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Date of last update: 10/18/2017.

Forum Name: Dermatology Topics

Question: Itchy rash-like bumps on rib area


 hippolover1609 - Wed Dec 31, 2008 11:18 pm

About a week ago my ribs were tender, as if I'd brusied them. However, yesterday I woke up with 3 red bumps on the spot that was hurting. Today, I woke up with 5. They are itchy, red bumps that look like a rash. I have no idea what it could be and I know it's not from plants, food, medicine, or a bug. Should I be concerned?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:46 pm

User avatar Hi there --

You don't necessarily need to be concerned (if this is what I strongly suspect it to be), but it may become more annoying and require medical attention just to keep you comfortable.

What this sounds very much like is shingles -- herpes zoster -- which can eventually happen to anyone who's ever had chickenpox. The virus remains dormant forever in the body, and something, often a stressful event, will set it off. It will start with burning or pain on or in the skin of the affected area, followed shortly by a rash of little reddish bumps that itch and sometimes burn terribly. They usually will crust over eventually and slowly resolve. It sometimes only happens once, but can recur and there are anti-viral medications that can make it a lot less annoying and speed healing of the outbreak. The rash usually tends to follow a nerve pathway, so often the bumps seem to appear in a row.

From your description this would seem to be the problem. If so, it may have resolved by now. For future reference, this is probably what it is. Hope all is well now. Please follow up with us here as needed. Good luck to you.

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