What is Skin Rash?
A skin rash is an abnormal change in skin colour. Skin rashes are caused by skin inflammation and arise from many causes.
Skin Rashes, also known as exanthemas or skin rashes, are obvious changes to the skin, both in terms of texture and in terms of external appearance, which can sometimes be associated with pain and other symptoms.
Distinctive signs of some pathological conditions and more, rashes can affect only some areas of the skin or the whole body.
What Does A Rash Look Like?
The surface of the skin during a rash can change in various ways. The most common are:
Papules – Small solid bumps of the skin as in solid insect bites.
Macules – Spots of a different color from normal skin.
Plate – Flat edge with sharp edges
Wheeze – These are evanescent and migratory swellings of the skin. They are often related to drug allergies.
Pustules – It’s a bladder full of pus.
Stairs – Set of horny lamellae that desquamate
Ulcers – Loss of skin substance due to traumatic or vascular causes.
Vesicles – Skin bump caused by shingles.
Bubble – Large vesicles are usually filled with serous fluid.
Furuncle – It is created due to inflammation of a follicle.
Rash On The Face Look Like
Acne is the typical form in which skin rashes appear on the face and trunk, is due to inflammation of hair follicles blocked by keratin plugs (comedones)
Types Of Skin Rashes
As stated, the presence of one or more of these alterations – which in fact, represent the possible characteristics of skin rashes – is strictly dependent on the triggering condition. A certain medical condition can cause a rash characterized by itchy (i.e. itchy) bumps, while another specific medical condition can cause a rash characterized by warm, painful, swollen red spots.
Medically, infections which, in addition to producing a typical rash, also cause fever, general malaise, loss of appetite, headache, abdominal pain and irritability are also known as exanthematous diseases.
The most important and widespread exanthematous diseases are measles, rubella, scarlet fever, fifth disease, sixth disease, chickenpox and fourth disease.
There are many types of skin rashes, including:
- Granuloma annulare
- lichen planus
- Pityriasis rosea
Other Peculiarities Of Skin Rashes
There are contagious rashes, i.e., they can spread between those who are carriers (the so-called sick) and those who are not (the so-called healthy).
These contagious rashes always have an infectious origin. It is, therefore, impossible, for example, for an allergic reaction rash to spread between individuals.
Non – Infectious Skin Rashes
Alternatively, a rash may be non-infectious
Among the most common causes are drugs, chronic diseases, allergic reactions (hives)
What Causes Skin Rash?
There are many reasons why a rash can occur.
They range from pathologies such as shingles (Herpes Zoster) to urticaria. Also, herpes simplex, the HIV virus, streptococcus, staphylococcus aureus, skin abscesses, scabies, toxoplasmosis and exanthematous diseases such as measles or those of the immune system, drug abuse and insect bites.
Rashes can be caused, directly or indirectly, by:
Bacteria, Viral infections, Mushrooms
Examples of infections responsible for a typical rash are ringworm, Lyme disease, measles, chicken pox, rubella, scabies, scarlet fever, fourth disease, fifth disease, sixth disease, genital herpes, herpes zoster, infectious mononucleosis, some forms of syphilis, diaper rash, group A streptococcal infections, staph, AIDS, impetigo, candida, toxoplasmosis, smallpox, hand foot mouth disease, typhoid, viral hepatitis, pityriasis rosea, toxic shock syndrome, Kawasaki syndrome, Mycoplasma pneumonia (or atypical pneumonia ), rickettsia etc.
Allergic reactions to medicines, metals, chemicals, lotions, soaps, foods and other materials.
3. Skin Diseases
Primary skin diseases include various types of eczema, psoriasis, acne or rosacea. Among these peculiar diseases, eczema deserves a few lines of study.
What is Eczema?
Eczema describes several conditions in which the skin is inflamed, red, scaly, and itchy. Eczema is common in atopic dermatitis (called atopic eczema).
Basically, Eczema can occur in both adults and children. It is not a contagious disease.
Also known as dermatitis, eczema is an inflammatory process affecting the skin, which causes a rash with particular characteristics.
Various types of eczema, including atopic eczema (or atopic dermatitis ), contact eczema (or contact dermatitis ), seborrheic eczema, asteatotic eczema (or xerosis), dyshidrosis, discoid eczema (or nummular eczema ), varicose stasis eczema, eczema herpetiformis, neurodermatitis , and perioral dermatitis.
Eczematous reactions can be caused by the following:
- Soaps, skin care products and some fabrics act as skin irritants
- Systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma or ulcerative colitis – autoimmune diseases
- Diabetes mellitus
- Skin tumours and tumours in some particular body organs have the peculiarity of altering the appearance of some skin areas.
- Vasculitis – inflammation of the blood vessels.
- Blood circulation problems in the lower limbs.
- Adverse reactions to vaccines.
- Excessive exposure to Sunlight.
The extent of the latter (therefore, whether the rash is limited to some anatomical areas or to the whole body) and the alterations affecting the skin depend on the triggering causes for the rashes.
What Are The Symptoms Of Skin Rash?
Doctors use specific terms to describe different types of rash. A macular rash is flat with small red patches on the skin, whereas a papular rash looks like small red bumps. If both symptoms are present, it is a maculopapular rash.
Other rash symptoms are:
- Itching similar to hives
- Skin redness
- Dry and flaky skin
- Formation of small blisters filled with fluid
Symptoms and Complications
The skin affected by a rash can be home to Swelling and ache.Contact dermatitis causes uncomplicated skin rashes; intense acne, on the other hand, can cause rashes such as to induce the formation of evident scars on the skin.
These two examples serve to certify that the degeneration into complications by a rash is connected to the triggering factor.
The itching can be constant (always present) or intermittent (coming and going), acute (i.e. very intense) or just mentioned, etc.
When it is particularly intense, the itching can lead the patient to scratch so harshly and repeatedly as to get skin wounds at risk of infection.
Almost always light in colour, vesicles are small skin lesions (10 millimeters maximum) and raised with respect to the skin plane, which encloses a serous or serum-blood fluid. They affect the most superficial layers of the epidermis;
They are equivalent in all to the vesicles, with the only difference that their dimensions exceed 10 millimetres;
They are skin lesions very similar to vesicles and bubbles, which, however, unlike the latter, contain pus;
5. Colored Papules or Macules.
Papules are skin lesions raised with respect to the skin plane; macules, on the other hand, are flat lesions, i.e. neither raised nor depressed.
The size of papules and spots vary according to the type of rash present (it can range from a few millimeters to even a hundred millimetres).
Papules and spots can be quite distinct from each other, or they can appear very close to each other (cluster conformation);
They are areas of dead cells which produce dry patches;
They are particular protuberances which arise following inflammation of the bacterial origin of the hair follicles;
They are deep lesions of the skin resulting from the loss of the epidermis, parts of the superficial dermis and sometimes even the deeper layers of the skin.
Skin ulcers are extremely painful and very often do not show a normal tendency to heal spontaneously;
9. Changes in normal skin colouring
Common colors of a possible rash are red, bright pink, and purple; however, colors such as blackish blue or yellow are also possible.
Generally, changes in skin color are a prerogative of spots, papules or areas subject to swelling.
What Is Stress Rash?
The rash can also occur due to stress.
Stress urticaria is caused by an abnormal response of the skin with the release of vasodilating substances due to excessive stress.
It looks like a lump under the skin that itches.
How Is The Disorder Diagnosed?
Skin rash is usually diagnosed by analyzing a person’s history of symptoms and examining the skin.
How do you Treat the Skin Rash?
It can be treated with medications, usually cortisones. These products can help control itching, swelling, and redness.
In many cases, it is sufficient to use a Soothing Cream based on zinc oxide and magnesium silicate.
