Causes of Rashes

Having a strong, resilient and healthy skin is important for a good quality of life because it serves as a wall between the inherent toxicity of the environment and the inside of your body. Getting a rash implies a hostile element, mild or severe, has affected the skin.

Rashes are symptoms of irritation of the skin that can have a lot of causes. Rashes are basically minor skin problems that can easily be remedied by using home remedies.  However, there are rashes that may be difficult to address or may have worsened and now require medical intervention.

In older children and adults, rashes often develop from contact with an allergen that inflames the skin. These substances cause contact dermatitis. The skin develops rash slowly, usually developing fully in less than 2 days after contiguity with the allergen. Contact dermatitis can result in the development of:

  • Small red bumps
  • Mild redness of the skin

Severe reactions can entail:

  • Large blisters
  • Redness
  • Swelling

The body part where rash develops may indicate the cause(s) of the rash.

Contact dermatitis may not develop all at once nor do the rashes flare up upon initial contact with the allergen. Two or more contacts can elicit a rash reaction when you are again exposed to minimal amounts of the allergen. Contact dermatitis is a minor skin problem but the itching is quite serious.  This skin problem can be caused by:

  • Latex – People who are allergic to latex gloves but work in an environment when wearing of these gloves is mandatory may need to don other hypo-allergenic gloves first before wearing latex gloves. Latex or rubber products are allergens that can cause serious reactions.
  • New appliances, toys or other objects
  • Fabrics or jewelry
  • Lotions, cosmetics, perfumes, shampoos, detergents and soaps

Rashes can be caused by pathogens like:

  • Viral infections – Herpes zoster
  • STIs or sexually transmitted infections – Syphilis, gonorrhea
  • Bacterial infections – Impetigo
  • Fungal/yeast infections – Candida albicans

Rashes can also come as one sign of more serious health conditions. These conditions can be:

  • Cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease

Rashes can also develop from an insect sting or bite like the bite from a scabies mite, a tick, flea, cockroach and many kinds of insects you can find at home, in your backyard or in open areas. You can have a rash when you go wood camping, hiking or traveling to a rural area.

A rash can be the most common symptom of an acute or chronic skin problem like:

  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Acne

The environment like severe hot weather, cold weather and dry weather can lead to rashes. Severe emotional stress stemming from embarrassment or frustration can make you develop an itchy rash.

Certain medications have side effects such as rash. A serious and rare kind of generalized red rash which is medically termed toxic epidermal necrolysis can occur after exposure to or intake of sulfa drugs. Toxic epidermal necrolysis can severely damage the skin making it peel away exposing body tissues that ooze or weep fluid like something you see after a severe burn. When this kind of rash happens, medical attention is urgently needed.  Certain drugs can cause toxic epidermal necrolysis.

Rashes typically do not require medical attention but when other symptoms appear along with the rashes like fever or breathing difficulty, you might be suffering from an infection or a serious allergic response which may require emergency medical attention.

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