Mysterious acne-like rash & underarm rash(?)

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 5/12/2007 8:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Well this one might take the cake for far as posting weird (or gross) questions...but I find so much support here, I just decided to take a shot at it...
about three days ago I was reaching over my shoulder rubbing my back and the back of my neck...(we were having Field Day at my son's school and I was helping in the concession stand)...  I noticed that my back felt bumpy...  When I got home and lifted my shirt, I literally gasped outloud...  *(I have battled adult back acne all my life, but NEVER, EVER like this)  All over the upper portion of my back were dark red, raised bumps...some of them (sorry for this) whiteheads...  hundreds of them...  they weren't on my lower back...weren't on my shoulders or chest or face... just ALL OVER the upper part of my back...  Now, three days later, they are still there... perhaps a tad bit better...but also quite painful....
ALSO... about three weeks ago, I developed this bizarre patch of red, raised, slightly painful bumps under my arms... the right underarm is much bigger than the left, but both are affected... 
I haven't changed soaps or detergents...  I haven't been basking in the sun... no tanning bed... no change in medication... (don't take anything) It's just WEIRD... 
What do ya'll think??? Any ideas???  I did get the nerve to show the underarm rash to my best friend who remarked "That looks like shingles"...but it's not very painful and hasn't spread...  and I actually in hindsight, think I've had the underarm thing once before... 
Would LOVE to hear from anyone with any ideas... The back bumps are so bad and so embarrasing I haven't even shown them to my husband...
Thanks everyone.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 5/12/2007 9:13 AM (GMT -6)   

 No worries, Lisa - this really isn't as gross of a question as you think it is.  :-)  

The bumps under your arms sound very familiar.    Back in 2005 I started to develop a rashy/pimply/red bumpiness under both of my arms  (my right side was worse than the left).   At the time I was travelling Australia , and I figured that perhaps I was just sweating a shwack-load more than I normally did and/or it had something to do with the deoderant I was wearing.   So , I stopped using deoderant . Lucky for me I've never been  a person who gets smelly when they perspire, so I didn't have any problems  with not wearing  deoderant.  However the rash never fully went away. By the time I got back home to Canada , I made an appointment with my family doc who  said I had FOLLICULITIS (infection of the hair follicles).  She gave me an anti-fungle cream that cleared up my  underarms in no time!   Now that I think of it, you can get  Folliculitis anywhere that there are hair follicles - so  on your neck and/or back, too.  Here is a link for more info: 

Other than that, the only other thing I could think of that it would be,  is a yeast infection (believe it  or not). 

Good Luck!          

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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7725
   Posted 5/12/2007 8:45 PM (GMT -6)   
If your friend says they look like shingles - GO STRAIGHT TO YOUR DOCTOR. Sometimes shingles do not become painful until a while after they appear, but even before they become painful, they can cause PERMANENT nerve damage.

IE permanent pain. I have a friend w/oxycotin & other pain meds, disability, etc, all from pain that nerve damage from shingles has caused. She didn't know that what she had was shingles until too late, and now she describes her pain as "a migraine headache" in her lower back (where the shingles were) that never goes away.

This is not the only friend I have w/ permenten problems from shingles -- they are nothing to mess with, esp. if you have a compromised imune system.

Lynnwood, Co-Moderator: Lupus Forum
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 5/12/2007 9:55 PM (GMT -6)   
If I were you, I would go see doc right away.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2608
   Posted 5/12/2007 11:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Lisa, I'd see a doctor as soon as possible. And let us know what you find out because I for one want to know. Good luck.

Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren's, osteoarthritis, fibro, ibs, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision.

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Barbara Lee
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 2889
   Posted 5/12/2007 11:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lisa:

I have to say I agree with the others, you should see a doctor as soon as you can. If you've got shingles you should be under the care of a doctor. I hope that things begin to improve for you quickly and that you start to feel better real soon.

Take care,
dx fibro, SLE, glaucoma, cateracts, bells palsy, depression, migraine headaches, gastreopaersis, chronic anemia, MDS (Blood Cancer). Mediport and tons of meds.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 5/12/2007 11:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree as well, if it is shingles the sooner you take the anti-virals the better and less chance of permanent pain.
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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/5/2012 10:44 AM (GMT -6)   
I have a rash that flares up in my armpits whenever I have had sun exposure (in combination with a number of other symptoms). It's reddish brown colored, slightly raised and itchy and is in a circular shape around my armpit, not in the center. I also get a similar reddening on my upper chest, neck and forehead. I have not been diagnosed with anything; I gave that up about 10 years ago.
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