Itchy Bumps on the Skin in Adults

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There are several common causes for itchy, red bumps or patches on one or more skin areas. The causes discussed here are typically limited to just a few bumps or to small areas of the body. Some of these disorders, however, may also involve large body areas, but these are covered specifically under the Itchy Rash section.

The location of the bumps can sometimes provide a clue to their cause. Itchy bumps on the genitals may indicate lichen planus, molluscum, pubic lice, or scabies, while itchy scalp may be caused by head lice, folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicle), psoriasis, or a form of eczema called lichen simplex. Bumps of acne will usually involve the face, neck, or trunk of the body, while certain forms of eczema (dyshidrotic eczema) and psoriasis will affect the hands or feet. Insect bites are usually only found in areas not covered by clothing or hair. In addition to the scalp, folliculitis can involve any area of hair that experiences injury, friction, or moisture (such as the buttock and inner thigh and areas that are typically shaved, such as the legs and beard area).

Non-contagious conditions that affect the genital region include psoriasis, intertrigo (breakdown and irritation of skin from moisture), allergic contact dermatitis, and irritant dermatitis, such as the condition diaper rash, which is common with infants.

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