5 Common Skin Rashes Symptoms
Seborrheic dermatitis is a common rash that affects the head, including the scalp, and shows up as red, scaly patches. Contact dermatitis occurs when someone touches an object that provokes an immune response. The rash caused by poison ivy is a version of contact dermatitis, and some people also react in a similar way if they wear jewelry containing nickel. Diaper rash is another type of contact dermatitis.
Eczema is a common reaction of the skin to allergens; technically, it's a form of dermatitis. Eczema tends to run in families and sometimes co-occurs with asthma or hay fever. While no one knows its cause, it's often triggered by skin irritants, climate and stress. Symptoms of eczema include red, itchy skin and oozing blisters. Skin can also become tough and dry over time. Antibiotics and antihistamines are typically used to treat eczema, and patients should also be kept from scratching, if possible.
Shingles and herpes are two viral diseases notorious for causing painful rashes. These rashes typically confine themselves to one area of the body. A rash caused by shingles runs along the path of the nerve affected by the virus and occurs on one side of the body only. These rashes tend to be angry red rashes with weeping pustules.
Rashes Caused by Fungi or Parasites
Ringworm is a common fungal infection that produces a rash as one of its primary symptoms. The rash is easily recognizable because it takes the shape of a ring that grows larger as it spreads. One type of rash caused by parasites is swimmer's itch, which manifests as a series of red bumps that typically appear after the patient has been swimming in dirty water.
Heat rash typically manifests as a patch of small blisters. It occurs when you've been in excessive heat and is exacerbated by wearing tight, hot clothing and sweating. Rashes can also occur when parts of the body rub against each other, particularly when hot or sweaty; this type of rash, called intertrigo, is bright red and sometimes moist. Rashes are sometimes also caused by a reaction to a new medication. These take many forms and can't be identified by appearance, but taking note of when the rash began in relation to taking the drugs may help pinpoint the cause.
If you develop a skin rash that doesn't go away on its own, you need to identify it in order to find the right treatment. Rashes are essentially an inflammation of the skin, but they can have many causes, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Rashes also sometimes occur as a response to medication, other allergens or heat.
If you're unable to identify the cause of a skin rash, you may want to start by treating it with over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream or with antihistamines. If these don't work, or if the rash is accompanied by other symptoms, a visit to your doctor is in order to more accurately narrow down the cause of the rash and start appropriate treatment.