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"I have itchy red bumps on my arms and legs that look like bites. What could this be?"

ZocdocAnswersI have itchy red bumps on my arms and legs that look like bites. What could this be?


I'm itchy all day. I've checked my bed and room for bugs and haven't seen one. I have small raised bumps appearing on my arms and legs. Weird thing is that I'm noticing many are in the same spot every day, which makes me think it may not be bugs. Today my hands and head are itchy for the first time. I'm getting concerned.


This is a great question. It is very important that you make an appointment with your primary care doctor to discuss your symptoms and have a full history and physical. Depending on what your doctor discovers during your exam, he or she may take a biopsy of one of the bites or send you to a dermatologist. Itchy red bumps can be caused by many things, one of which is insects or bugs, as you mentioned. Scabies is a very itchy condition that is caused by mites that burrow under your skin. They can leave "track marks", long red itchy lines in addition to the bumps, that are often seen in the webs of fingers and toes. Bed bugs and chiggers are also possible causes. However, xerosis, which is the medical term for extremely dry skin, can also present as itchy red bumps. Hives, or urticaria, are raised itchy red welts that are usually the result of an allergic reaction, and could be the cause of your symptoms. Again, it is imperative that you seek care as soon as possible to obtain a correct diagnosis and treatment. In the meantime, try not to scratch the bumps as this can lead to infection and scarring.

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