Skin Rashes: Types, Causes, Treatment
by MedPlus Team, February 18, 2022
A rash is an irritating area or swollen skin. Skin rashes can be symptoms of many different medical problems. It can vary in appearance, and there are many potential causes for these eruptions. There are different treatments for skin allergy. These allergies can affect a small part of the body or cover a large area. Skin rashes are in many forms. Some common causes include contact dermatitis, bodily infections, and allergic reactions to medicines, food, etc. Skin rashes can also be dry, moist, bumpy, smooth, cracks, or blisters. These can be painful, itch, and even change color. Dermatitis affects millions of people across the world. Some rashes don’t need any treatment and will cure on their own. Some can treat at home, and others might be some sort of serious.
Types of Skin Rashes:
There are different skin allergies based on the germs that cause rashes:
- Contact Dermatitis
- Seborrheic Dermatitis
- Fungal infection
- Bacterial infections
- Measles, etc.
Causes of Skin Allergy:
Diseases and medications can also trigger skin rashes. Contact dermatitis is a common rash. It occurs when your skin comes in contact with objects. Some common causes are:
- Chemicals in elastic, latex, and rubber products
- Cosmetics, soaps, and detergents
- Dyes and other chemicals in clothing
- Poison ivy, oak, or sumac
- Age, stress, fatigue
- Weather conditions
- Oily Skin
Other common causes of a rash include:
- Eczema: It is common in people with allergies or asthma. The rash is red, itchy, and scaly.
- Psoriasis: It is itchy and fingernails will get affected. It is red, scaly, patches over joints and along the scalp.
- Impetigo: It is common for children. It is a bacterial infection that lives in the top layers of the skin. It appears as red sores that turn into blisters, ooze, then form a honey-colored crust.
- Shingles: It is a painful skin condition caused by the same that causes chickenpox. It lies in your body as dormant for many years and re-emerges as shingles. Only one side of the body is affected.
- Measles, roseola, rubella, hand-foot-mouth disease, fifth disease, and scarlet fever are all common childhood illnesses
- Medicines and insect bites or stings
- Some foods like cow’s milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts also cause skin rashes
- Medications like penicillin can cause allergic reactions in some people
- Bee stings and bug bites cause skin allergies. It is severe and may be life-threatening for high-allergic people.
A variety of medical issues can also cause a rash. These include:
- Lupus erythematosus (an immune system disease)
- Rheumatoid arthritis, especially the juvenile type
- Certain body-wide (systemic) viral, bacterial or fungal infections
- Kawasaki disease (inflammation of the blood vessels)
Common Rashes in Children:
In children, rashes are common, and no need to worry about these. Most of the rashes are harmless and disappear after for period without any treatment. Some common rashes in children are scarlet fever, heat rash, diaper rash, infantile eczema, nappy rash, cradle cap, chickenpox.
Related read: 3 Tips to Diaper Rash That You Need to Know
Home Remedies for Skin Rashes:
There are many reasons for a rash to develop. There are several types of skin rashes. Some basic measures help you to cure or reduce the impact of these:
- Use mild soap (not scented). These soaps are for sensitive skin or baby skin
- Warm water is preferable to hot water
- Try to allow the rash to breathe. Do not cover with a Band-Aid or bandage
- Do not rub the rash, dry it, pat it
- Use unscented moisturizers if the rash is dry, such as eczema
- Avoid using any cosmetics or lotions that might be the source of the rash
- Avoid scratching to lessen the risk of infection
- Cortisone creams, available over-the-counter or online, may help to relieve itching
- Calamine can relieve some rashes, for example, poison ivy, chickenpox, and poison oak
If a rash causes mild pain, you may use acetaminophen or ibuprofen. But these are not long-term solutions. They will not treat the cause. If these above steps don’t show an impact on the cure, please go for diagnosis and treatment.
Diagnosis for Skin Rashes:
Fungal, viral, and bacterial skin rash can be diagnosed with a physical exam, along with tests such as
- Skin prick test
- Intradermal skin test
- Patch test
- Blood tests (specific IgE)
- Physician-supervised challenge tests
How to Treat Skin Allergies?
Avoiding known allergens when possible is the first line of treatment for allergies. When it is not possible, use medications to treat allergies that include:
- Antihistamines to ease itching, sneezing, runny nose, and hives often caused by seasonal and indoor allergies
- Mast cell stabilizers are used to treat itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose.
- Decongestants to reduce nasal congestion
- Corticosteroids in the nose (nose sprays) can aid with nasal allergies
- To treat itching and rash, use corticosteroid creams such as cetaphil, colderm cream
- To reduce swelling and stop severe allergic responses, use oral corticosteroids.
- Epinephrine for life-threatening severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis)
Apart from these ways, you can treat allergies with allergy shots. Allergy shots are regular injections over a while around three to five years, to stop or reduce allergy attacks.
Immunotherapy is a type of treatment that includes allergy injections. Each allergy injection includes a trace quantity of the chemical or substances. Those cause you to have an allergic response. Immunotherapy may be effective for some patients. The two common types of immunotherapy include:
- Involves injections of allergens in an increasing dose over time to desensitize the patient to that allergen
- Allergy shots are often used to treat allergies to pollen, pets, dust, bees or other stinging insects, and asthma
- Allergy shots are not usually effective for allergies to food, medicines, feathers, or hives or eczema
Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT):
- They administered small doses of an allergen under the tongue to improve tolerance to the allergen and reduce symptoms
- SLIT is effective in treating nasal allergies and asthma caused by dust mites, grass, and ragweed
By reading this article, hope you were able to get a clear idea about what are the rashes, their symptoms, causes, and how to treat these at home or by medical ways.