Red Itchy Bumps All Over Body: Should I Be Worried?

It's a fact that many people have allergies. As a result, whenever they are exposed to the item or material they are allergic to, they tend to develop signs and symptoms of hypersensitivity reaction. Red itchy bumps all over the body are common examples of those. These bumps tend to show across the chest, arms, at the back, or at the stomach region. But unfortunately, these bumps can also be a result of some other causes other than plain allergies.

Causes of red itchy bumps

Red itchy bumps all over the body can result from various disease conditions like:

  • Scabies - This is a parasitic infection caused by Sarcoptes scabiei. It is contagious and is characterized by extreme itchiness on the skin. The burrow tracks of the mite appear to be similar to the bites of a typical mosquito. The itchiness worsens at night and during warm weather conditions. The scabies rashes usually appear in several areas, including the hands, buttocks, back, genitals, and feet.
  • Hives - This condition is characterized by the appearance of itchy reddish wheals on the skin surface. It is usually a result of a food or drug allergy. Cat dander, flower pollen, sea foods, nuts, dairy products, and some medications can induce the development of hives. Other possible causes include emotional stress, exposure to extreme heat or cold, autoimmune disorders (i.e., Lupus), and too much perspiration (diaphoresis). The wheals have distinct edges and may grow larger, most especially if left unmanaged. True hives recur frequently.
  • Pityriasis rosea is a very common itchy skin rash among younger adults. Its root cause is still unknown, but it has a suggestive link to certain viral infections. It usually starts as a single rash (herald patch) that spreads throughout the body in 7 to 14 days. The chest, back, legs, and arms are usually flooded with reddish rashes that are 2 to 10 cm in size. These oval-shaped rashes are occasionally mistaken as insect or mosquito bites. Swollen pityriasis rosea patches are even sometimes confused with acne.

Treatment for Red Itchy Bumps

Treatment for these reddish and itchy bumps largely depends on the cause. The suggested regimens are as follows:

  • Treatment for scabies must not only focus on relieving the itch with the use of antihistamines. More importantly, it should also be directed on treating the environment where the mites may be thriving. This move will help prevent future re-infection. Permethrin is regarded as the topical treatment of choice for scabies.
  • Hives do not need to be treated, especially if they are just mild. Oftentimes, they disappear quickly over time. To hasten its disappearance, avoid wearing tight fitted clothes and taking hot showers. Antihistamines like cetirizine and loratadine can be used to quickly heal the rashes or wheals. Epinephrine and steroid are also used to combat severe hives.
  • Like hives, mild forms of pityriasis rosea do not necessarily need to be treated. Even if they don't recur, as hives do, doctors still prescribe the use of hydrocortisone creams to ease the itchiness. Oral antihistamines can also be taken at the same time. Surprisingly, exposure to UV light is considered as an effective treatment for pityriasis rosea. You just need to prevent yourself from getting sunburns.

In general, initial treatment for red itchy bumps all over the body is with the use of antihistamines. If the itchiness and redness still do not subside, you may need to have it assessed by your doctor. Perhaps it needs a more powerful medical regimen.