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Skin Care and Diseases

Unexplained sores



3-4 weeks ago my 50yr.old mother started developing sores on her arms and legs and a couple on her back. They looked like cigarette burns. The doctor said it could be insect bites from the grass and gave her a prescription for kflex. They are healing a little better but she says it feels like something is either biting her under her skin or crawling under her skin. Is there any test that should be run? The doctors have just looked at it. No one else in the family has it.


The question that you present is important. I cannot give you a final answer because I do not have enough information. The sores might be from insect bites but I doubt it. There are a number of rashes, some itchy, some painful, some minor and some very serious that can present in a fashion similar to what you are descibing. These disorders might require a biopsy to be taken from one or several of the lesions and interpreted by a licensed dermatopathologist. Some disorders might require a chest X ray or blood tests. If your family doctor is not certain, then you should consult a dermatologist in your area for a more complete evaluation and proper treatment. Although it is possible that your mother`s rash is a minor problem, it is possible that it is more serious and I strongly believe that an evaluation by an expert is necessary.

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Response by:

James J Nordlund, MD
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati