Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

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

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 205 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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  • Rash may be seen with group A streptococcal infections, particularly in children or adolescents younger than 18 years. Or hives from a fever.
    rad-skw 1,605 Replies
    • September 20, 2007
    • 08:45 AM
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  • I have the same thing since teens...no matter if it is a cold, flu, fever, whatever...I get this red spotty rash all over me. It blends together over the couple of days that I am sick and then goes away as I get well. Sometimes I even get the rash just prior to feeling any other cold symptoms and can tell that I am about to come down with something. I too thought it was an allergic reaction and one time opted to take no medicine...still got the rash. No one has been able to diagnose. I've been told that I may have some sort of idiosyncratic allergy to certain antibodies produced by my own immune system at the onset of a cold...don't know if that makes any sense or not. If you learn any more tx703 please let me know...I would love to know what is causing this.
    pbmann 4 Replies
    • September 16, 2008
    • 05:24 PM
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  • i too have the exact same syptoms as you, rash everytime i get sick and it comes out after a few days as i'm starting to get better. i've lost track of how many years, probably 20. it is always on my upper body and once it came out on my legs after it went away on the upper body. i get it every single time i get sick and i used to think it was strep related but could i be getting strep every single time i pick up a cold? i doubt it. i don't go get checked though. i have it today as a matter of fact and i am going to get a culture done.anyway, did you ever find out what it was. it must be an antibody/immune issue of some sort.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 5, 2008
    • 06:54 PM
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  • Well misery love company...I'm glad to know I'm not the only wierd one who gets this. Since my last post I've been to an allergist who ran LOTS of tests and only discovered that I am allergic to Pert shampoo...not a lot of help as this has nothing to do with my sick rash. Please let me know if you make any discovery with your culture.
    pbmann 4 Replies
    • December 6, 2008
    • 01:31 AM
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  • I think what may be happening is that your body is overreacting to your sickness causing the rash. Basically it sounds like an immune disorder. I'm surprised that your doctor has dismissed this because it is something I learned about my first semester in college studying biology.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 7, 2008
    • 06:33 AM
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  • Don't think it is the cell phone thing. I believe it is related to immune system as felrac mentions. Is it possible that in "overreacting" my immune system emits something I am allergic to? Maybe some antibody that my body doesn't like? And as I get well my immune system starts to kick back a notch and the rash gradually goes away?
    pbmann 4 Replies
    • December 9, 2008
    • 00:08 AM
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  • I have this same stupid affliction - it first happened when I was 19. Anytime I have something cold-like (whether a mild cough & congestion, the flu, or even pneumonia twice), this non-itchy rash appears before most of the symptoms. Usually limited to face and neck but sometimes goes a bit further down. It starts out splotchy and then eventually merges. From a distance, towards the end of it, I just appear to have sunburn.It never lasts more than 36 hours so I typically don't see a doctor until after it is gone. Explaining it has gotten me nowhere, showing pictures has only resulted in stupid advice (I don't become allergic to my face lotion for 36 hours every 3-4 months). The one time recently I had it going on while actually in a hospital - I offered $10 to anyone who could figure it out. Three doctors and four nurses later - no luck.Allergies to antibodies is the best explanation I've ever heard.The attached picture is a few hours after onset - showing forehead and neck.
    Corsulian 2 Replies
    • December 9, 2008
    • 01:29 PM
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  • Well I am sitting here with this same stupid rash and deciding to start Googling to see what I may find out. That's when I stumbled upon this thread. Like others, I first starting getting this rash in my early teens and it is always in the same spots. I could take a marker and circle areas on my skin where it will appear next time I get sick and I would be almost 100% dead on. Does this match everyone else? I always first get it on the inside of my thighs and on my neck where your Adam's apple would be. I then get it on my eyelids, inside of my arms, and my feet/toes. Is everyone who has posted on this thread male? Just curious if it is more prominant in males. Once the rash goes away the area sometimes itches and peels, but not always. I've seen doctors who say basically the same as above . . . an immune disorder where my body is attacking itself. The cause is very similar to psoriasis I believe. Honestly, I would like to see all of us on here start hitting up as many specialists doctors and find out what this is and how we can get rid of it. Perhaps we can finally find an answer.
    atlaaron 2 Replies
    • December 15, 2008
    • 03:22 AM
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  • I get it in the same place every time too. It starts on my wrists then appears on my thighs, eventually everywhere...back, neck, arms. Does not appear on face though. When the illness starts going away my rash does too but only after blending together like one magnificent sunburn. Sometimes it is worse than others. At its worst it may itch a little and be a little sensitive like a mild sunburn is...mostly just an annoyance though. I am male. If anyone determines that we all have some new disease I want dibs on naming it...
    pbmann 4 Replies
    • December 15, 2008
    • 11:43 PM
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  • Hi I think my 16 year old son has the same thing. He was off school last week with fever which turned into sore throat, cough etc. Now he is feeling better in himself but keeps coming out in this all over rash (not on his back though) which goes after a few hours then reappears. It's not bothering him in the slightest apart from not being able to get back to school. I am going to give it one more day then send him back regardless as I'm sure it's nothing sinister, just an allergic reaction to his illness. I've had something similar in the past where my left lower leg and foot, which retains fluid anyway, reacted badly after I had a fever. This happened 3 times in a couple of years and the GP said it was more than likely an allergic reaction.
