Symmetrical Skin Conditions - Am I Crazy?

Hello All,

I’m brand new here, and just joined the forums, figuring that, since I read this website pretty regularly, I may as well ask this question here, as opposed to a medical forum.

I don’t know when I noticed this, but it was a long time ago. Sometimes when I have a skin condition or blemish (e.g., pimple, small patch of dry skin, etc…), on one side of my body, a second blemish will appear in almost the exact same area on the other side of my body. This doesn’t happen every time, but it happens often enough for me to have noticed it, and given it some thought.

I just told my girlfriend about this and she looked at me like I’m crazy. She said she’s never experienced this.

Am I the only one who’s experienced this? If this actually is a bona fide “phenomenon” does anyone have any info on it, such as what the physiological cause of this is?



No, you’re not. Had a fungal-type rash on my left side and a similar patch showed up on the right. Don’t know why though…can’t help!

Symmetrical skin rashes are not uncommon. For example, typically the rash of dermatitis herpetiformis (found usually in association with celiac disease) is symmetrical. Sometimes the rashes of the common “childhood exanthems” are symmetrical, as are those due to various eczemas.

Other causes of symmetrical rashes include:

I’m not meaning to imply that the rash is always or even often symmetrical in the above-listed conditions - only that it may be.

Shingles is another one that can be symmetrical - it can appear in fairly small outbreaks at any one time. Usually a patch of sore or tingly little bumps that eventually pop, then scab over.

Rashes from systemic disorders are often symmetrical, since the reason it shows up in a given anatomic area is roughly equivalent on both sides of the body.

A butterfly exanthem from lupus would be an example.

Rashes from isolated causes (a superficial infection such as a pimple) should not be symmetric, except incidentally.

There is such a thing as a kissing lesion where two surfaces in contact with one another develop a similar lesion (say, for instance, two inner thighs touching one another and communicating the same fungal infection or poison ivy reaction).

OccamsTaser - hee. Nice username. “Don’t tase me, bro! Unless it’s the simplest solution, mind you.”

When I notice this, it’s 9 out of 10 times a zit. And if I had to guess, it might be a couple out of every 100 zits I get (I’m 41 so I don’t get them all that often). Just a weird thing, and wondered if there was any rhyme or reason to it.

I hypothesized that it might be a right - left brain thing, like the right side of my brain decides to inflict me with a zit, and the left thinks “Hey thats fun! I’ll do it too” and then they wind up on the sides of the face each brain half controls?

I know… I’m retarded, but I think about stuff like this. Business is slow.

I suppose you all have overcome your symmetrical rash. I got one, starting just up the fold of the left elbow and the 2 little bumps spread, alcohol, cream, essential oils, ice packs…now just started on the right that I immediately spread wish alcohol and cover to limit the damages.

I have Type 1 Diabetes, and instead of tingling nerves, I get dry skin and sores all over.

90% of the time the sores are symetrical.

I tried western medicine, and their solution was steroids!

In process of seeing a naturopathic, chinese herbalist instead.

Just my 2 cents.

If you learn Martial Arts and put on a trenchcoat and slouch hat, you can call yourself Rorschach and fight crime.
Don’t let them take your face.

Did the steroids help? Your post makes it sound like you dismissed western medicine just because “steroid” is a scary word. Just my $0.02.

I had a large itchy flaky bleeding patch on my right palm for about a year, and then developed a small one on my left palm. 7 years later, they’re both still there. My primary care physician prescribed a steroid that didn’t seem to help. A dermatologist prescribed a stronger steroid and a urea cream. I’m still not convinced the steroid helps, but the urea softens the flakes so my skin doesn’t split open. When my prescription expired, I switched to Okeeffe’s Working Hands cream, which contains urea. It works well for whatever I’ve got, but YMMV.

The last few days I’ve also had symmetrical spots of acne on my forehead. I rarely get acne there, so the 2 patches are a surprise. Looks likes I’m about to sprout horns. That’ll be great - horns and stigmata.:smiley:

Symmetrical zits or other non-systemic lesions could be due to symmetrical causes. For example, you wore a shirt that irritated both shoulders, causing dry flaky lesions to appear on both shoulders. Or you got sweaty in a ball cap and it irritated your forehead equally, causing a symmetrical pattern of zits.

That’s about how much you’ll have left after you’ve wasted the rest on a herbalist.

Psoriasis is also like this, at least sometimes.

That was not my understanding, and WebMD confirms: