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A rash is an area of irritated or swollen skin. Many rashes are itchy, red, painful, and irritated. Some rashes can also lead to blisters or patches of raw skin. Rashes are a symptom of many different medical problems. Other causes include irritating substances and allergies. Certain genes can make people more likely to get rashes.

Contact dermatitis is a common type of rash. It causes redness, itching, and sometimes small bumps. You get the rash where you have touched an irritant, such as a chemical, or something you are allergic to, like poison ivy.

Some rashes develop right away. Others form over several days. Although most rashes clear up fairly quickly, others are long-lasting and need long-term treatment.

Because rashes can be caused by many different things, it's important to figure out what kind you have before you treat it. If it is a bad rash, if it does not go away, or if you have other symptoms, you should see your health care provider. Treatments may include moisturizers, lotions, baths, cortisone creams that relieve swelling, and antihistamines, which relieve itching.

Symptoms of Rashes

The following features are indicative of Rashes:
  • itching
  • raised bumps
  • thickened, dry or scaly skin
  • raw or sensitive skin from scratching
  • red patches on skin
  • small scaling spots
  • cracked skin
  • itching
  • burning
  • soreness
  • thickened nails
  • pitted or ridged nails
  • swollen joints
  • stiff joints
  • genital sores in males
  • severe dandruff

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Common Causes of Rashes

The following are the most common causes of Rashes:
  • dry or irritable skin
  • gene variations
  • bacterial infection
  • environmental factors
  • family history
  • alcohol use
  • sun burn
  • vitamin D deficiency
  • stress
  • skin injury
  • dry skin

Other Causes of Rashes

The following are the less common causes of Rashes:
  • AIDS
  • autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • chemotherapy
  • smoking

Risk Factors for Rashes

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Rashes:
  • family history of allergies
  • family history of hay fever
  • family history of asthma
  • living in urban areas
  • African-American population
  • having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • viral and bacterial infections
  • stress
  • obesity
  • smoking

Prevention of Rashes

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Rashes. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid fabrics, soaps and lotions that irritates skin
  • avoid stress
  • avoid pollen, food and animals that patient is allergic to

Occurrence of Rashes

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Rashes cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Rashes can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Rashes can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Rashes

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Rashes:
  • Physical examination: To identify the severity of the rash
  • Patch tests: To diagnose the allergic contact dermatitis
  • Skin biopsy: To determine the exact type of psoriasis and to rule out other disorders

Doctor for Diagnosis of Rashes

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Rashes:
  • Dermatologist

Complications of Rashes if untreated

Yes, Rashes causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Rashes is left untreated:
  • asthma
  • hay fever
  • skin infections
  • eye problems
  • irritant hand dermatitis
  • allergic contact dermatitis
  • sleep problems
  • attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • hypertension
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • metabolic syndrome
  • celiac disease
  • emotional problems

Procedures for Treatment of Rashes

The following procedures are used to treat Rashes:
  • UVB phototherapy: To improve mild to moderate psoriasis symptoms
  • Narrow band UVB phototherapy: To improve mild to moderate psoriasis symptoms
  • Goeckerman therapy: To improve mild to moderate psoriasis symptoms
  • Psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA) therapy: To treat more-severe cases of psoriasis
  • Excimer laser therapy: To improve mild to moderate psoriasis symptoms

Self-care for Rashes

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Rashes:
  • Take daily bath: Helps remove scales and calm inflamed skin
  • Keep skin moisturized: Helps preventing water from evaporating from skin
  • Expose skin to small amounts of sunlight: Helps improving psoriasis
  • Avoid drinking alcohol: Helps increasing the effectiveness of some psoriasis treatments

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Rashes

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Rashes:
  • Apply Aloe extract cream: Helps reducing redness, scaling, itching and inflammation
  • Intake of Fish oil supplements: Helps reducing inflammation associated with psoriasis
  • Topical application of Oregon grape: Helps reducing inflammation and ease psoriasis symptoms

Patient Support for Treatment of Rashes

The following actions may help Rashes patients:
  • Education: Helps recognizing, acknowledging and supporting efforts in dealing with the disease
  • Support groups: Provides sharing experience and struggles and meeting people who face similar challenges

Time for Treatment of Rashes

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Rashes to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 3 months

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 4/29/2019.
This page provides information for Rashes.

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