Call today: (866) 405-9438

Rashes 

Introduction
Rashes are a common skin condition that everyone experiences at one time or another.  There are numerous causes of rashes, ranging from allergic reactions, infections, and medical conditions to insect stings.  Some types of rashes can be treated at home with over-the-counter or home remedies.  A doctor should evaluate severe rashes or those that  get worse instead of better.

Back to Top

Anatomy
Your skin covers your body and protects it from the environment.  The outermost layer of skin is called the epidermis.

Back to Top

Causes
Rashes can occur for many different reasons and there are different types of rashes.  Some common causes of rashes include:

• Allergens or irritants that directly contact the skin cause contact dermatitis.  Examples of allergens include poison ivy and latex.  Examples of irritants include toxic chemicals.
• Bacterial skin infections, such as Staph infections
• Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a hereditary condition
• Fungal infections, such as athlete's foot
• Impetigo is a bacterial infection that is common in children
• Insect stings
• Medical conditions, such as lupus
• Medication allergies
• Psoriasis is a hereditary condition
• Viral rashes are caused by viral infections, such as shingles and chicken pox

Back to Top

Symptoms
Symptoms of rashes differ depending on the cause.  Some rashes are widespread, while others are in just one area of the body.  Rashes can appear as reddened skin, red raised bumps, blisters, or scales. Rashes can itch and  cause swelling.  Rashes can make the skin appear dry, leathery, or crusty.

Back to Top

Diagnosis
A doctor can diagnose a rash by  examining your skin.  Blood tests, allergy testing, skin cultures, or a biopsy may be used to help determine the cause of your rash.

Back to Top

Treatment

The treatment for a rash depends on its cause and severity.  Common treatments include over-the-counter or prescription medications, lotions, or powders.

Back to Top

Prevention

You can prevent skin rashes by avoiding the substances that cause them.  Practice good hand washing.  Keep your skin clean and dry.  If you suspect that you have allergies, an allergist can perform skin testing to identify the substances to which you are allergic.

Back to Top

Complications
A secondary infection is a complication that can result from open areas in the skin caused by itching.  Signs of infection include red streaks, increasing redness, swelling, pain, or fever.  Call your doctor if you suspect that you have a skin infection.

Back to Top

 

Copyright ©  - iHealthSpot, Inc. - www.iHealthSpot.com

This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.