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What are the most common causes of skin rashes?

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What are the most common causes of skin rashes?

Skin Rash

A skin rash develops when the skin turns red, irritated, and bumpy. Some skin rashes are painful and dry. Some are excruciatingly uncomfortable. A skin-rash can be caused by a variety of factors, including viruses, bacteria, allergies, and skin diseases such as eczema.

What is the frequency of skin rashes?

Almost everyone develops at least one skin-rash during their lifetime. It’s extremely common to sometimes feel itchy or have red, bumpy skin for a little while.

Who is at risk of developing a skin rash?

Skin rashes can affect anybody, from infants to the elderly. Diaper rash and cradle cap are common in infants. Children are predisposed to atopic dermatitis and are susceptible to rash-causing viruses such as the fifth illness. Contact dermatitis can also occur in older children or adults when their skin grows more susceptible to allergens or irritants over time.

What are the types of skin rashes?

There are many different types of skin rashes, including:

  • Contact dermatitis: This form of dermatitis occurs when your body reacts to a substance that it doesn’t like. Lots of people are allergic to fragrances, preservatives, nickel (often found in costume jewelry), and poison ivy. Common irritants include soaps, detergents, chemicals, and household cleaners.
  • Eczema: Also called atopic dermatitis, eczema often develops in infancy and often gets better as a child grows. It tends to run in families (genetic). People who have asthma or allergies are more likely to have eczema, too.
  • Hives: Also called urticaria, hives cause raised, red, itchy skin welts. You may get hives if you have an allergic reaction to airborne allergens or insect stings. Extreme temperature changes and certain bacterial infections can also bring on hives.
  • Psoriasis: This lifelong skin disorder causes a thick, scaly rash. The rash often forms on the elbows, knees, lower back, scalp, and genitals. Psoriasis can be inherited.
  • Viral: Skin rashes are a common symptom of many viral conditions, such as chickenpox, measles and molluscum contagiosum.

What causes a skin-rash?

Many things can cause skin rashes, including:

  • Allergens in the environment.
  • Bacterial infections, such as strep throat.
  • Skin conditions like eczema.
  • Irritants.
  • Viruses.

What are the symptoms of a skin-rash?

The symptoms of a skin-rash differ based on the type and cause. Rashes can appear in a single place on the body or all over. A cutaneous rash could be:

  • Dry.
  • Blistering.
  • Blotchy.
  • Burning or stinging.
  • Flaky or scaling.
  • Hive-like (welts).
  • Inflamed or swollen.
  • Itchy.
  • Painful.
  • Red.

How is a skin rash managed or treated?

The treatment for skin rashes is determined by the cause. The rash may not go away for several weeks. Treatments for skin rashes include:

  • Allergy medications: Oral antihistamines, a type of allergy medication, reduce itching.
  • Anti-inflammatory creams: Hydrocortisone creams like Cortizone® soothe inflammation and itching.
  • Immunosuppressants: If the skin-rash is from eczema or an immune system response, medicines can reduce the reaction. Calming it can minimize inflammation (irritation).
  • Oatmeal baths: Soaking in a warm bath with colloidal oatmeal can relieve dry, itchy skin rashes. Look for colloidal oatmeal bath products, such as Aveeno®, at your local drugstore.
  • Steroids: If symptoms persist, your healthcare provider may prescribe a topical steroid cream or an oral steroid like prednisone. Steroids ease inflammation and itchiness.
  • Topical immunomodulators: These medications change (modulate) your body’s immune system response to allergens. Prescription medications include tacrolimus ointment (Protopic®) and pimecrolimus skin cream (Elidel®).

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