Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Rash All Over Upper Body Whenever I Get Sick...

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 247 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • September 20, 2007
  • 01:29 AM

Hi! Since I was in my teens every time I've gotten sick with any type of illness (generally common colds), I've gotten a bright, red rash all over my upper body and sometimes anywhere else warm (insides of elbows, groin, backs of knees). Initially, I thought it was probably a reaction to some medicine I was taking and dismissed it. At one point during college though, I got so fed up with this hideous rash that I decided not to take any medicine and live with the cold/flu symptoms. When the rash occurred without any medication, I went to a doctor for it. He said that in 26 years of medicine he had never seen anything like it and basically dismissed me as lying to him.

Since it does not itch (it does get stiff and puffy) and is mainly cosmetically irritating, I haven't worried too much about it. Just a few days ago, I got food poisoning, and the rash came along. I can't find any information on this anywhere, and I can't seem to find anyone else who shares this problem. Any ideas on why I get this rash every single time I get sick? It generally is at its worst when I am getting better.

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  • I had posted a few weeks ago during my last outbreak. Today I felt a little tired during a break from work. Rested a bit, went back to work only to feel just tired. When I came home I felt as though the skin on my head was sort of strange. Then I felt it on my chest and other places and I just knew that the spots had returned. I went into the bathroom to take a look and sure enough there they were. I feel sort of under the weather but nothing more than being tired and a little like a headache is trying to surface. I had saved this site to my Favorites thank goodness. There was only one new post, but I did find it interesting enough that I the new post had been diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse. I don't think the two could possibly have anything to do with each other, the skin condition and having mitral valve prolapse, but what is interesting to me is that I was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse when I was 15. These little buggars only appear when I am under the weather and I don't have to have a full on illness to get them, a slight cold, or like today, just plain tired with maybe a minor fevor. Who knows what this is all about. I do hope more people post information about themselves as far as to what they have had in their past like I had done earlier. This may help us find a common thread. I look like a leopard, okay, not really, but I do have spots.
    Fairview 2 Replies
    • December 19, 2009
    • 05:52 AM
    • 0
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  • WOW, I can't believe so many people suffer from this as I do. I thought I was the only one. I take comfort in knowing I am not alone. I have had these same exact symptoms since before I was 20 and I am now 48. My rash starts off itching and then burns. I had a cold last week and now that I am feeling better the rash starts. It is mostly on my neck and goes up both sides of my face. What a sight! When I was younger the rash was mostly on my torso now it seems to concentrate on my neck and face. The original post started in 2007 and here we are 2010 and no one seems to know what it is or causes it. I am a pretty health adult. I did have chickenpox when I was young. But I can't think of any other health issues that I have. Does anyone notice that they feel cold for a while after the burning starts? It sure has been interesting reading everyone's posts. Good health to all.
    Kandy33 1 Replies
    • February 9, 2010
    • 06:03 PM
    • 0
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  • i have it too... the first time i got it, it laster a month, i just now today got it again, sick with rash in warm spots, stomach, inner legs arm pits top of my feet wondering how long it will last this time
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 12, 2010
    • 03:05 PM
    • 0
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  • Yea they are back. :mad: I started out the week with stuffy sinuses, nothing major, just a cold or so I thought. Last night it became worse and I realized that I might have a fever (101.7) good times. I think it went up higher but I'm not sure. After reading online for homeopathic remedies for fever as I'm trying not to polute my body with tylenol I found suggestions for taking a lukewarm shower, which I did, and the fever went away never to return. I went to bed grateful for not putting so many chemicals in my body and also realized that this week I hadn't developed the spots. Was I cured? Then this morning came. After actually have a good nights sleep I woke up feeling great. Went into the bathroom and viola, spots, on my neck, on my face, on my torso, on two of my fingers, on my back. Always in the same places without fail. Why? Why in the same places? It is a strange, strange, strange thing.Please keep posting when you have them and maybe we can all figure this out together even if it takes years. ;)
    Fairview 2 Replies
    • February 20, 2010
    • 04:27 AM
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  • I too am sitting here with the rash all over my upper body. It happens everytime I get sick with any fever. It started about 6 years ago after a having a very high fever. I was told it is my body overreacting.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 24, 2010
    • 05:10 PM
    • 0
