Itching under left rib cage

Itching under left rib cage DEFAULT

Pityriasis rosea is a skin rash caused by a virus. It tends to be common in autumn and spring, and young adults - particularly women - are most susceptible. It starts with a large scaled spot called a ‘herald patch’, which is then followed within a week by clusters of smaller patches. Often, the patches are confined to the upper body and may follow the ribs in lines. The rash lasts around one or two months then clears up completely.

There is no treatment available to speed recovery, but the symptoms can be managed. Generally, pityriasis rosea is a one-off event - once it has gone, the rash doesn’t reappear. No scars are left, although people with darker skin may have spots of skin discolouration for a little while. Pityriasis rosea isn’t thought to be highly contagious.

Symptoms of pityriasis rosea

The signs and symptoms of pityriasis rosea include:

  • A large single spot (herald patch) forms.
  • The herald patch is scaled and coloured red to tan.
  • A fine rash of small spots starts to appear within a week of the first patch appearing.
  • The spots become small oval patches that are coloured red to tan.
  • The patches seem crinkly and loose in the centre.
  • The rash may be itchy.
  • The upper body and upper arms are usually affected.
  • The patches may follow the ribs in lines.
  • The rash may spread to the upper thighs.
  • Occasionally, the rash may spread to include the neck and lower face.

Causes of pityriasis rosea

Pityriasis rosea is caused by a viral infection. The virus has recently been identified as one of the herpes viruses. Children and young adults are more susceptible, for reasons unknown. Recurrences are rare - a person who develops the skin rash has only a two per cent chance of experiencing it again. Pityriasis rosea doesn’t seem to be highly contagious, but other members of the household may prefer to practise more stringent personal hygiene just for peace of mind.

Diagnosis of pityriasis rosea

Pityriasis rosea can be mistaken for skin conditions such as tinea (a fungal skin infection also known as ringworm) or psoriasis, so careful diagnosis is needed. Other less common illnesses, such as syphilis, may also cause a similar rash. A skin biopsy of one of the patches may be taken for laboratory analysis.

Treatment for pityriasis rosea

It is not possible to make the rash disappear any faster, so treatment aims to manage the symptoms. Options may include:

  • Avoid using soap as this can irritate the rash.
  • Bathe using plain water or some kind of moisturiser, such as bath oil.
  • Steroid creams can be used to help reduce itching.
  • Oral antihistamines may help in cases of severe itching.
  • Mild moisturising creams can be applied generously and often.
  • Some cases may respond to ultraviolet light, so mild sunshine may be beneficial. However, avoid sunburn and don’t stay in the sun too long. Early morning or late afternoon are the best times.
  • Phototherapy using UVB ultraviolet light may be helpful.

Where to get help


Abdomen Itch: Symptoms & Causes

Hookworm infection

Hookworm infection (sometimes referred to as creeping eruption) is a parasitic infection of the skin. It is most often acquired in tropical climates.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: itchy and red foot, painful rash, itchy rash, rash

Symptoms that always occur with hookworm infection: itchy and red foot, redness with curvy lines

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Non-specific abdominal rash

A rash, or exanthema, is the appearance of reddened or purple spots or blotches in the skin. "Nonspecific" means that the exact cause is unknown.

If the first symptom is a sudden high fever, followed by a rash that seems more prevalent on the abdomen, chest, and back, the illness is most likely roseola. This is a mild, common childhood illness.

If there is no fever or other symptom of illness, the abdominal rash is most likely due to a contact allergy. This means it was caused by certain plants or fabrics touching the skin. A chemical burn, sunburn, superficial infection, chafing, or ringworm will also cause a rash-like irritation to appear.

Shingles is a rash which appears mainly on the chest and abdomen, but it occurs in people who have had chickenpox in the past. Shingles is caused by a reactivation of the chickenpox virus.

