Symptoms A-Z

Elbow Redness Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your elbow redness symptoms, including 7 causes & common questions.

An image depicting a person suffering from elbow redness symptoms

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Contents

  1. 7 Possible Elbow Redness Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics

7 Possible Elbow Redness Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced elbow redness. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis causes an overgrowth of surface skin cells, creating a red, scaly, itchy, and painful rash.

It is believed to be an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack its own healthy skin cells. It may be genetic in origin but triggered by anything that further strains the immune system, such as infections, skin injury, alcohol consumption, obesity, smoking, and stress.

Symptoms may come and go in cycles lasting weeks or months. They include red patches of thickened skin, sometimes with gray-white scales; dry, cracked, bleeding skin; stiff and swollen joints; and thickened, misshapen nails.

It is important to see a medical provider for care, because psoriasis can interfere with quality of life. It is associated with higher risk of arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions.

Treatment involves different combinations of topical medications, oral medications, and phototherapy with natural or artificial light. Lifestyle changes such as improved diet, quitting smoking, and managing stress are very helpful in many cases.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: itchy rash, red or pink, rough patch of skin, rash with well-defined border, painful rash, scaly rash

Symptoms that never occur with psoriasis: fever, black-colored skin changes, brown-colored skin changes, blue-colored skin changes

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Allergic contact dermatitis of the elbow

Allergic contact dermatitis is a condition in which the skin becomes irritated and inflamed following physical contact with an allergen. Common products known to cause allergic dermatitis include plants, metals, soap, fragrance, and cosmetics.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: elbow redness, elbow itch, scabbed area of the elbow

Symptoms that always occur with allergic contact dermatitis of the elbow: elbow redness

Urgency: Self-treatment

Eczema (atopic dermatitis)

Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a non-contagious chronic skin condition that produces an itchy rash. It is caused by a genetic condition that affects the skin's ability to protect itself from bacteria and allergens. The most susceptible are those with a family history of atopic dermatitis, asthma, or hay fever.

Infants will have a dry, scaly, itchy rash on the scalp, forehead, and cheeks. Older children will have the rash in the creases of elbows, knees, and buttocks.

Without treatment, a child may have trouble sleeping due to the intense itching. Constant scratching may cause skin infections.

Eczema cannot be cured, but it can be controlled through prescribed medications, skin care, stress management, and treatment of food allergies. People with eczema often have allergies to milk, nuts, and shellfish. Keeping the skin clean and moisturized helps prevent flares.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: trouble sleeping, feeling itchy or tingling all over, dry skin, scalp itchiness, flexor surface rash

Symptoms that never occur with eczema (atopic dermatitis): fever

Urgency: Phone call or in-person visit

Elbow Redness Symptom Checker

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Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the deep layers of the skin. It can appear anywhere on the body but is most common on the feet, lower legs, and face.

The condition can develop if Staphylococcus bacteria enter broken skin through a cut, scrape, or existing skin infection such as impetigo or eczema.

Most susceptible are those with a weakened immune system, as from corticosteroids or chemotherapy, or with impaired circulation from diabetes or any vascular disease.

Symptoms arise somewhat gradually and include sore, reddened skin.

If not treated, the infection can become severe, form pus, and destroy the tissue around it. In rare cases, the infection can cause blood poisoning or meningitis.

Symptom of severe pain, fever, cold sweats, and fast heartbeat should be seen immediately by a medical provider.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination.

Treatment consists of antibiotics, keeping the wound clean, and sometimes surgery to remove any dead tissue. Cellulitis often recurs, so it is important to treat any underlying conditions and improve the immune system with rest and good nutrition.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: fever, chills, facial redness, swollen face, face pain

Symptoms that always occur with cellulitis: facial redness, area of skin redness

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Irritant contact dermatitis

Irritant contact dermatitis means a skin reaction that is caused by directly touching an irritating substance, and not by an infectious agent such as a bacteria or virus.

Common causes are soap, bleach, cleaning agents, chemicals, and even water. Almost any substance can cause it with prolonged exposure. Contact dermatitis is not contagious.

Anyone who works with an irritating substance can contract the condition. Mechanics, beauticians, housekeepers, restaurant workers, and health care providers are all susceptible.

Symptoms include skin that feels swollen, stiff, and dry, and becomes cracked and blistered with painful open sores.

A medical provider can give the best advice on how to heal the skin and avoid further irritation. Self-treatment can make the problem worse if the wrong creams or ointments are used.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, to find out what substances the patient comes into contact with, and through physical examination of the damaged skin.

Treatment involves avoiding the irritating substance if possible. Otherwise, the person can use petroleum jelly on the hands underneath cotton and then rubber gloves.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: rash with well-defined border, itchy rash, red or pink, rough patch of skin, painful rash, red rash

Symptoms that always occur with irritant contact dermatitis: rash with well-defined border

Symptoms that never occur with irritant contact dermatitis: fever, black-colored skin changes, brown-colored skin changes, blue-colored skin changes

Urgency: Self-treatment

Necrotizing fasciitis of the arm

Necrotizing fasciitis is a potentially life threatening skin condition stemming from the infection of a wound or injury. If left untreated, it can spread to body parts surrounding the infection changing the color of the skin and degrading the tissue underneath. This can result in muscle, tissue or limb loss and a severe body-wide response to the infection.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, chills

Symptoms that always occur with necrotizing fasciitis of the arm: skin changes on arm

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Non-specific elbow rash

A rash is an area of irritated or swollen skin. Often, rashes are unidentifiable and some variation of normal. For example, scratching one's arm causes it to turn red (which is caused by mast cells releasing chemicals into the local area), but that's completely normal.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: elbow redness

Symptoms that always occur with non-specific elbow rash: elbow redness

Symptoms that never occur with non-specific elbow rash: fever

Urgency: Wait and watch

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Elbow Redness

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Do you have a rash?
  • Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Did you possibly brush into poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac?
  • Is the red area flaky and rough to the touch?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Take a quiz to find out why you're having elbow redness

Elbow Redness Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced elbow redness have also experienced:

  • 20% Elbow Pain
  • 13% Swollen Elbow
  • 9% Elbow Itch

People who have experienced elbow redness were most often matched with:

  • 50% Psoriasis
  • 33% Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
  • 16% Allergic Contact Dermatitis Of The Elbow

People who have experienced elbow redness had symptoms persist for:

  • 31% Less than a day
  • 29% Over a month
  • 26% Less than a week

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Elbow Redness Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you're having elbow redness