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  • OMG! Finally!!! Other people are weird like me! :) All of my friends and family think I am super weird because of this rash. Here are my problems with it,1. I get it with ANY kind of sickness.2. I get it whether I have a fever or not.3. It itches and hurts A LOT4. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING can make it go away or stop itching.5. It takes about 2 weeks to completely go away6. It usually starts out on my lower stomach and under my breast, and goes down to the inside of my knees and can and does frequently go all the way down to my wrist. And up and around my neck.I have asked several doctors about this and what they have all told me is that it is a Viral Rash. But they have all thought it strange because Viral Rash is usually only present in children. Google it, pictures of rashes can be tricky though.Good Luck! And if anyone has found anything that helps with the itchiness PLEASE let me know! I have tried all of the obvious things.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 25, 2010
    • 04:37 AM
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  • [Ask your doctor about the shingles virus.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 26, 2010
    • 07:39 PM
    • 0
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  • At last! Like everyone else on this post, I've been searching for a diagnosis forever. I too get a rash every time I'm sick with a cold, flu, fever, whatever. It's funny that someone said this is how they know they're really sick, because that's the way I feel sometimes, too. Mine starts under both breasts and under my arms. If it's really bad, it will extend into my groin and in the crooks of my elbows. It is red and spotty -- never burns or itches. I'm a 45-year-old female and have been getting this rash 3 or 4 times a year for about the last 15 or 20 years -- soon after I was told I was allergic to amoxicillin and bactrim. I'm realizing now that the rash I developed then (the symptom my doctor used to diagnose my allergy to those antibiotics) may not actually be an allergy at all, but my body's "normal" immune response to illness.... That makes me think I need to pursue this more to find out whether or not I'm really allergic to them. I don't use any artificial sweeteners and have never had mono. What a mystery....
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I've had this for a few years now. It comes on when I have a cold, have a fever, or when I am dealing with a sinus infection. Never from sweating or from sauna or from working out. I think that is a different ailment called cholinergic urticaria. As far as the anitibiotic idea, I get this rash before I take any. My health history includes chicken pox which has brought on other ailments like shingles and bell's palsey as chicken pox never leaves your system once it is in. I'm curious of how many of you have had the chicken pox and is this related? I used to get very dried out skin on my hands which sometimes led to cracking and bleeding. I went to a derm and he told me that some people carry stress in their skin. He gave me a shot and my skin cleared up. I had that symptom off and on for years, but in the past few years that I have been dealing with this skin rash I have not. I also used to have a recurring battle with mouth ulcers and since this skin rash has emerged I have not. I'm wondering if any of this is related. I am allergic to penicillin and wonder if what ever is in my body that rejects penecillin is causing this as well. I had the penicillin allergy before I had chicken pox. So my rash isn't like the photo's I've seen that are shown on cholinergic urticaria sites. I don't really think they are the same. Pictures I've seen of Cholinergic urticaria look like little bumps. Mine can be quite anywhere from small in size to large, there is no little dot in the middle or anything like that, and they are flat. Most are circles, the one on my thumb is oval but I think that is because of the curve of my thumb. All of them are a darker color than my normal colored skin. I have about four smaller ones on my face. One by my right eye, one above my lips on my right side, one on my chin left side, a few medium sized ones on my neck, several larger ones on both the front and back of my torso. I get on medium sized rash on my index finger on my left hand and also one my thumb on my right hand. I also have it near the end of my unmentionable, I am male. I haven't noticed anything on my legs or feet. These rashes are in the exact same places every single time. It's bizzare. Recently someone at work has been battling a bad cough. I sit next to him. He has been ill for a couple of weeks and it upset me that he wasn't going to the doctor to get this taken care of. So just a few days ago I woke up with the same cough. I said to the guy yesterday that it's just a matter of time before my rash shows up because it always does when I have a cold or am sick in any way. Sure enough I woke up today with the lovely reminders. All in the same places as the times before. You might think I brought it on because I thought of it, but it's just because it happens every time I get ill in any way. Just something to expect and accept. I'm a little surprised that I haven't been able to find anything out about this rash online. I haven't seen a photo that resembles mine on any of the rash sites, nor do I find a doctor that speaks of this. This site has been the first that I have found and was relieved that I'm not crazy or alone. I too feel dehydrated, I also drink coffee with splenda and other artificial sweetners so I'm going to stay away from those for a while and see if that makes a difference the next time I get a cold. I'm willing to try anything at this point. I would say that it might be related to antibiotics, but as I've had them show up before I take any, so it makes me feel like ruling that out. But each person has a different body and maybe a different trigger. We all seem to get this from a cold, infection, or when we have a fever. There is some connection there for sure. I would love it if people would post their health history that might be related to this as it might help us find a common thread. As I said earlier, mine are:Chicken PoxBell's PalseyShinglespossible mono as a teenager but never diagnosedallergies to pennicillin and aspirinused to have mouth ulcers, no longerused to have cracked dry skin on my thumbs, no longerMy triggers are:coldfeverinfection usually sinusp.s. I always seem to have an upset stomach during part of the any of these times. Maybe this is stomach related. The liver? Who knows? None of us or we wouldn't be here right? : )Sounds to me like everything I have experienced. It ended up being celiac disease. Now if I even get a small amount of gluten in my body, I get the rash and mouth ulcers immediately. The sinus infection and sickness are soon to follow. Good Luck!