Skin Rashes & Treatments
What Are Skin Rashes?
If you’ve had a skin rash once or twice in your lifetime, you’re certainly not in the minority. Skin rashes are extremely common and can be brought on by many different factors from environmental triggers to medical conditions.
Rashes typically manifest as red patches, bumps, raised areas, or even blisters, and can be itchy or have a burning sensation.
What Causes Skin Rashes?
Rashes can be caused by a number of different factors, including:
- Allergic reactions to an insect bite or type of food
- Sun or heat exposure
- Viral infections
- A reaction to a medication
- A genetic predisposition to rashes
Rashes are typically not contagious, are usually harmless, and can be treated effectively after visiting your dermatologist. However, they can be indicators of a more serious condition, such as a bacterial infection or a type of Dermatitis, and should be dealt with right away.
Types of Skin Rashes and Symptoms
There are several types of rashes, which require different treatment approaches depending on the severity of the rash.
Atopic Dermatitis (AD)
AD, a type of eczema, is extremely common and begins with itchy skin that forms a rash. In infants and children, it typically affects the mouth, scalp, and face, and often bubbles up and weeps fluid, especially when irritated by scratching. It does not always go away with age. Many adults suffer from AD, which often manifests on the hands or eyes as dry, scaly, or patchy areas. Common symptoms include itching, and raw, bleeding, or oozing skin.
Contact Dermatitis is a type of eczema. Despite its name, it is not contagious; rather, it is caused by an irritant that comes in contact with your skin, triggering an itchy, rashy reaction. While some causes of Contact Dermatitis can be simple to identify and mitigate, such as using a different laundry detergent, it can be very difficult for people to know what they are coming in contact with that is irritating their skin. We help patients understand what could be causing it and provide treatments to alleviate the symptoms in the meantime.
Typically found on the scalp, Seborrheic Dermatitis causes itching, flaky skin, redness, and can make the skin appear greasy. Cradle cap, which affects infants, and dandruff are both types of Seborrheic Dermatitis. It is thought to be caused by a yeast or fungal infection in the oil layer of the skin, or an immune system response. It can be uncomfortable and difficult to manage, but treatments are effective at minimizing or eliminating symptoms.
Unlike Contact Dermatitis, allergic rashes form when the body has an allergic response to an ingested or applied element, such as food, poison ivy, or an insect sting or bite. This type of rash typically manifests as hives, which are raised areas around the skin that can be itchy.
Typically caused by sun exposure, heat rashes form when the sweat ducts in the skin become clogged, which interferes with normal perspiration. Red, itchy bumps can form as a result. Heat rashes are also common in infants.
Viral or Bacterial Infections, or Systemic Diseases
Skin conditions caused by viruses, like eczema and psoriasis, typically cause red, raised, itchy rashes. Other diseases, such as chicken pox and shingles, also cause rashes. In these cases, the way the rash looks and behaves is often how your dermatologist is able to identify what’s causing it.
Skin Rash Treatment
At Optima Dermatology, we’re experienced with all types of rashes and will provide the most appropriate type of treatment based on your specific symptoms. Most often, treatments can be done at home using a topical cream or medicine. Sometimes, more serious rashes require alternate treatments, such as light therapy.