Types and Causes of Skin Rashes
Skin rashes are a very common ailment that nearly everyone will experience at some point in lives. Our skin acts as a defense against harmful substances, among other things. With the duties skin must perform, it really is no wonder that problems can occur.
Types of skin rashes include hives and dermatitis. Hives are red, inflamed, bumpy, or raised, and usually itchy rashes that break out suddenly — hence the term to ‘break out into hives.’ Dermatitis signifies a rash that may also be itchy, red, and bumpy, but does not always occur immediately after exposure to the substance causing the rash. Instead, the response may be delayed.
Rashes vary in appearance. Some are a reddening of the skin, similar to a burn. Others involve inflammation and blistering. Many rashes cause itchiness, but not all. Shingles, which is caused by the herpes zoster virus, may cause moderate to severe pain along with itchy skin rashes.
Causes of skin rashes include allergic reactions, bacterial infections, fungal infections, and viral infections. Contact with chemicals, plants, or metals can cause contact dermatitis. Inhaling or consuming allergens may also cause skin reactions. Eggs and nuts are two foods that commonly cause skin rashes in people allergic to those foods. The rash can come on quickly after exposure, or appear later. Food allergies and airborne allergies are a common cause of skin rashes in children. Treatments for these rashes involve antihistamines or corticosteroids.
Ringworm is a type of fungus that causes a very itchy rash. Because of the name, many people mistakenly believe this is a parasitic infection, but it is a fungal infection. A ringworm rash starts as a dry, itchy area on the skin. Eventually it grows and develops a red ring. Small pustules may appear within the ring. This rash is highly contagious and must be treated with anti-fungal ointment. Pictures of skin rashes can help you determine the kind of rash you have, but if you have had ringworm once, you will be likely to recognize it a second time.
Like ringworm, scabies is a contagious rash. Unlike ringworm, it is caused by parasites — mites that tunnel beneath the skin. Scabies is treated with a special cream available by prescription.
Psoriasis is a condition that causes a rash but it is still uncertain what exactly causes this condition. The typical psoriasis rash is scaly and itchy, but other types of rashes can occur. Treatment includes lotions, injections, and special light therapies.