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • just wanted to confirm, yes I get the same thing however my rash is very small and actually serves as a warning signal that I'm getting seriously sick. I normally plan my work/travel plans around how severe this rash is on my upper left arm so far me it has been somewhat a blessing as I can accurately determine when I am sick.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am soooo thankful I found this thread also!!! I too have been having this rash every time I get a cold for about 15 years, whether I have fever or not!! The reash itself does feel a little hot when I get it, but it doesn't really itch or anything. I thought I was allergic to any and all types of cold medications, including those zinc lozenges, because it happened every time I got a cold. I went to many allergists who tested and tested and found that I was not allergic to anything at all!! Then earlier today I read one of the posts that mentioned autoimmune disorders and psoriasis and BINGO ! that must be what it is. About 7 years ago I was diagnosed with mild psoriasis (which is an autoimmune disorder) on my scalp and in my ears. I can control it with a cream and the psoriasis doesn't occur very often, but that would make the case for another autoimmune response issue. I am suffereing from another cold for the last few days and there was the rash again, so I decided to Google it and found you guys! Together maybe we can get some more answers and found out how to make it go away. I am going to register so we can all stay in touch and find some answers.-Linda
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • I've had this for a few years now. It comes on when I have a cold, have a fever, or when I am dealing with a sinus infection. Never from sweating or from sauna or from working out. I think that is a different ailment called cholinergic urticaria. As far as the anitibiotic idea, I get this rash before I take any. My health history includes chicken pox which has brought on other ailments like shingles and bell's palsey as chicken pox never leaves your system once it is in. I'm curious of how many of you have had the chicken pox and is this related? I used to get very dried out skin on my hands which sometimes led to cracking and bleeding. I went to a derm and he told me that some people carry stress in their skin. He gave me a shot and my skin cleared up. I had that symptom off and on for years, but in the past few years that I have been dealing with this skin rash I have not. I also used to have a recurring battle with mouth ulcers and since this skin rash has emerged I have not. I'm wondering if any of this is related. I am allergic to penicillin and wonder if what ever is in my body that rejects penecillin is causing this as well. I had the penicillin allergy before I had chicken pox. So my rash isn't like the photo's I've seen that are shown on cholinergic urticaria sites. I don't really think they are the same. Pictures I've seen of Cholinergic urticaria look like little bumps. Mine can be quite anywhere from small in size to large, there is no little dot in the middle or anything like that, and they are flat. Most are circles, the one on my thumb is oval but I think that is because of the curve of my thumb. All of them are a darker color than my normal colored skin. I have about four smaller ones on my face. One by my right eye, one above my lips on my right side, one on my chin left side, a few medium sized ones on my neck, several larger ones on both the front and back of my torso. I get on medium sized rash on my index finger on my left hand and also one my thumb on my right hand. I also have it near the end of my unmentionable, I am male. I haven't noticed anything on my legs or feet. These rashes are in the exact same places every single time. It's bizzare. Recently someone at work has been battling a bad cough. I sit next to him. He has been ill for a couple of weeks and it upset me that he wasn't going to the doctor to get this taken care of. So just a few days ago I woke up with the same cough. I said to the guy yesterday that it's just a matter of time before my rash shows up because it always does when I have a cold or am sick in any way. Sure enough I woke up today with the lovely reminders. All in the same places as the times before. You might think I brought it on because I thought of it, but it's just because it happens every time I get ill in any way. Just something to expect and accept. I'm a little surprised that I haven't been able to find anything out about this rash online. I haven't seen a photo that resembles mine on any of the rash sites, nor do I find a doctor that speaks of this. This site has been the first that I have found and was relieved that I'm not crazy or alone. I too feel dehydrated, I also drink coffee with splenda and other artificial sweetners so I'm going to stay away from those for a while and see if that makes a difference the next time I get a cold. I'm willing to try anything at this point. I would say that it might be related to antibiotics, but as I've had them show up before I take any, so it makes me feel like ruling that out. But each person has a different body and maybe a different trigger. We all seem to get this from a cold, infection, or when we have a fever. There is some connection there for sure. I would love it if people would post their health history that might be related to