Other medications that may be used for eczema patients include:
Antibiotics to treat infected skin
Antihistamines to help control itching
Light therapy is another treatment that helps some people with eczema. The Sunlight has ultraviolet light waves. It is beneficial for certain skin ailments, including eczema. Phototherapy uses ultraviolet light, or ultraviolet A (UVA) or ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.
The risks associated with phototherapy include:
- Dry skin
- Itchy skin
- Premature skin ageing
Can It Be Prevented?
Skin rashes can only be prevented in a few cases:
- Reduce stress
- Avoid irritating fabrics such as wool and harsh chemicals, such as soaps, detergents and solvents
- Moisturize your skin often
- Avoid sudden changes in temperature and humidity
- Avoid situations that cause excessive sweating and overheating
How To Establish The Cause Of A Rash?
To trace the causes of skin rashes, the following are essential:
In-depth analysis of skin alterations
Blood and urine tests.
Suppose the information gathered during the aforementioned investigations is insufficient or deserves further investigation. In that case, the diagnostic doctor could also resort to a skin biopsy and instrumental tests such as, for example, chest X-rays.
The diagnosis of skin rashes engages doctors in ascertaining the alterations affecting the skin – which, in itself, is quite simple and immediate – but also in searching for the triggering causes.
Knowledge of the triggering causes is important because it represents the starting point for planning the most appropriate therapy and for achieving a possible recovery.
The skin biopsy consists of the collection, using a very particular scalpel, of a small portion of the skin of clinical interest (such as the one in which a rash resides) and the subsequent microscopic analysis of this skin portion.
With regard to the causes of a rash, the skin biopsy not only clarifies any doubts but also provides exclusive information, which no other previous diagnostic investigation is able to guarantee.
The treatment of rashes varies according to the triggering causes. It is quite intuitive, however, that a rash due to infection needs an entirely different treatment than a rash due to excessive exposure to sunlight.
It should be noted that there are rashes due to clinically relevant causes, which deserve prompt treatment since they can also have a fatal outcome for the patient.
Examples Of Rash Therapy
Rashes due to a bacterial infection (e.g. staph infection ) require antibiotic treatment, i.e. antibiotic medications.
The method of administration of these antibiotics can be orally (tablet) or local (cream);
Rashes due to allergies need treatment with antihistamines and sometimes corticosteroids.
Antihistamines are drugs with the effect of counteracting the release of histamine, one of the most important modulators of the inflammatory response and the main cause of allergic reactions. Corticosteroids, on the other hand, are medicines with a powerful anti-inflammatory effect;
Rashes due to eczema require the use of emollients and sometimes drugs, including corticosteroids (topical or oral) and immunosuppressants.
Skin rashes due to the presence of diabetes mellitus depend on the treatment of the latter.
Side Effects Of Therapy
Many drugs used to treat certain rashes can have unpleasant side effects, especially if used improperly.
For example, if used inappropriately, corticosteroids can cause obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes, cataracts, and hypertension; antihistamines can induce drowsiness; immunosuppressants favor the onset of infections (because they lower the immune system); etc.
During the treatment of rashes, periodic monitoring of the latter is important because it allows you to establish whether the treatment has the desired effects.
Like the characteristics, complications and therapy, the prognosis of skin rashes also depends on the triggering causes; in fact, there are causal factors that can be treated with excellent results (therefore with an excellent prognosis), causal factors that can be treated with less satisfactory results (therefore with an uncertain prognosis), causal factors that require continuous treatment (otherwise the rash will recur) and causal factors which respond well to treatments only if the latter are timely.
Treatment of rashes due to a trivial staph infection is usually associated with a good prognosis;
Treatment of rashes due to diabetes mellitus is effective, provided it is continuous (diabetes mellitus is a disease that requires constant therapy).
The prevention of skin rashes is based, for obvious reasons, on the prevention of the triggering causes.
For example, to prevent rashes due to an allergy, it is essential to avoid the trigger of the allergy.
Also Read: Vitamin D Deficiency: Know the Symptoms and Treatment
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