Skin rash: causes, symptoms, and treatments

A rash by definition refers to a generally transient appearance of lesions on the skin, with or without relief, sometimes in the form of blisters. It can be redness, patches, or pimples.

From the English rash, a short-lived rash can occur during an infectious or parasitic disease or during drug intoxication. The causes are numerous, so it is necessary to make a precise diagnosis to propose an appropriate treatment.

What is skin rash?

Rash refers to the sudden and transient appearance of pimples or red patches. It can happen that an intolerance to a drug is the cause of the skin rash. The rash often appears during the manifestation of the first symptoms of an illness and is sometimes accompanied by an increase in temperature, nausea, diarrhea, and joint pain. A rash can last from a few hours to a week depending on the cause.

Causes of skin rash

Rashes can be related to several factors:

  • a skin problem
  • a more extensive condition of the organism;
  • side effects of treatment
  • symptoms of mild or severe illnesses

When your skin comes into contact with an irritative substance or you tolerate it poorly, it can react with redness or pimples on the affected area, these are called “contact dermatitis”.

This sometimes happens with latex, jellyfish, nettles, and household products. In pediatrics, an example of a contact-related rash is “diaper rash of the infant”: contact of the baby’s buttocks with urine, stool or wet diapers can cause redness.

Allergic causes

A rash can result from an allergic reaction to:

  • a food (crustaceans, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts …);
  • a cosmetic product;
  • a medicine (it may also be an adverse reaction);
  • an insect bite;
  • an animal.

An insect bite, food intake, or medication can cause an acute allergic reaction called angioedema or anaphylactic shock. This is a vital emergency.

Infectious causes

Chickenpox, along with measles and rubella, is among those mild childhood diseases where the virus causes rashes. Other viruses can cause rashes: herpes and shingles are among them. We also note:

  • bacterial infections such as scarlet fever or typhus
  • AIDS, caused by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus);
  • Covid-19 infection can cause hives or frostbite-like rashes. It is, however, an uncommon symptom of the disease;
  • chronic inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis or eczema;
  • certain heavy treatments such as chemotherapy;
  • stress;
  • exposure to the sun or cold;
  • Heat, especially during sports, can also cause minor eruptions.

How to cure the “Disease”?

Depending on the cause, rashes can come in very different forms. This phenomenon can spread to the whole body or remain isolated. The spread of lesions can be rapid or very slow. It is therefore essential to have them examined in order to obtain appropriate treatment.

So how your rash can be treated depends entirely on the type of disease you’re experiencing. It can be an anti-inflammatory anti-allergic or anti-infective treatment. Treatments can be local and come in the form of creams, ointments, lotions, or powders. They can be oral in tablet form, especially for certain allergic or infectious causes.

  • In case of drug allergy, the responsible drug will be stopped;
  • Antihistamines or corticosteroid-based creams to relieve itching will be used in case of mild reactions;
  • Sometimes intravenous medication and hospitalization will be considered for severe reactions;
  • In case of skin allergy, do not apply cream or ointment in self-medication without the favorable opinion of a doctor. You don’t know how your skin will react. Avoid contact with the allergen. You can use a natural treatment to soothe your pain and itching by placing a compress soaked in cold water on your skin lesions.

Image Credit: Image by Freepik

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