ZocdocAnswersWhy is my forehead red and itchy?

Question

Why is my forehead red and itchy?

Hello, im a 23 year old college student. Four days ago when i woke up my forehead really itched. I itched it one or two time when i thought "Itching makes things worse". When walking to the front door i saw myself in the mirror. My forehead was red as fire. I took a closer look, their were no visible bumps, lumps, scratches, cuts, etc. I decided to wash my face with plain soap. It made it even worse! Three days later my forehead is still read, but the itching has decreased slightly. Please help! Thanks

Answer

First, have you taken any new medications recently? There are many medications which increase the sensitivity of the skin to sunlight, including many common antibiotics, so first I would wonder about a photosensitivity reaction. If not, then another likely possibility would be a contact allergy, or contact dermatitis. This is an inflammatory reaction in the skin from coming in contact with some irritating substance. Usually this substance is a new soap, laundry detergent, hair care product, etc. So you might want to think about whether you have recently changed any of the products you use. If so, then obviously the important part of treatment is removing the offending agent. The good news is that it sounds like the rash is improving. Although it is still red, the itching has lessened. This means you are heading in the right direction. I would avoid scratching, as this might lead to infection. You should wash the area only with lukewarm water, without soap, to avoid further irritation. You can apply a small amount of over the counter steroid cream to reduce itching and inflammation. If things do not continue to improve over the next few days, you should see your primary care doctor.

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