Medical Specialty >> Dermatology

Doctors Lounge - Dermatology Answers

Back to Dermatology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

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.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us