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Dermatology/tiny bumps on hands and legs


I'm a 32 yr. old female. I have a rash of bumps on the back of my hands and legs. Because of the history, i'm not sure if what's going on is one thing, or multiple issues. It's a little lengthy, so here are the details/history:

- a few months ago, the palms of my hands started itching. Looking closely, I could see tiny, tiny bumps on them. I thought they were either dry skin, or Pityriasis Rosea, which I've had on my inner elbow and the backs of my knees in the past. I moisturized and made sure not to scratch. One of the hands was fine, the other got worse. The bumps expanded (in quantity, but not particularly in size), to a larger patch. Some days it would itch like crazy, other days it was fine. Some days it flaired up, and looked dry, other days it was nearly gone.
At this point, I thought it was a patch of eczema. I tried heavier moisurizers and solid cocoa butter. The cocoa butter seemed to help, though they didn't go away.
They didn't seem to be expanding further, so i was not overly concerned.

-The backs of my hands are very dry, last week, I tried using some moisturizer that I use daily on my face on them. This was after reading a review from someone else who has done the same. I used it for a couple of days without any apparent issue. When I woke up on the third day, however, the backs of both of my hands were covered in tiny, white bumps, that seem to act and look just like the ones on my palm. I immediately stopped using the cream, presuming it was a reaction to it. It's been 3 days, the bumps are still prevalent, but have not been itchy.

- I just took a shower, and while shaving noticed bumps all over my legs, knee-down. Again, they itch and look just like the ones on my hands.

There is no single product I have used on both my hands and legs for the entirety of the time this has been going on (I did not start using the face cream I mentioned until a month or two ago, well after the initial rash began, and i've never touched my legs with it). I have used cocoa butter on both my hands and legs, but stopped last week, before they appeared on my legs.

The bumps are very tiny on my hands - about the size of a pin prick. They are white, not pink or red unless I scratch at them. They do not appear to be fluid filled, but it is hard to tell because they are so small.

Any ideas/help on what this may be would be much appreciated.

From what you have told me, you most likely have what is called dyshidrotic eczema. Dyshidrotic eczema comes on the hands and feet only so the other areas would be just eczema. Treatment is with prescription strength cortisone like Vanos or Clobex and moisturizers like Cerave which is OTC. You should see your local dermatologist to make sure of the diagnosis and get the correct prescriptions for your skin condition.


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


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