion all over, let it stay on your skin overnight, then shower. This is repeated 1 week later and usually resolves the problem. It may have to be retreated in some people.
  3. It's a fungal infection. This can be treated with an anti-fungal cream you can get over the counter. However, I would not do this since the lesions are "oozing puss".
  4. It's may be a combination of two of the above. In which case you need to get a good diagnosis so you know what medicine will help you.
The benadryl and cortisone won't work, except to provide temporary relief with the itching (big maybe). This will continue to spread and get worse. You already have indications of a bacteria infections which could be the cause of the rash, or a secondary infection caused by scratching.

See your doctor. Get it tested, and the right medicine prescribed. You will feel better in 2-3 days of receiving the proper treatment.

In the meantime, keep your skin clean by washing gently with warm (not hot) water and patting it dry. Try very hard not to scratch. Wear lightweight cotton clothing over the parts that are rashy.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I forgot to mention a couple of other symptoms that may or may not be related but are very strange for me! When I woke up this morning I could not get out of the bed because my left knee was hurting so badly. I have never had any problems and excercise 5 days a week. It eventually settled down enough for me to get up. I also had puss in my eyes, my right one being more severe. One more thing is I get up at 5 am this morning but was so lethargic that I had to go back to bed until 9:30. I had to force myself to get up and am still tired. I also experience quite a few bug bites in Jamaica.
Expert:  Valarie replied 8 years ago.
Hi againCustomer
You definitely need to see a doctor. Your symptoms indicate you could have a systemic bacterial infection. It will need to be treated before you start feeling worse. Might be a good idea to go to an Urgent Care if you are not able to contact your regular doctor.
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