A medical provider can help with accurately diagnosing the rash and will make a referral to a dermatologist or other specialist if needed.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: abdominal redness

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

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

Urgency: Wait and watch

Shingles (herpes zoster)

Shingles is a painful rash that results when the varicella zoster virus (VZV) — the same virus that causes the chickenpox — becomes reactivated. It results in a painful rash of small fluid-filled blisters (vesicles) over a single strip of skin on one side of the body...


A dermatofibroma is a common skin growth that usually appears on the lower legs, but may appear anywhere on the body. These growths are benign (noncancerous). Dermatofibromas are most common in adults and are rarely found in children.

Symptoms include a hard, raised growth that is red, pink, ...

Normal episode of itchy skin

Itchy skin is also called pruritis. There are a number of "normal" causes for itching, meaning the cause is not disease-related and does not result in seriously damaged skin.

The most common causes are:

  • Dry skin, due to bathing in soap or bubble bath that may be too harsh and is stripping the natural oils from the skin.
  • Mild allergies, which may be caused by dust; certain plants and flowers; nickel-containing jewelry; and any sort of soap, detergent, lotion, or perfume.
  • Pregnancy, due to stretching of skin or to a condition called prurigo. Prurigo causes small, itchy bumps which may be due to an autoimmune system dysfunction during pregnancy.

Menopause, due to hormonal changes that may leave the skin overly dry.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination and sometimes allergy tests.

Treatment involves bathing only with mild, hypoallergenic soap; regular moisturizing with unscented lotion; wearing soft, loose, non-synthetic clothing; avoiding any substances that seem to provoke the itching; and sometimes prescription medicated creams.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: feeling itchy or tingling all over

Symptoms that always occur with normal episode of itchy skin: feeling itchy or tingling all over

Urgency: Self-treatment

Liver failure

The liver is a large and important organ in the right side of your belly, just under your lower ribs. It is responsible for countless functions from clearing toxins to processing nutrients to producing vital blood proteins. As a result, liver failure can cause a wide array of symptoms, but the mos...

Chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease is long-term damage to the kidneys, the organs responsible for producing urine. Causes of chronic kidney disease include diabetes, hypertension, kidney infections, and inflammatory diseases, medications or toxins, inherited kidney diseases, and pre...

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Posted , 11 users are following.

Hi, my name is James and in Summer 2017 I started with a strange set of symptoms that made me think I had a pancreas issue.

I had pale stools, tingling skin, itchiness, dry mouth and fatigue as well as a mild but constantly noticeable twinge at the bottom of and under my left rib cage.

My appetite remained okay and there was no weight loss/gain pattern of any note.

I saw my GP who conducted a range of blood tests, urine tests, abdominal ultrasound and a CT with contrast of upper and lower abdominal area . Ultimately, there was nothing remarkable and no diagnosis was made.

Over time the symptoms subsided.

However, a few weeks ago a similar pattern of symptoms emerged. I started with stomach ache which was a mild gnawing pain and my stomach felt very acidic. That passed but shortly after and now for the past 3 weeks i have been suffering with a very dry mouth, itchy skin all over (no rash/redness), pain under both sets of ribs as well as in the kidney areas and tingling skin.

The GP checked for diabetes through urine and blood tests and those tests along with a standard battery of tests (bbc, u&e etc) were all normal.

I then went for an abdominal ultrasound which looked in detail at the Liver, aorta, spleen, kidneys, gall bladder, pancreas and bile ducts and again, the technician said he had a great view of all the organs and it was totally unremarkable and that I have nothing to worry about from that perspective.

So in conclusion, with 2 rounds of this in less than 12 months and specialists, GP 's seemingly unfazed, can anyone, from experience or professional perspective explain the itching, tingling left upper quadrant pain etc.

This has got me feeling really down and I feel like a burden to my family as I know something isn't right but nobody can identify a cause. If anyone has any thoughts, I would love for you to share them.

Thanks for your time.


1 like, 12 replies

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Itching is common early sign of liver disease

My left rib is itchy

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Cage itching under left rib

Why is my chest itchy?