    cherrytree 1 Replies
    • December 16, 2008
    • 04:55 PM
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  • wow it makes me feel better knowing I am not the only person! does not matter what I have, cold, flu what ever, I get the same rash! starts on my face mostly forehead & neck...then on the back & stomach & under side of my arms. doctors just dismiss it. or think I am have a reaction to something. mine itches sometime...mostly my back & forehead. but goes away in a few days. Please let me know if your doctor figures it out.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 23, 2008
    • 01:53 AM
    • 0
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  • I also have this rash everytime I get sick. Whether it be a cold or stomach virus, it goes halfway up my neck and then down my chest. I also get it sometimes on my back. The rash is just like a bad sunburn. It seems to subside where my bra line is. Looks like I have a bad bathing suit top burn. It is embarrassing because everyone notices. In the winter, I try to wear a turtleneck to cover it up. It disappears within a couple of days. I am so glad to hear others get this wierd occurrence.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 7, 2009
    • 01:20 AM
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  • I am 30 and male. In 2006 I took antibiotics (penecillin V) at the recommendation of the dentist upon development of an abcessed tooth. Before operating they wanted me to take it for about a week. I did this not knowing any better at the time (you only need them if you have some existing heart problem). I regret this ever since, I got all kinds of strange symptoms with my gastrointestinal system, heart palpitations, dizziness, and rashes since that time. By now, nearly everything has subsided except that I often have GRD-like discomfort, I am photosensitive and sound sensitive to certain frequencies, and whenever I become ill, I develop a rash on my upper arms/armpits and all over my stomach. I strongly feel that this rash is as many of you have said, the immune system overreacting, and I believe in my case it was triggered by antibiotic use. If anyone can corroborate this with their own experience, I'll be checking back periodically with interest because I don't see any other ideas being presented..
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 24, 2009
    • 05:05 AM
    • 0
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  • Wow, I can't believe how many people my husband shares his rash problem with. Anyone have any updates? I'm sorry you all have this, not a fun way to start feeling better. Basically he has the same story as everyone else, when he is the sickest the rash is not there, but as he improves, it hits. One thing I wanted to add to the discussion is that he didn't seem to have the problem until after he had an allergic reaction to cephalexin, about 7 or 8 years ago. Anyone else allergic to an antibiotic?
    creativegirl73 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • All of you should google cholinergic urticaria. I think you might find answers with this. Cholinergic urticaria is cause by an abnormal histamine response, normally connected with your body's thermoregulatory response, although the exact reason why this happens is unknown.
    Harmonium 322 Replies Flag this Response
  • I most definitely agree that it is a thermal/immune system response issue. I have recently learned and tested a way to stop the rash dead in its tracks. The catch of course is that you must have some clues that the dreaded rash is coming on, and it will not prevent it from happening at all but only prevent it from getting worse. I keep a prescription of prednisone on hand and take a dose of 20-40mg at first sign of the rash. Naturally only get the prednisone from your doctor and with his/her dosing advice, but this has been working for me. Also, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
    atlaaron 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • Ok so, I get the same rash (started in college when I was around 18) and my father gets it too. Just curious but when I was talking with a nurse about this she said she has not seen any information on this condition, she mentioned that she thought it could also be a histamine reaction or an immune disorder. The reason behind that is because my dad and I both had Mononucleosis and have the same rash ever since and Mono can weaken your immune system. It's just a theory as no Dr. has been able to diagnose me or my dad. So I am curious anyone else with this rash ALSO ever had Mono?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thank God I find this thread, my girlfrend has the exact same thing, couldn't have explained it better..I agree that this is an over reaction, but I found it interesting that someone mentioned antibiotics, since she is allergic to penicilin, and her mother too. So I guess this is nothing serious..
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • get off the sucralose, splenda and aspartame- found in diet sodaseverything really, even in gum and children's vitamins : \read labels and do not eat this stuff anymore it is poison and it sounds like you have most of the symptomsread about them on the internet check the symptoms for each one- disregard the Industry(company who made the product) advertisements on different sites that tell you they are safe - there are enough testimonials and people who will tell you on facebook groupsyoutubeand google that they were harmed by them and know because they were where you are and stopped eating them and now are better.Trial and error, they learned what was causing them these problems- now you know too!
    founddog 188 Replies Flag this Response
  • Responses based on my own experience with SPR (Stupid Pointless Rash):@atlaaronMine starts on the face - usually coming down from the temples and then just sort of everywhere over the face and neck. If I'm very sick, it spreads down my chest and back.@cherrytreeMine always slowly spreads and then seems to disappear rather quickly. It never appears-reappears-appears-and so on.@creativegirl73I don't think I've ever had an allergic reaction to a medication. The first time I recall getting this was during my sophomore year of college. I ate some Chinese food, then felt really tired (I was probably a little sick and the massive dose of sodium didn't help), went to sleep, and woke up with a stupid rash. I remember trying to apply Benadyrl cream to my face. All it did was make me smell like Benadryl.@atlaaronSpeaking of hydrating, I used to think I could stop this by drinking a ton of water whenever I started feeling a lot thirstier than I ought to be (which, for me, is a typical pre-rash symptom). Maybe it works sometimes. I don't have much to benchmark it against.@kristagNever had mono.@founddogPlease don't post on this thread anymore.
    Corsulian 2 Replies Flag this Response
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