this as it might help us find a common thread. As I said earlier, mine are: Chicken PoxBell's PalseyShinglespossible mono as a teenager but never diagnosedallergies to pennicillin and aspirinused to have mouth ulcers, no longerused to have cracked dry skin on my thumbs, no longer My triggers are:coldfeverinfection usually sinus p.s. I always seem to have an upset stomach during part of the any of these times. Maybe this is stomach related. The liver? Who knows? None of us or we wouldn't be here right? : ) I am soooo thankful I found this thread also!!! I too have been having this rash every time I get a cold for about 15 years, whether I have fever or not!! The reash itself does feel a little hot when I get it, but it doesn't really itch or anything. I thought I was allergic to any and all types of cold medications, including those zinc lozenges, because it happened every time I got a cold. I went to many allergists who tested and tested and found that I was not allergic to anything at all!! Then earlier today I read one of the posts that mentioned autoimmune disorders and psoriasis and BINGO ! that must be what it is. About 7 years ago I was diagnosed with mild psoriasis (which is an autoimmune disorder) on my scalp and in my ears. I can control it with a cream and the psoriasis doesn't occur very often, but that would make the case for another autoimmune response issue. I am suffereing from another cold for the last few days and there was the rash again, so I decided to Google it and found you guys! Together maybe we can get some more answers and found out how to make it go away. I am going to register so we can all stay in touch and find some answers. I am just getting over a short cold right now and the rash is almost gone, but the inside of my ears are itching, which is where I have psoriasis. This is why I think it is related to psoriasis in some way. Maybe we can go down that path a little. If anyone who has psoriasis also gets these rashes, please speak up!!! "Fairview" I think you have a great idea about all of us listing our medical histories like you did and let's find some common threads. Then we can tell some doctors about what we found: My diseases: Chicken pox when I was a childMumps when I was a childMeasles when I was a childGenital herpes, but not for the last 10 years (I do not get cold sores)Psoriasis (mild)Non-allergic rhinitis Triggers: Colds and cold-like maladies, like the flu It also seemed to happen when I ate certain foods like too much avocado or even a little bit of mango Thanks for being weird like me! Linda
    Linda in San Diego 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • hi TELL YOUR DOCTOR TO TEST YOU FOR --Lichen Planushttp://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/common_lichen.html
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I get sick rashes too! Only I have had mine ever sense I was a baby. I am 16 now and I hate it. I just take A LOT of benedril but then i get drowsy and its really itchy. My rash looks like a pink scarlet fever rash and It starts off splotchy and then bleends together and It takes a week or more to go away. It never reaches my face but it covers me from neck down. Ive had actualy scarlett fever 3 times and those times it did reach my face and got into my eyes :( i hate it so much.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have the same issue! Good to know I'm not alone on this. I'm 19 and male. Every time I get any sort of sickness at this point I expect the rash to show up and always in the same places. I've been misdiagnosed way too many times to keep going to the doctor about this. I am allergic to penecillin like many of you have mentioned, but I don't have to take anything at all for the rash to show up. Usually right when I start to get a cold, I get a rash.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • This is so interesting. I have Bell's Palsy and shingles, and now I have a rash the size of my hand on my upper, inner thigh. It itches to the point of scratching til it bleeds. It sounds like psoriasis but I have not gone to the doc for this yet (lost insurance) until I absolutly have to. I know the bell's and shingles are related, but is the rash? I take meds for severe depression, was told that's related, and all are on the left side of my body which I was told is usually the case - to have these things on one side or the other. The rash started out looking almost like ringworm, very small, and has taken over half my upper leg. I have severe allergies as well. Just wondering if rash is related. Lots of stress in my life right now, like everyone, I realize this is the major trigger for these types of things. thanks!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi All,Like many here, I have had this indication of impending sickness (and of just how sick I am) for many years - I think about 20 years. As with everyone here, no-one has ever diagnosed the cause. I have always assumed it is some sort of immune reaction. Nice to know I'm not alone.My father also gets the same rash when he is sick.Mine starts with blotches on the inside of my forearms, and then they appear on my chest, followed by neck, back and (if I'm really sick) thighs. After about 24 hours it all joins together into the classic sunburn appearance that many of you have described. This covers my entire torso, down my arms to my wrists and sometimes gets up to my face.As with many of you, it disappears after 2-3 days. It is never itchy, just looks a little scary to others.It started in my early 20s - I can't think of any specific trigger, although I had kidney stones in my early twenties. I don't remember if this started before or after them.As a child I was frequently prescribed amoxicillin, but have stayed off abx in my adult life.Other info:chicken pox, measles and mumps as a childI don't eat a lot of processed foods, and avoid artificial sweetners. I drink a couple of cups of coffee (espresso) a day and also have a glass or two of wine most days. I don't drink soft-drinks.
