Skin provides protection for our body from the outside world. Sometimes it gets irritated a rash appears. There are different types and causes of rashes. Do you know what types of various rashes can occur and how to treat them, or whether they require medical help.
There are many causes of minor skin rashes, such as poisonous plants (think poison ivy, poison oak or sumac), switching soap, detergent, shampoo, cosmetics, lotion or anything you apply to your skin topically. Additionally, cheap jewelry or itchy fabrics and latex can cause skin irritation. Some people have a severe allergic reaction to latex which can be found in rubber products such the standard gloves used in the medical field or even condoms.
These types of rashes are generally temporary and non-life threatening. They are often called contact dermatitis and can be very itchy. Contact dermatitis will often appear within 48 hours after the irritation occurs. You may see mild redness or a rash of small red bumps. If you have a more severe and dangerous reaction you may also see swelling, more redness and larger blisters.
More dangerous rashes may result from viral infections such as shingles, fungal infections such as a yeast infections, bacterial infections like impetigo or sexually transmitted infections. A rash could also be a symptom of a serious disease such as liver or kidney disease or certain types of cancer. If a rash is a symptom of something more serious, you will have other symptoms related to this disease.
A rash could also just be a symptom of a skin affliction such as acne, eczema or psoriasis. You could also get a rash from the weather which could include wind burn from extreme cold and wind or extremely hot weather (heat rashes). Rashes can even be a result of emotional stress, nervousness or embarrassment.
Lastly, some medicines you take could have side effects that include a rash. Be extra careful if you are ever prescribed sulfa drugs as they could cause a rare and serious rash called toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). It causes skin to peel away and looks like a severe burn and you will need a doctor right away.
You probably won’t need medical treatment for a rash unless you have other symptoms such as shortness of breath, fever or closing of the throat. If you have any of these symptoms, seek medical help right away.
Do you ever get rashes? Tell us about your experiences with rashes!