Itchy rash is among the most common skin conditions. It can be a symptom of some disease, disorder, allergic reaction or viral, bacterial or fungal infection. It can be localized or may spread to different parts of the body. You may experience it either in the form of scaly patches or red, itchy patches. In most of the cases, both scaly patches and inflamed, itchy rashes are harmless. Still, self-diagnosis is never advisable as there can be some serious dermatological disorder behind the outbreak of itchy rash.
Causes of Itchy Rash
It might be difficult to believe, but anxiety is one of the possible causes of itchy rash. Anxiety may cause release of certain hormones which are responsible for accelerated heartbeat, elevated blood pressure, twitching, itchy skin, etc. Anxiety may even worsen the condition if you already have rashes. Some of the conditions which may be aggravated by anxiety are psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis and atopic dermatitis.
Atopic dermatitis is a type of eczema that is identified by intense itching, inflammation and scaling on the surface of skin. Chronic atopic dermatitis involves lichenification. This is the thickening of the skin with prominence of the skin lines, to make a crisscross pattern. This results due to prolonged rubbing and scratching. Atopic dermatitis mostly affects young children on the face and on the sides of the arms and legs. Adolescents and adults, when affected, develop skin rashes on the sides of the neck and on the insides of the elbow and knee. It is believed that some sort of immune system complication leads to atopic dermatitis but the exact reason is still not known.
The inflammation or formation of itchy rash on the skin caused by direct contact with an irritating or allergy-causing substance is called contact dermatitis. Some of the common examples of such substances are acids, cosmetics, adhesives, fabrics, clothing, medications and materials like soap and detergents. Contact dermatitis occurs when your body becomes over sensitive to a particular substance. Usually, it occurs within 24-48 hours of contact with the allergen but there can be some cases where it develops over time. For example, long term usage of a toilet soap may lead to the formation of itchy rash.
Most commonly, microbial infections occur due to fungal infection. Among causative fungi, ringworm is the culprit in a large number of cases. You can identify a fungal infection on your chest. The rashes are itchy and are circular or oval in shape. If you find similar itchy rash, visit a dermatologist as soon as possible, as it keeps on getting worse with time.
Pityriasis rosea is a skin disorder that is similar to psoriasis. It is characterized by the formation of large, oval-shaped, itchy, inflamed rash on chest and other parts of the body. There is no medical treatment available for it till now, but there is no reason for concern, as pityriasis rosea is harmless in nature and usually disappears within a couple of weeks.
Vaccines contain inactive cultures of micro-organisms that have the potential to cause disease. In case your body is allergic to the substances present in the vaccine, you may develop itchy, inflamed rash.
Heat or Sweat Rash
These rashes are very common among runners. It is caused due to the increased heat during exercise or any physical activity. If the sweat glands are blocked due to some reason, you may observe inflamed and itchy rashes. Women may observe rashes under their breast after workouts.
Natural Treatments for Itchy Rash
Many essential oils have anti-inflammatory properties and chamomile oil is one of the most commonly used. It is basically a nerve soother. However, it has been observed that it gives excellent results when used topically to treat red itchy rash on skin.
You can rub ice cubes gently on the skin rash to get instant relief. It will reduce itching and inflammation. Do it 3-4 times a day till you notice recovery.
Aloe vera has antibiotic, anti fungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. To add to these, it causes a soothing effect on skin rash. Apply the pulp of aloe vera on the red itchy rash. Leave it on for about 10-15 minutes and then rinse it off. Do it 2-3 times a day for effective cure.
St. John's Wort
A herb called 'St. John's Wort' is known for treating anxiety and depression. If you feel that anxiety is the reason behind your itchy rash, then opt for this herb. It will be best if you consult a herbalist before taking this herb.
Baking soda will relieve the itching and redness from the skin rash to a great extent. There are two effective ways of using it. Take a tablespoon of baking soda and add a few drops of water to make a paste. Apply this paste on the itchy rash. Allow it to stay for about 5-10 minutes and then wash it off with cold water. Do it twice a day for a week to get relief. Secondly, add 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda to your bathing water. Take a bath with this mixture once a day, till you observe the skin rash disappear.
Oatmeal is rich in anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties. So, you can just put a handful of colloidal oatmeal in your bathing water and soak for 15 minutes. This will reduce irritation and will get you rid of rashes. Try this for a week for better results.
With the help of home remedies mentioned above, you will get relief from the skin rash. However, it will be a sensible idea to consult a medical professional so that the exact underlying factor can be known and prevented in future.