Read below about upper arm itch, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your upper arm itch from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Upper Arm Itch

Updated on Aug. 29, 2018

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced upper arm itch. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Allergic Contact Dermatitis of the Upper Arm

    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.

    1-2 days

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    upper arm redness, upper arm itch, scabbed area of the upper arm
    Symptoms that always occur with allergic contact dermatitis of the upper arm:
    upper arm redness
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.Allergic Reaction to Poison Ivy / Oak / Sumac

    Plants of the Toxicodendron genus are found throughout the continental United States, and exposure to these plants is a leading cause of contact dermititis, a medical term used to describe irritation and itching of the skin.

    With treatment, symptoms should resolve from a few days to two weeks.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    rash, itchy rash, red rash, skin changes on arm, stinging or burning rash
    Symptoms that always occur with allergic reaction to poison ivy/oak/sumac:
    itchy rash, rash
    Symptoms that never occur with allergic reaction to poison ivy/oak/sumac:
    fever
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

    Eczema is a form of skin inflammation that causes skin to be dry, itchy, red, and irritated.

    This is a long-term, recurring condition but symptoms are manageable with care.

    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
  4. 4.Irritant Contact Dermatitis

    Contact dermatitis is a condition in which the skin becomes red, sore, or inflamed after direct contact with a substance. This condition most often affects skin of the hands, and may occur after repeated and prolonged exposure to substances such as water, detergents (soaps, bleach), solvents (such as gasoline), acids, powders, dust, and soil. The onset of the skin reaction is usually within 48 hours of coming in contact with the substance.

    1-2 days.

    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
  5. 5.Seborrheic Dermatitis

    Seborrheic dermatitis is a common chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes flaky, white to yellowish scales to form on oily areas such as the scalp, face or inside the ear. It can occur with or without reddened skin. The exact cause of this condition is not known, although doctors think that some common skin yeast organisms, called Malassezia, may play a role in some people.

    Weeks to months with treatment.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    itchy rash, red or pink, rough patch of skin, rash with well-defined border, scalp skin changes, cheek skin changes
    Symptoms that never occur with seborrheic dermatitis:
    fever
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit

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  6. 6.Ringworm (Tinea Corporis)

    Tinea Corporis is a common fungal infection of the skin. This rash is sometimes called "ringworm" and results in ring-shaped redness that is often itchy.

    With treatment, the rash should resolve within 2-3 weeks

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dry skin, rash, red rash, itchy rash, curved rash
    Symptoms that never occur with ringworm (tinea corporis):
    groin skin changes, fever, scrotal itch, groin itch, facial skin changes, hand skin changes, genital skin changes
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  7. 7.Psoriasis

    Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes itchy or sore patches of thick, red skin with silvery scales. The patches mostly affect the elbows, knees, scalp, back, face, palms and feet.

    Psoriasis is a chronic condition. Often flare-ups come and go. In some cases, psoriasis goes away over time.

    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
  8. 8.Scabies

    Scabies is a highly contagious skin infection caused by mites that produce an itchy rash on the body.

    Rash and intense itching should subside within 2-4 days with treatment.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal itch or burning, vulvovaginal redness, feeling itchy or tingling all over, butt itch, elbow itch
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Non - Specific Dermatitis (Skin Inflammation)

    Dermatitis is the inflammation ("-itis") of the skin ("derma" is a layer of the skin). It can be caused by any number of causes, from allergies to infections to autoimmune issues. Dermatitis of Normal Variation (also called, "NOS") means that all of those other causes of your rash have been ruled out. This is very common.

    1-2 days

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    red rash, itchy rash, painful rash
    Symptoms that always occur with non-specific dermatitis (skin inflammation):
    red rash
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  10. 10.Dermatofibroma

    Dermatofibroma (superficial benign fibrous histiocytoma) is a common cutaneous nodule of unknown etiology that occurs more often in women. Dermatofibroma frequently develops on the extremities (mostly the lower legs) and is usually asymptomatic, although pruritus and tenderness can be present

    Resolves with treatment

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    small facial lump, pink or red facial bump, face itch, skin-colored facial bump, painful facial bump
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Upper Arm Itch

  • Q.Do you have a rash?
  • Q.Did your symptoms start after you were exposed to glues, fragrances, preservatives, hair dyes, soaps, detergents, or other common household chemicals?
  • Q.Did your symptoms start after you were exposed to nickel (commonly found in jean snaps, metal pens, paper clips, cigarettes, etc.)?
  • Q.Is the red area flaky and rough to the touch?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our upper arm itch symptom checker to find out more.

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Upper Arm Itch Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced upper arm itch have also experienced:

    • 13% Forearm Itch
    • 5% Shoulder Itch
    • 5% Wrist Itch
  • People who have experienced upper arm itch had symptoms persist for:

    • 37% Over a Month
    • 21% Less Than a Day
    • 19% Less Than a Week
  • People who have experienced upper arm itch were most often matched with:

    • 50% Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
    • 25% Allergic Contact Dermatitis of the Upper Arm
    • 25% Allergic Reaction to Poison Ivy / Oak / Sumac
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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