Dermatology/Rash

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Question
Hello, I am a 24 year old male. For the past few weeks, my girlfriend and I have had a red itchy rash. I have it on my hips, inner thighs, and buttocks. She has what look to be bigger "bites" on her back and buttocks. They are red, itch, and the ones on my buttocks look quite inflamed. Bed bugs have been ruled out by an exterminator.

Answer
Without seeing your rash it is difficult to make a diagnosis and treatment plan. If you seed a picture of the rash that would be helpful to make a diagnosis.
From the location, this could be a condition called folliculitis. Information on folliculitis is found below.

Folliculitis is inflammation of one or more hair follicles. It can occur anywhere on the skin.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Folliculitis starts when hair follicles are damaged by friction from clothing, blockage of the follicle, or shaving. In most cases of folliculitis, the damaged follicles are then infected with the bacteria Staphylococcus (staph).


Symptoms

Common symptoms include a rash, itching, and pimples or pustules near a hair follicle in the neck, groin, or genital area. The pimples may crust over.

Signs and tests

A diagnosis is primarily based on how the skin looks. Lab tests may show which bacteria or fungus is causing the infection.

Treatment

Hot, moist compresses may promote drainage of the affected follicles. Treatment may include antibiotics applied to the skin (mupirocin) or taken by mouth (dicloxacillin), or antifungal medications to control the infection.

Expectations (prognosis)

Folliculitis usually responds well to treatment, but may come back.

Complications

Folliculitis may return

Infection may spread to other body areas

Calling your health care provider

Apply home treatment and call your health care provider if symptoms come back frequently, if they last longer than 2 or 3 days, or if the infection spreads.

Prevention

To prevent further damage to the hair follicles and infection:

Reduce friction from clothing

Avoid shaving the area if possible (if shaving is necessary, use a clean, new razor blade or an electric razor each time)

Keep the area clean

Avoid contaminated clothing and washcloths

Dermatology

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Michael S. Fisher, <B>Ph.D., M.D.</B>

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