Itchy rashes on the back can be very discomforting. They can be caused by different medical conditions such as allergies, viral infections, etc.
Skin rash does not refer to any particular disease or disorder. It is nothing but the inflammation of the skin. It’s an outbreak of bumps on the body that alters the texture and color of the affected area. Itchy rashes can be localized to a particular area or can be spread all across the body. The rash may be red and may even have a stinging sensation, making it difficult to carry out regular activities in peace. Occurrence of itchy rashes on the back is a symptom common to many health conditions. Some of the causes are as follows:
Heat Rash (Prickly Heat)
Heat rash is a type of skin irritation conduced by overheating of the body. Excessive sweating due to humid and hot weather causes the sweat ducts to get blocked. This trapped sweat causes heat rash or prickly heat. This kind of rash is more commonly seen in babies. People living in extremely hot and humid places and those wearing tight clothes that hinder perspiration, are also seen to be affected by heat rash. Appearing like red pimples or blisters, these rashes first occur on the neck and upper chest and then affect the back.
The itchy rash can be treated by providing less humid or cooler temperature. The affected area should also be kept dry by dusting some powder on the back and keeping it cool. Taking cool showers or sitting in air conditioned rooms will help get rid of the heat rash. Drink lots of water and try to stay indoors to avoid further irritation of the skin. For babies, make sure their bodies remain cool. Avoid any kind of ointments as they only worsen the rash.
This is a viral infection that is commonly known by the name ‘kissing disease’. This infection is often spread through salivary contact. The symptoms of this infection are headache, sore throat, drowsiness, fever, itchy rash on the back, muscle aches and loss of appetite. The rash usually develops if one is taking ampicillin or amoxicillin to treat sore throat.
If you have rash in the form of tiny red spots, it is important to call your health care provider because it may be an indication of low platelet count.
Dermatitis refers to inflammation of the skin. The skin get enveloped by red itchy rash. This rash can be caused due to brushing past some substances (like poison ivy, oak) that trigger allergic reaction. Rash can also occur as a result of poor circulation, wherein the leg veins fail to return blood to the heart effectively. This conduces to fluid retention and eruption of rash on the body.
The treatment for itchy rash caused due to dermatitis would begin with eliminating the source of allergy. Corticosteroid creams can be applied to lessen the irritation and reduce itchiness. Sometimes antibiotics are also prescribed to reduce itching.
Measles is a viral infection spread by inhalation of droplets sneezed or coughed out by the infected patient. Flat, discolored, red, itchy inflamed portions of the skin appear 4-5 days after inhalation of the virus. The rash usually starts from the head and then spreads across the body. Small, red spots with white centers are also seen inside the mouth. The rash may or may not itch.
One can alleviate the itching by wearing loose clothes to reduce as much friction as possible. Anti-itch products can also be used. An oatmeal bath will also soothe the itching.
Chickenpox is a condition caused by a virus (varicella zoster virus). It starts off with pink rashes all over the body. However, they turn into itchy, fluid-filled blisters after about 12 hours. The rashes are not just confined to the back, but in most cases occur all over the body. Some people are fortunate enough to have only some parts affected.
Antibiotics are generally prescribed only if the symptoms are very severe. For the others natural remedies are suggested for soothing irritable skin. Oatmeal baths are given to those who don’t have gluten allergy. Giving lukewarm water bath, application of calamine lotion, etc. are also helpful in soothing the itchiness.
Ichthyosis vulgaris (Fish Skin Disease)
This skin disorder is passed through the family genes and conduces to dry and scaly skin. The symptoms of this condition are drying of skin, possible skin thickening, scaly skin and mild itchy rashes on the back. Besides being congenital, it can be acquired as well, which is very dangerous. The scales or rashes appear during childhood and mostly disappear during teenage and adult years. However, they return in old age.
As of today, there is no treatment available. One can alleviate the condition using moisturizers, ointments and creams (to be applied after a shower).
If you do not know what exactly has triggered the itchy rash on your back, do not try out any remedies. It is important you consult your dermatologist. Skin rash is a symptom common to various medical conditions, thus, no general remedy can be given. Only the dermatologist can identify the condition causing the rash.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.