Itchy skin, which doctors call pruritus, is a common symptom that can affect any part of the body. When it affects the chest, this can indicate a range of causes, including allergic reactions, psoriasis, and kidney or liver problems.

Depending on the cause, the itchiness may either remain confined to the chest or affect the whole body. Sometimes, a person may have the sensation that the inside of their chest feels itchy. Pruritus can occur with or without a rash.

In this article, we explain the various causes of an itchy chest and discuss treatments and home remedies.

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a type of eczema that appears when a person’s skin reacts to a certain substance or irritant.

In addition to pruritis, the symptoms of contact dermatitis include a rash, a burning or stinging sensation, redness, and swelling.

Triggers for contact dermatitis on the chest vary among individuals but often include:

  • chemicals or dyes in clothing
  • laundry detergent
  • dryer sheets
  • jewelry, especially nickel
  • cosmetic skin products
  • fragrances

People can try to prevent contact dermatitis by identifying and avoiding their triggers. Topical steroids and antihistamines can help relieve symptoms.

Dry skin

Excessively dry skin anywhere on the body can result in uncomfortable itching sensations. Dry skin can arise due to very cold or hot weather with low humidity. Washing the skin too much or with harsh chemicals can also cause it to become dry.

Symptoms of dry skin include:

  • scaly or flaking skin
  • cracks in the skin
  • gray skin, which may appear ashy in people with darker skin

People with itchy dry skin should avoid scratching it as this can cause breaks in the skin, leading to bleeding and an increased risk of skin infections. Topical moisturizers can usually relieve dry skin.

Read about seven home remedies for dry skin here.

Insect bites

Insect bites are a very common cause of itchy skin. People may not always realize that a bug has bitten them.

Bites from bedbugs, mosquitos, and other biting insects can cause a very itchy, raised, swollen rash around the bite. This rash is called hives or urticaria.

If a person does not cover their chest when sleeping, recurrent itching on this part of the body could indicate bedbugs.

Learn more about bedbug bites and treatments here.


Shingles is a condition that can affect people who have previously had chickenpox. It arises when the varicella-zoster virus, which lies dormant in the body following chickenpox, reactivates.

The first sign of shingles is often a burning or tingling pain, which sometimes occurs alongside numbness or itching. These symptoms tend to appear on only one side of the body, and they typically affect the sides, back, chest, and head.

After , the person will develop a red rash in the affected areas. After a few more days, this will turn into blisters. Once the rash has gone away, people may experience lasting pain called postherpetic neuralgia in the same areas of the body.

People who suspect that they have shingles should see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Certain medications

Itching can be a side effect of taking a medication. In these cases, it is usually a mild side effect and does not necessarily mean that a person should stop taking the medication.

Examples of medicines that doctors know to cause skin itching as a side effect include drugs to treat high blood pressure and high cholesterol.


Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition that causes areas of scaly skin. It can sometimes be itchy.

A form of psoriasis called inverse psoriasis occurs in areas where the skin folds, such as under the arms, below the breasts, and around the genitals.

Treatments for psoriasis include steroid creams and anti-inflammatory drugs.


Sunburn causes skin inflammation and peeling skin. The skin may feel itchy, sore, and hot. People can use soothing moisturizers and cool baths to reduce these symptoms.

Kidney disease

End stage kidney disease can cause a type of skin itching called uraemic pruritus, or chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus (CKD-associated pruritus).

In people with this condition, the itching usually affects the back, head, abdomen, and arms, but it can involve the chest too.

If a person extends the time between their dialysis treatments, they may notice that the skin itching becomes more pronounced.

Thyroid disorder

Thyroid disorders, including hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, can cause skin itching without a rash.

Thyroid disorders often affect the skin, hair, and nails. Depending on the type of disorder, other symptoms may include sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures, fatigue, dry skin, and coarse, dry hair.

Doctors can treat thyroid disorders using medications that rebalance hormone levels.

Breast cancer

In very rare instances, an itchy chest can be a symptom of a more serious condition. An example is breast cancer.

