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Common Skin Rashes

Common Skin Rashes

Everyone has to deal with skin rash at some point of time. Some skin rashes are mild and may be ignored, while some may stem from underlying medical conditions.
Rita Putatunda
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
The term "rash" refers to red eruptions forming on the skin. In fact, most people use this term to describe many kinds of skin conditions. Even though skin rashes are usually not dangerous, it is never a good idea to self-medicate yourself. If you get a rash, you need to get it evaluated by a medical professional.
Itchy and Scaly Types of Skin Rashes
Dyshidrotic Eczema
This is a common skin rash which is neither contagious nor infectious. It occurs in the hands and/or feet. Usually people who sweat profusely in these areas get this type of eczema. There is a slight amount of scaling and sometimes even cracking in the affected area. In severe cases, small, watery blisters erupt on the fingers, palms, toes and soles, which appear and disappear. There could be itching, pain and even secondary infections. If the skin around the nails is affected, the nails can get disfigured. When this condition occurs in the feet, it is often mistaken for a fungal infection. The condition can become worse if it is treated as a fungus.
Atopic Dermatitis
This is one of the most common types of eczema. The term "dermatitis" refers to skin inflammation, while "atopic" denotes hereditary diseases. This problem usually starts in childhood, manifesting as scaly patches on the legs, arms, torso, and the scalp, along with chapping in the cheeks. Atopic Dermatitis may also spread to the inner parts of the elbows and knees. When adults get it, it affects the area around the eyelids, hands, genitals, and sometimes even all over the body. When this condition occurs, the skin gets inflamed and very itchy which usually results in swelling, redness, and cracking. This condition appears and disappears for no apparent reason. It often is at its worst during the winter months, when the air is dry and cold.
Contact Dermatitis
This is a rash that is caused by the skin coming in contact with some substance which it is allergic to, such as costume jewelry that contains nickel and poison ivy. Only that part of the skin that comes in contact with the substance is affected in Contact Dermatitis.
There are a number of other scaly rashes, such as psoriasis, which is a hereditary condition that mainly affects the elbows and the knees, and sometimes even other parts of the body, and Pityriasis Rosea, which causes scaly patches on the back and the chest and usually subsides in a month or so. Xerosis, which causes extreme dryness, cracking, roughness and scaly skin, manifests itself during the dry, cold winter months.
Infectious Skin Rashes
Bacterial Skin Rash: Impetigo is the most common type of bacterial infection that affects the skin. It is caused by the streptococcus or the staphylococcus bacteria and usually occurs in children. Its symptoms include localized redness developing into blisters that gradually turn into crusts which erode after a while.
Fungal Skin Rash: Although fungal infections are quite common, they do not occur as often as eczema rashes. One of the most common errors made by people is to mistake scaly rashes for a fungal infection. For instance, a person with scaly spots on the torso, legs, or arm is far more likely to have some type of eczema rather than "ringworm", which is the common term for fungus.
Viral Rash: While viral infections associated with the skin, such as shingles or herpes, usually occur in a localized part of the body, viral rashes can occur all over the body. People who get these rashes may also be affected by the other symptoms of a viral infection like sneezing, coughing, nausea or an upset stomach. This kind of a rash usually lasts for a few days and subsides on its own.
Some Other Rashes
Allergic Drug Rash: Usually, an allergic drug rash manifests itself within a couple of weeks of using a new drug, especially if it has never been taken before. The usual treatment is to stop the drug immediately to see if the rash subsides.
Rosacea: This is a chronic condition that affects the face and usually occurs in middle-aged people. Its symptoms are dilation in the superficial blood vessels which results in redness of the skin, sometimes accompanied by red pimples or pimples filled with pus. At times rhinophyma, or an overgrowth on the nose due to the enlargement of the sebaceous glands, can also occur. Rosacea can also affect the eyes manifesting itself as blepharitis, or an inflammation of the eyelids resulting in swelling and redness, accompanied by the formation of dried crusts, or conjunctivitis. It is not understood yet what causes Rosacea. The condition may worsen with time, and usually there is no remission.
Hives: Also known as Urticaria, is characterized by an itchy eruption of the skin, with wheals appearing which have pale interiors and red margins. These are not known to be caused due to an allergy, run their course, and subside by themselves.
So those were some of the common rashes affecting many people. If you ever experience any of the above rashes, or any other kind of skin rash, do not while time away; consult your doctor at the earliest. Skin rashes, if not treated in time, can prove to be disfiguring too, in some cases. It is hence best to treat them without delay.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.