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Lower Leg Rash

Lower Leg Rash
A lower leg rash could be caused due to a wide range of reasons. The following HealthHearty write-up provides information on some of the common causes of skin rashes that may appear on the lower leg.
Rutuja Jathar
Last Updated: Jan 13, 2018
The term 'skin rash' refers to skin eruptions that are characterized by a change in the color and texture of the skin. A lower leg rash may be found on the lower part of either one or both the legs. While most leg rashes are minor epidermal infections that can be treated locally, some could be serious, and an indicator of a skin condition. Typically, leg rashes might be accompanied by symptoms such as itching and a burning sensation on the affected part of the leg. The affected person may also experience symptoms such as swelling of the area and scaling of the skin.
Rashes could even be indicative of an allergic reaction. Skin allergies may be caused due to contact with an allergen. There are numerous things that one could be allergic to, from plants like poison ivy, to the cheap elastic used in socks. So, it might be difficult to judge the exact cause behind the itchy rash on your legs, by mere observation.
Causes of Lower Leg Rash
Most often, it is observed that dermatitis and its various types are the common culprits behind a skin rash. However, there are certain other factors that might be behind the development of such rashes. The symptoms of a rash will correspond to the cause behind the same. The rash might be characterized by spots that might be red or brown in color. There might be swelling, itching, and the affected area could be scaly.
Dermatitis refers to inflammation of the skin. Some of the types include atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, neurodermatitis, gravitational dermatitis, etc.. Dermatitis could occur when the skin comes in contact with irritants. Various types of dermatitis cause itching of the affected area on the lower leg. Extreme irritation and continuous scratching then leads to breaking of the affected skin.
Skin Disorders
Skin disorders like psoriasis, edema, non-venous leg ulcers, lichen simplex, pretibial myxoedema, necrobiosis lipoidica, panniculitis, hives (cholinergic urticaria), tinea corporis, prurigo nodularis, and folliculitis can cause a skin rash. Skin disorders like eczema, venous eczema (gravitational dermatitis), may also be responsible for a lower leg rash. It is very important to determine the exact reason behind the rash, so that proper medication can be followed.
Skin Allergies
Contact with environmental allergens can also cause leg rashes. Insect bites, contact with irritants like poison ivy, poison oak, etc., could lead to rashes. Exposure to sun could also cause the skin to get inflamed. Minor rashes could heal with topical application of creams. Golfer's vasculitis is a condition wherein a rash could appear due to performing excessive exercise in hot weather.
Other Causes
There are several other causes that may lead to a rash on lower leg. They may seem to have no direct bearing with the rash, but somewhere are responsible for the onslaught. These reasons may include:
  • Diabetes, thyroid gland disease (especially hypothyroidism), autoimmune diseases, etc.
  • Poor blood circulation could also be the reason behind the development of red blemishes just under the skin that may or may not be raised. They aren't normally itchy and may recur every few days.
Treatment Options
Treatment for a skin rash definitely depends on the exact cause and origin of the rash. It is very important to follow certain measures to speed up the healing process. Conditions like golfer's vasculitis may resolve when the person takes proper rest (say for 8 to 10 hours), while the rash caused due to skin allergies may also disappear after proper treatment measures are followed. Timely treatment for dry skin, avoiding prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, refraining from the use of skin care products that may contain substances that you are allergic to, and having adequate rest, etc., are some primary measures that one can take.
If the rash is persistent and seems to be worsening, the person must visit the doctor to have it examined. A dermatologist is of course the best judge to examine the condition and prescribe the required medication. In severe cases, a mere physical examination may not be enough, the doctor will require skin cultures and tissue samples for a diagnosis. The rash may resolve with the support of a few prescribed skin creams or medication, provided it is treated in time. So, make sure to visit a health care provider and get the cause evaluated.
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.