My hands and arms broke out like in a rash on my arms, and my hands are really cracked. The rash is little red bumps in a clump but it has spread and it itches also.

(Last Updated: May 27, 2006)


What are the different types of skin rashes?

Have you ever felt your skin itching intensely or breaking out into tiny bumps? If so, then you have experienced a skin rash, which is one of the most common skin problems, suffered by most people at some time or the other. The severity of the skin rash may vary; for some, it may be no more than a minor irritant, but others it could be a major problem, which leads to a great deal of pain and discomfort. To some, the skin rash may be nothing more than a source of embarrassment, but to others, it may be a lot more serious.

There are several different types of skin rashes that can affect your skin. Some of these rashes occur due to environmental factors, like the weather. Exposure to any allergens, which could include food allergies, could also cause your skin to break out into a rash. At times, a skin rash could also occur because of underlying conditions, such as Chicken Pox, Eczema, Ring Worm, Psoriasis, Rosacea, Fifth's disease, Shingles, Measles and Scarlet Fever, to name a few.

The types of skin rashes that are seen may vary in appearance. In some cases, the rash may appear in the form of small bumps all over the skin. At times, you may notice a rash in the form of a cluster of itchy sores or blisters and in some instances, the rash may just appear in the form of raised skin, which is red, sore and itchy.

There are many ways in which the discomfort caused by the skin rash can be alleviated. In some cases, antibiotics may be required in the treatment for skin rash, especially if the cause is an underlying condition. However, in case of a prickly heat rash or some of the other types, you could gain relief by using simple home remedies for skin rashes and itching. In order to treat the skin rash, it is best to identify its cause.

What are the causes of rashes on skin?

There are a variety of factors that could cause you to break out into a skin rash. The various causes of rashes on skin could include:

Heat

A heat rash is one of the most common rashes that can affect people. As the name suggest this rash is caused by exposure to hot and humid weather. Also known as Miliaria, heat rash occurs when the flow of sweat is blocked for any reason. Therefore, you could also suffer from a heat rash of you wear too many layers of clothing or tightfitting clothes.

Allergies

Exposure to any allergen could cause your skin to break out into an enormous rash. Allergy skin rashes are a common reaction to plants, laundry detergents, fabrics, animal fur, metal, perfumes, cosmetics, dishwashing liquids and so on. At times, you may also see a skin rash after eating food items especially eggs, fish, milk and peanuts.

Infections

It is very common to suffer from a skin rash, in case of a fungal, viral and bacterial infection. Common infections that are known to cause a skin rash include ringworm, impetigo, Lyme's disease, scarlet fever, shingles, rubella and measles.

Use of certain medication

A drug rash could be seen as a side effect of a medicine you are taking. There are many medicines that have been known to cause a skin rash, but the most common ones include antibiotics, diuretics and anti-seizure medicines.

Certain immune system disorders

There are certain disorders that cause the body's immune system to erroneously attack the healthy areas of the body, like the skin, which could lead to a rash. Some of the disorders that can lead to a skin rash include scleroderma, dermatomyositis and lupus erythematosus.

The factors that are mentioned above are only some of the common causes of skin rashes.

What are the symptoms of skin rash?

The symptoms of skin rash may vary, based on the type of rash as well as its causes. For example, a rash caused by ringworm looks completely different from a measles or chicken pox rash. Moreover, while bumps may appear as a part of the skin rash, the types of bumps may be different.

In case of pityriasis rosacea the rash that appears is fine, scaly and very itchy, covering a small patch of skin, mainly around the chest, abdomen and back. After the while, the rash spreads in patches to other parts of the body, which can include the limbs. This rash could last for anywhere between six weeks and a few months.

Symptoms of a drug rash begin to appear within a couple of weeks, after taking the medication. In the beginning, the spots are discrete and red in color, but they can cover a large area of the body. Once the problem-causing medication is discontinued, the rash usually disappears within a few weeks.

Heat rashes usually appear as clusters of tiny red bumps, which are accompanied by a stinging or pricking sensation. In some cases, the bumps could be clear and fluid-filled, producing no other symptoms.

Psoriasis rashes usually take on the form of thick, silvery and scaly patches, which cause a lot of burning and itchiness.

Ringworm symptoms are a bit different from other skin rashes. In case you do have a ringworm infection, you are more likely to see a circular red rash that is raised, itchy and scaly.

What is the treatment for skin rash?

In many instances, people do not really need to undergo any treatment for skin rash, as the problem can get resolved on its own. However, it has been seen that most of us choose to undergo treatment for skin rash on the face and neck, mainly because they are visible and look unsightly.

Itchy skin rash treatment may vary, based on the underlying cause. If the rash is the result of an allergy, infection or immune system disorders, your doctor may need to prescribe some antibiotics, antibacterial or antifungal medication. However, in many other cases, you could use some simple home remedies for skin rashes for relief. Given below are some of the most commonly recommended home remedies for skin rashes:

  • Oatmeal baths: Add 2 cups of plain and uncooked oatmeal, to half a bathtub of warm water. Sit in this water for at least 20 minutes, before rinsing your skin with plain water.
  • Baking soda: Make a thick paste of baking soda and water and apply it on to the areas affected by the rash. Leave the paste on till it hardens and then rinse it off with plain, lukewarm water.
  • Olive oil: This remedy relieves the skin and helps get rid of the rash at a faster pace. Apply some lukewarm olive oil directly on to the affected area and leave it on for a while. The oil will penetrate through the skin, allowing it to heal faster.
  • Aloe Vera: Skin conditions or all kinds, including rashes can be treated with the help of Aloe Vera gel. This remedy nourishes the skin and reduces the risks of further viral or bacterial infections. Allergy rashes can also be treated with Aloe Vera gel.
  • Cornstarch: Apart from baking soda and oatmeal, this ingredient is regarded as an excellent natural remedy for heat rash. It keeps the skin dry, by absorbing all the extra sweat and moisture, reducing the risks of a rash.

Cucumbers, chamomile tea, Vitamin C, calamine lotion, talcum powder, ice and herbal poultices are also excellent, when it comes to treating a rash naturally. In case of a heat rash or an allergy rash, it is also important to dress in the right manner.

The itchy skin rash remedies mentioned above are quite safe if used correctly, but it is best to consult a doctor before trying any of them, especially if you are suffering from any health problem. The treatment for skin rashes in children may be different as compared to adults, as some of the medication may be too strong for them. In fact, in order to avoid any side effects, many parents choose to use natural cures for skin rashes, which they think are safer. However, it is important to ensure that all instances of skin rash in babies, toddlers and children are checked, treated and monitored by a doctor.

answered by A S

It sounds like you have hives allergy or urticaria which is an allergic reaction in the skin. Try our home remedies, if skin irritation, itching and rash does not subside, please consult a dermatologist.

answered by P P


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