Majority of skin rashes on legs are nothing but inflammation of the skin. Itchy skin rashes are often annoying, discomforting and at times, even painful. A proper dermatological treatment is required to cure rashes that do not get cured on their own. A good understanding of the symptoms, types of rashes, along with their probable causes will prove to be of great help in their treatment as well as in their prevention. Let's start with the symptoms.
- Appearance of red little bumps on the skin
- Burning sensation on the affected area
- A small rise in the temperature of the affected skin
- The affected area becomes dry
Different Types of Skin Rashes
❖ Atopic Dermatitis: The common causes of atopic dermatitis are mutation in the filaggrin gene, some sort of defect in the skin cells and immune system, and microbiological infection. Atopic dermatitis is characterized by severe itching and acute flare-ups. In older children, it is found to occur on the feet and ankles while in adults, it is mostly seen behind the knees.
❖ Panniculitis: Panniculitis is a type of disease that involves inflammation of the fatty layer present under the skin. It can be caused by cold temperatures, injury to the skin, and exposure of the skin to certain substances such as corticosteroids, vitamin K and morphine.
❖ Discoid Eczema: The identifying features of discoid eczema are somewhat non-itchy, round, and oval plaques. It is caused by injury to the skin that occurs due to insect bites, thermal burns and surgical wounds. The discoid eczema type skin rash may also be triggered by Staphylococcus aureus infection. It appears as a single lesion in one leg but gradually spreads as multiple lesions to both the legs, and thereafter to the body, trunk and arms.
❖ Capillaritis: The inflammation of the superficial capillaries beneath the skin is known as capillaritis. This type of rash is caused by viral infection, skin hypersensitivity reaction, standing for long periods and skin's reaction to medicines containing salicylates. Capillaritis appears as non-blanching spots that are brownish in color.
❖ Varicose Eczema: People suffering from varicose veins commonly develop varicose eczema. Such rashes are identified as red, patchy and flaky skin, especially around the ankles. Varicose eczema is a kind of discoid inflammation in which the varicose veins of either or both the legs are affected. The best method of treatment is surgical removal of the defective veins.
❖ Contact Dermatitis: Rashes occurring due to over-exposure of the skin to bathing soaps, topical antibiotics and fragrances is known as contact dermatitis. It can also be triggered by some kind of allergy or by wearing tight socks for a long time. The identifying features are blisters that ooze out pus on itching.
❖ Gravitational Dermatitis: Gravitational dermatitis is a type of skin rash on legs that results due to valvular damage in leg veins, deep venous thrombosis and cellulitis. You will find formation of red blisters that ooze, crust and crack.
❖ Psoriasis: Presence of symmetrical, scaly, red-colored plaques indicate a type of skin rash called psoriasis. It is caused by a defect in the immune system. Under normal conditions, T-lymphocytes (a type of white blood cells) fight against foreign substances such as viruses or bacteria to help in the healing of the wound. However, if it is psoriasis, then the T-lymphocytes act on healthy skin cells as if to fight an infection. Factors that may trigger psoriasis are heavy consumption of alcohol, smoking, stress, and cold weather.
❖ Prurigo Nodularis: The skin rashes that include nodules up to 3 cm in diameter, which are extremely itchy and do not heal fast are known as prurigo nodularis. They mostly occur on the lower regions of the legs. The exact medical reason behind the occurrence of prurigo nodularis is unknown. However, majority of the patients suffering from atopic dermatitis, asthma or hay fever tend to develop such rashes on legs. It generally commences as an insect bite reaction or some other form of dermatitis. It is also associated with some diseases such as anemia, renal failure, HIV infection and gluten enteropathy.
❖ Lichen simplex: It is a skin condition which is commonly found on the neck, shoulder, ankle and lower leg, and can be a result of constant rubbing or scratching. It may be caused due to insect bites, stress or a nervous habit. They can be seen as a group of small itchy bumps. The skin may darken or get paler than the surrounding skin.
❖ Other Common Types
- Prurigo nodularis
- Tinea corporis
- Skin cancers
- Pretibial myxoedema
Home Remedies for Skin Rashes
- Apply olive oil to the skin rashes to get fast relief.
- Spread cod liver oil mixed with vitamin E supplements on the rashes.
- You can also apply aloe vera gel on the affected skin. It reduces itching to a great extent.
- Cover the affected area with baking powder.
- Keep the legs clean and dry. Use chamomile tea for cleaning the leg skin.
- Add 2-3 cups of uncooked oatmeal to the bathing water. Bathing with this water relieves irritation.