Red and tender rash/flush on upper abdomen and neck.

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Over the last 3/4 years I have started to suffer from red flushes/rashes.  My neck is almost constantly red however it does die down at times and flare back up (pics). Usually at the same time it flares up my chest will do the same, however my chest is not sore and does not swell. My neck however tends to feel slightly raised especially on the back and sides, and feels like bad sunburn, it hurts to even twist it and feels like my skin will rip if i do. At times the redness appears on my arms as well but I can usually control itching through calamine lotion.

My neck/shoulders/back of my shoulders itches like crazy though.

The flare ups tend to last from 5 days - 2 weeks.

Things I've had or that i'm on to treat it.

Citirizine 4 times a day (not had an effect)

Prednisone when its bad (20mg for 5 days) I think this generally slows it down.

Over the counter benadryl (does nothing but helps me sleep through it)

UV therapy (didn't have an impact)

I've also just started sing CBD oil as i've heard its good with inflammation.

I moisturise 4 times a day and use cool derm for my neck at night.

I've stopped using steroid creams due to how it can thin skin out.

The problem is my next doesn't look dry and the flare ups are sporadic, I don't change anything in my lifestyle to trigger it.

I don't drink very much, don't smoke, exercise 5-6 times a week and eat healthy.

Any ideas of what this is, could cause this or treatments I could try when it appears would be appreciated.

0 likes, 4 replies


4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi. I'd be interested to see how your symptoms / treatment is going, since i have had very similar symptoms for the last 3 years.

    Symptoms began with a red angry rash around my neck. I treated with a strong steroid cream but the rash began again within days off stopping. The skin would dry to the point that it cracks like tiny papercuts. Incredibly painful, so that i could barely move my head. Also, really itchy still.

    This slowly grew to include my chest, then sides, and arms. I moisturise at least twice a day. When the rash flared worst, it looked like sunburn over most of my body. The itching is at times incredible. I take Piriton, sometimes 5 times over night when it's worst so I can sleep. The skin on my chest can be like dry paper, even though I'm slathering moisturiser on every 2 hours. These days I'm using potent steroids all the time, just to keep in in control.

    I've tried changing washing detergents. I've been dairy free for most of this year. I'm now cutting out gluten and seeing a dermatologist in a few weeks.

    The latest was an outbreak of pustules all over my arms and legs.

    Hopefully the dermatologist will have something useful to give, since I've tried most things i can think of with no use.


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    • Posted

      Hi Daniel,

      I'm sorry to hear about the issues you're going through, I seriously feel for you.

      Over the last 4 months I feel I've got a little more handle on my skin.

      Your symptoms do seem more severe than mine but I'll give you a list of things I've tried to do to help.

      Cut outs

      Alcohol - If you drink then choose clean spirits with good mixers (tonics,apple/orange juice)

      Beer/wine is a no go.

      Meat - A tough one, I ate meat on a daily basis and I still eat it maybe 2/3 times a week bit its just cooked meat cold cuts and left overs are high in histamine so freshly cooked is best.

      I wouldnt worry to much about gluten and more on high histamine foods, just google them and see if theres any you eat a lot of. For me it was Avacados, spinach and strawberries which are all very high. So if you're eating a lot then antihistamine tablets are pointless.

      I quit dairy mainly for my stomach issues so unsure if this helps skin or not but I think it helps

      Things to take.

      Vitamin D tablets (1 a day)

      Omega 3 Fish Oil Capsules

      Iron Tablets (1 a day)

      PLENTY OF WATER (just water, fruit flavoured etc is not a replacement)

      I use boots washing liquid and conditioner.


      I become less irritated if I don't clean shave my neck. I just use a body trimmer on my neck and trim to a short length like 0.4mm so it looks clean but it dosn't cause stubble rash.

      Also dependant on how hairy you are it worth trimming body hair. For a couple of reasons.

      Sweat seems to linger on the body with hair and sweat makes me itch.

      Also I notice that ointments/moisturisers cover the skin better with less hair.

      I'm a bit of a hairy guy so trim my arms/legs/back/abdomen down with an electric trimmer honestly you'll notice the differance when using creams.

      Potions to use.

      So I shower once a day (personally at night as it aids sleeping)

      I dont use any soap in the shower just warm water and try get done in 5 mins, don't blast the neck or head just cup water into you hands and wash them.

      Apply everything about an hour before bed.

      Pat dry and whilst still damp apply steroid cream thinly to affected areas and then I moisturise head to toe with doublebase gel (get it on the nhs) let this sink in.

      After that apply vaseline to the worst areas liberally. Its a bit icky but once you have things on track you can not apply so much.

      In the morning I use steroid again thinly and O'keefes extreme moisturiser (the one that says guarantees to stop drying skin) and again head to toe about 40 mins before I get dressed.

      If you plan on taking anti-histamines your doc should be putting you on Fexofenadine. I stopped because the withdrawel made my itching worse.

      Last resort to help sleeping, you will want to shower in the morning if you use this.

      If i'm going through a bad patch I buy Calamine lotion and literally coat myself in it, it obviously creates a dry chalky coating but I use about a bottle a week. Just make sure you are still doing the moisturising but maybe in the early evening and then calamine up 20 mins before bed.

      My routine to get sleep if really missing out is moisturise before tea, then an hour before bed drink twinings sleep tea, take a Sominex (over the counter sleep aid) then calamine up. Buy some cotton gloves from boots for sleeping or in bulk on amazon to save.

      Lastly and mostly important, keep stress to a minimum and know it will get better. Stress without a doubt is the biggest trigger. If you work and have to take holiday to chill and just have 2 weeks of TV and moisturising, just do it honestly. If it gets too much get a GP recommendation and take leave and do nothing. I've done this before and its seriously helped.

      I'm sorry this was such a long read and it seems a lot to do, but it becomes routine and easy.

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    • Posted

      Honestly, a lot of it seems pretty familiar. I use zeroderm. Its like moisturiser mixed with Vaseline. Its pretty thick, but i have Vaseline if it gets really dry. But it does tend to block my pores and i break out in spots.

      Luckily, I'm pretty hairless, but I've still been using a trimmer to shave my face for a few months now.

      I live with a vegetarian, so I'm mostly meat free. And I've cut out dairy. Gluten is a new idea, after I read about dermatitis Herpetiformis.

      I might have to try calamine. I didn't think about antihistamine withdrawal. Maybe the wine should go. And definitely stress. I live with 2 children and i have another 2 with a previous partner. Life can be manic. Maybe i need time to relax. I might speak to the go about giving me something for anxiety.

      Did any therapies (light, etc) work for you?

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    • Posted

      I've had UV treatment in the past, I feel like it helped at the time but it can be differant for everyone and make you more dry but its worth a shot. I'm better in the sun as soon as winter kicks in and the heating comes on life gets a bit harder.

      Grab an electric humidity measure as well.

      My place is usually about 55% if yours is low you might want to get an humidifer just don't let it get to high

      I was taking 4 10mg citrezine a day and stopped for a week and went into itchy overdrive.

      I know taking time off work can be a pain even more so with kids but it can help.

      Get the headspace app to help relax as well.

      Get off the wine/caffeine and check the histamine list certain fruit/nuts/veg and sugar can spark you off.

      There is 1 other thing that i've never tried expensive but could help

      If you read the more info section you'll see what its about.

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