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"My husband has a painful rash, what could it be?"

ZocdocAnswersMy husband has a painful rash, what could it be?


It started on the left side of his ribs now its on the right side to, his back, and middle of his chest it has little white bumps here and there and he said it feels like a really painful bruise


Your husband should be evaluated promptly by either his primary care doctor, at an urgent care facility, or at an emergency department if these are not available. There are many, many causes of rash; however, without visualizing the area it is very difficult to diagnose the cause of the rash. In addition, your husband's primary doctor who is aware of his medical history and medications will have insight into possible causes of rash in this case. There are a few common causes of a painful rash. One rash that requires prompt attention is commonly known as 'shingles'. Shingles is caused by reactivation of the varicella zoster virus, which is the virus that causes chicken pox in children. After someone is exposed to chicken pox, this virus can hide in the body and later become active again, causing a very tender rash, typically with small vesicles, or blisters. Shingles is almost always present on one side of the body without crossing the middle of the body, and is usually confined to one dermatome. Singles carries the risk of spread to those who have not been exposed to the virus before, particularly infants and children. In addition, it requires early treatment to prevent and reduce pain that can persist beyond healing of the rash. Other causes of painful rash with bumps can include cellulitis, or folliculitis, or an infection of the skin and soft tissue or hair follicles. In addition, this type of rash can be caused by contact dermatitis, or an allergic reaction to some sort of irritant that came in contact with the body. There are additional causes of painful rash that are more worrisome but less common. It is important to see a doctor as soon as possible so that your husband may be evaluated in person and treated appropriately.

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