Your biggest organ, your skin, can be affected by a wide variety of issues. Skin rashes are a common problem for individuals of all ages and backgrounds, regardless of their cleanliness or medical background. A rash is an inflammation of the skin which can be caused by external or internal factors. It is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong and needs to be addressed, whether it’s due to an underlying medical condition or contact with an allergen.
Uncovering the Mystery Behind Rashes
A rash is a cluster of red bumps or patches on the skin. Itching is a common symptom that can be caused by many different skin conditions. Adult skin rashes that are persistent and itchy can be brought on by a range of skin irritations, hypersensitivity reactions (contact dermatitis), and sometimes a mite infestation. To narrow down the possible causes, it’s important to consider if the rash is chronic, generally lasting more than a couple of weeks, or if it reoccurs over weeks to months. Where the rash is located and its size can also help in identifying its cause.
Examining the Root Causes
Rashes can be the result of various causes, including allergies, illnesses, reactions, and medicines. Additionally, they may be caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, or parasites.
Contact dermatitis is a type of rash that results from the skin coming into contact with a particular irritant. The rash is usually accompanied by redness, swelling, and itching, and may be accompanied by oozing and weeping.
Are you taking any medications? If so, beware! Some medications may cause an unexpected reaction, leading to a nasty rash or even a photosensitivity reaction that makes you overly sensitive to sunlight – resembling a sunburn! Keep an eye out for any unusual symptoms, as they could indicate an allergic or side effect reaction.
The appearance of the rash can tell a tale of what type of illness you may be suffering from. Take, for example, the itchy, vexing rash of eczema, caused by a fungal infection. If you suspect something isn’t quite right, it’s important to consult a medical professional to get a proper diagnosis.
When the body starts attacking itself, an autoimmune disorder is the culprit! From Lupus to Rashes, there are countless conditions that can cause inflammation and impaired bodily functions. One of the most notable is Lupus, a disorder that causes a butterfly-shaped rash on the face and can lead to serious complications. So, if you spot an unusual rash, it’s time to seek medical help!
The telltale signs of a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection may be something as simple as an itchy rash. Candidiasis, a common fungal disease, can cause an itchy rash to appear in skin folds. No matter the cause, it is important to visit a doctor if you notice any strange rashes. Don’t let an infection get the better of you – see a doctor right away!
Get the Lowdown on Different Types of Skin Rash
1. Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
From infections to heat, allergens to immune system issues, and even drugs, there are a myriad of causes that can lead to the most irritating of skin conditions: the dreaded rash! Atopic Dermatitis – or Eczema, as it’s more commonly known – is a shockingly common inflammatory disorder, and one that can really ruin your day.
Sufferers of Atopic Dermatitis are plagued by a persistent and bothersome rash that thickens, itches, and dries out their skin. For those with brown and black skin, this can be accompanied by the appearance of tiny goosebump-like pimples near their hair follicles. The rashy patches have a tendency to show up in areas where the skin flexes, like around the ankles and inside the knees. Unfortunately, this is not a condition that goes away easily, and sufferers may experience flare-ups periodically.
2. Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
Feel the burn? Shingles is an often-painful rash that typically appears on the trunk and buttocks, accompanied by hot, itchy, tingly, or sensitive skin. It can strike anyone and can be particularly long-lasting. A variety of treatments – from skin creams to antivirals to steroids to antidepressants – can help manage the discomfort. Don’t let shingles get the best of you!
3. Contact Dermatitis
The American Academy of Dermatology Association reports that contact dermatitis can cause an itchy, red, and inflamed rash to appear on the skin. This condition can be triggered by any number of things, from irritating materials to allergens. Those affected may experience intense itching, along with rashes and blistering. It’s not a pleasant experience, but it can be managed with the right treatment.
Be warned! Irritant contact dermatitis is lurking around every corner, just waiting to strike! From perfumes and detergents to nickel jewelry, hair color, cosmetics, skincare items, formaldehyde, nail polish, poison ivy, and rubbing alcohol, there is no shortage of potential triggers. The Mayo Clinic has uncovered two types of contact dermatitis: irritant and allergic. The former is more common, so be sure to keep an eye out for any of the above-mentioned culprits and take action to avoid the skin-irritating effects.
4. Hives (Urticaria)
Do you have an itchy, red, or skin-colored rash that stings and burns? You might have urticaria, commonly known as hives. Hives can arise anywhere on your body and can take different shapes, sizes, and forms. They can also come and go, with acute hives lasting only a few days and chronic hives popping up almost daily for months. The most common cause for hives is an allergy to food or medicine, but even stress or infections can be the source of this skin rash. Though hives usually disappear on their own, more serious cases may need injection or oral treatment. In rare cases, hives may cause edema in the airways and make it difficult to breathe.