In rare instances, inflammatory breast cancer — a form of breast cancer that grows rapidly — can cause skin redness, inflammation, and itching skin. It can also make the skin appear and feel like an orange peel. If a person is concerned about the appearance of their skin, they should talk to their doctor.


The treatment options for an itchy chest depend on the condition’s underlying cause.

If a person suspects an allergic reaction to a substance contacting their skin, they could try taking an antihistamine, such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine), and ask their doctor about taking topical steroids. Benadryl causes drowsiness, so a person should only take it at night.

If the itching is due to hives, a nondrowsy antihistamine, such as Zyrtec (cetirizine), may be more useful. However, some people can still become drowsy after taking Zyrtec, so it is important to take care when using it.

If the cause of an itchy chest is likely to be a medication that the person is taking, they should talk to a doctor. The doctor can offer advice on whether they should stop taking the medicine altogether or explore an alternative medication option.

Doctors can prescribe ointments for skin itching conditions, such as psoriasis, and drugs to help manage other medical conditions.

Home remedies

People with itchy skin may find relief from their symptoms by adopting the following practices:

  • limiting bathing to 5-10 minutes and using warm rather than hot water
  • using fragrance free detergents
  • using a body wash that is good for sensitive skin
  • applying a cream (such as CeraVe or Vanicream) or an ointment (such as Vaseline) within a few minutes of bathing
  • avoiding using lotions, which tend to be drying
  • avoiding using irritating products on the skin
  • refraining from scratching the skin

If a person experiences a persistent rash or itching that does not respond to home remedies, they should see a doctor.

Read more about ways to relieve itching here.

When to see a doctor

People who have a chronic illness, such as kidney or liver disease, and experience intense skin itching should see a doctor. This symptom could indicate that their condition is not well controlled.

A person with an itchy chest should also see a doctor if they have the following signs and symptoms:

  • an orange peel-like appearance to the chest skin or other breast changes, including new lumps and nipple discharge
  • severe peeling of the skin
  • sudden redness or inflammation on the skin
  • unplanned weight loss or gain
  • night sweats, fever, and chills

If a person’s symptoms do not improve with at-home treatments, they should talk to their doctor about potential underlying causes.


In most instances, chest skin itching is not a cause for concern. Discontinuing the use of potentially irritating fragrances, lotions, or detergents may help.

If the symptoms continue or worsen despite at-home treatments, a person should talk to a doctor. The doctor may be able to recommend alternative treatments or medications to treat skin itching.

Itching is common early sign of liver disease

does anyone else itch all the time?

I was diagnosed this year with Sarcoidosis. Started when I have been complaining of pain in upper abdomen just under left rib area. pain can radiate around left side to my back. Gastro Dr stumped but ordered CT scan to appease me. CT showed enlarged lymph nodes in my chest. Went thru breathing tests, passed with flying colors. had an EBUS test and was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis. However, my initial complaints went unresolved. Now after reading and researching online, I see that Sarcoidosis that affects the spleen and liver can cause the symptoms I have. Very itchy skin! No rash, just itch chest, upper back, forehead, cheeks. And the pain I complained about to my Gastro Dr that was located in upper abdomen area just off center under rib cage is a symptom of Sarcoidosis of the spleen area. Itchy skin is related to Sarcoidosis of the liver. At my follow up appointment next month, should I be assertive with my pulminologist concerning my findings? Sometimes I feel they think I am a nut that is online too much. I need relief or just validation that I am not crazy. Sometimes the abdomen discomfort is so bad by the end of the day that the only relief is to lay down or recline to elongate my torso. other symptoms I may have are fatigue, winded easily, depressed sometimes, and I internally hear wheezing sometimes when I lay down to go to sleep at night. Anyone else have symptoms like me? I do feel fortunate that I don't have severe issues as many do.


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When the pain subsided a little, I got the opportunity to listen a little to the sensations. And I realized that I like what is happening. I'm probably really just a whore. Those two who were in my ass finished very quickly and gave way to the next.

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