    glmngaio 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • I've found my sicky-rash peeps!I've had this for 10 years, since I was in my mid-20s.It starts whenever I have a cold or sinus infection (with or without a fever). I can tell if I'm about to get sick or if my sniffle will turn into a full blown cold based on how wide-spread the rash is. Sometimes I get the rash as I'm getting better. Very rarely I get the rash and then nothing transpires, but that's usually when the kids are sick, so I figure they have a virus that I had in the past. Recently the rash is sometimes localized; I'll have a sore throat and then notice the rash is mainly on my neck.It starts as tiny red spotty blotches on my forearms or between my breasts, and then neck and torso (never thighs/legs/ankles), or face if I'm really sick. All join together after a day or so into a nice sunburn look and then fade away. The rash never itches and once it's gone it doesn't reappear (until I get sick again).I've always been told it's just my body's way of manifesting whatever virus I may have at the time.I had mono as a child, I try to avoid penicillin as it gives me sulfur burps, I enjoy my diet cokes and I'm pretty healthy.
    Kelleene 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi! Since I was in my teens every time I've gotten sick with any type of illness (generally common colds), I've gotten a bright, red rash all over my upper body and sometimes anywhere else warm (insides of elbows, groin, backs of knees). Initially, I thought it was probably a reaction to some medicine I was taking and dismissed it. At one point during college though, I got so fed up with this hideous rash that I decided not to take any medicine and live with the cold/flu symptoms. When the rash occurred without any medication, I went to a doctor for it. He said that in 26 years of medicine he had never seen anything like it and basically dismissed me as lying to him. Since it does not itch (it does get stiff and puffy) and is mainly cosmetically irritating, I haven't worried too much about it. Just a few days ago, I got food poisoning, and the rash came along. I can't find any information on this anywhere, and I can't seem to find anyone else who shares this problem. Any ideas on why I get this rash every single time I get sick? It generally is at its worst when I am getting better. My son had cold/flu symptoms and then at the tail end of being sick he broke out with a rash head to toe. He was diagnosed with erythema multiforme. Check out the google images and see if it is similar to what you go through.
    graciouslyathome 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • about 6 months ago I had to take some antibiotics (azithromycin) for bronchitis and had a bad allergic reaction to it causing a rash and much worse symptoms. I know that the medicine was the cause back then, but since then i have had 2 or 3 colds and they always include a rash with no antibiotics in my system. In fact, I took some benadryl last night for my runny nose (I thought it was just allergies) and woke up with a fever and a rash that has been spreading all day. You'd think benadryl would have prevented any rash!I feel like I should blame it on the antibiotics since I have been having these problems only since I took them. And every time I get sick the rash seems to spread further than the time before... right now it is covering the entire front of my torso, my shoulders, forearms, and neck. And like most people on here, it doesn't itch at all, it just looks gross.I read that a couple people had doctors who said the patients were lying about not taking meds to cause it. Those quacks need to go back to med school.I too have had these problems. I get a rash whenever I get a fever or sick and also if I take any antibiotic. Small rash not allergic reaction rash. I was recently told (after thinking I was nuts) because I have elevated tires to epsteinn barr, coxackie and parvo viruses that these things cause you to have rashes when sick and also when exposed to antibiotics..... Has anyone been told this ?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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