Ringworm: an insidious skin condition caused by a common fungus. It’s characterized by a circular rash, burning, redness, and the potential for hair loss if it appears on the scalp. Don’t be fooled by its innocuous name, this condition is highly contagious, so take precautions. It’s not just limited to the skin either, as the same fungus can cause jock itch and athlete’s foot. Take care to avoid contact with people, animals, and shared items when a flare-up occurs.
The United States is home to a startling 2-3% of its population who suffer from the chronic, non-contagious skin disorder, psoriasis. This bothersome skin condition presents its victims with swollen, red patches on the skin, often accompanied by scaly flaking. It is believed that psoriasis is more likely to be hereditary, though it can also be triggered by emotional stress, skin traumas, infections, and certain medications. Despite extensive research, the exact cause of psoriasis remains unknown; however, many experts believe that it is linked to an abnormal functioning of the immune system.
Psoriasis causes red, raised areas of skin to appear with a silver or gray scale covering them. These patches commonly develop on both sides of the body, typically on the scalp, back, buttocks, elbows, and knees. Psoriasis is especially likely to show up in areas that are frequently rubbed or experience friction. While itching is a common symptom, not everyone with psoriasis experiences it.
7. Drug rash
The danger of drugs is real – they could cause a rash! From antibiotics to diuretics, there are a variety of medications that can bring a rash to the surface. It may start as small pink-purple dots, but they can quickly grow larger and combine together. Fortunately, it’s usually only temporary and can go away in a few days if you stop taking the drug. But be aware, in rare instances a drug rash can be a symptom of anaphylaxis – an allergic reaction that can be life-threatening and requires emergency care.
Are you plagued by red, inflamed skin that just won’t go away? If so, you may be one of the millions of people around the world suffering from rosacea. From acne breakouts to frequent blushing, rosacea can cause a host of skin issues that can leave you feeling embarrassed and frustrated. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this skin condition, but with the right lotions and medications, you can keep the symptoms under control and live a life that is free of discomfort. Don’t let rosacea take over your life – take control and find a way to manage it today!
Indulge your taste buds with caution, as certain dishes and drinks such as dairy products, spicy foods, coffee and alcohol, may aggravate your symptoms! Sun exposure can also aggravate your condition, so be sure to stay in the shade. There are medications that can be taken orally or applied topically, as well as lasers to treat red or thick skin and broken blood vessels. Don’t let your skin condition keep you from enjoying life – seek the treatment you need to feel better.
9. Seborrheic Dermatitis
A recently conducted study in Pharmacy and Therapeutics has uncovered a pesky fungus called seborrheic Dermatitis that often causes discomfort in oily areas of the body such as the face, scalp, upper chest, and back. It’s been described as a more extreme version of dandruff – but fear not, as Harvard Health Publishing has provided a few helpful tips for tackling this pesky problem. Over-the-counter dandruff shampoos with chemical agents that reduce the fungus population on the skin can be used to help treat seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp. For best results, try lathering your hair with shampoos containing zinc, selenium, or ketoconazole and leave for five minutes before rinsing away. Depending on the type of hair you have, you may want to shampoo every day until the condition gets better. If the flakes are particularly thick and stubborn, you can try adding a bit of mineral oil to lighten and comb them away.
Get the Comfort and Care You Need at Home
Don’t let minor rashes get you down – it’s easy to get your skin feeling better again! Take moderate care of your skin, and that means avoiding any irritating chemicals. Follow these simple steps and you’ll soon be feeling back to normal:
- Banish the scrubbing – your skin deserves a break!
- Utilize gentle cleansers for your everyday needs!
- Avoid the urge to slather on any beauty lotions or creams on your rash – rather, abstain from the temptation!
- When tidying up, employ tepid water instead of scorching. Discard the notion of rubbing; rather, tap the area to ensure it’s dry.
- Cease using any new beauty products or creams you’ve recently added to your routine!
- To maximize ventilation, let the air flow freely in the area of concern!
- Discover the power of calamine-medicated cream to provide fast and effective relief from contact dermatitis caused by oak, poison ivy and other types of skin irritation! Treat your skin right with this soothing, medicinal cream and say goodbye to the discomfort of dermatitis!
Discover the relief of hydrocortisone cream (1%) – available without prescription – to treat many rashes. Upgrade your care with more potent cortisone creams using a doctor’s prescription. Give your skin a soothing hug with moisturizers for eczema. Experience the pharmacy-sold oatmeal bath products that can help ease the signs of eczema or psoriasis. Unwind with antihistamines taken orally, giving your skin some soothing relief.