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Skin rash

Skin is the largest organ of the body and skin provides a barrier between the inside of the body and the outside environment. Skin rash can be considered as a signal about changes affected the skin. Actually the skin rash is a noticeable change in the texture or color of the skin which could trigger itching, bumps, chaps and/or irritation.

Skin rash is not a disease – it is just a symptom of different diseases or signal of negative effect on the skin. Skin rash usually caused by skin irritation. In most cases skin rash disappears after treatment of the main disease responsible for skin rash.

According to the official medical reports the skin rash is not a specific diagnosis – it just means an outbreak of skin inflammation and discoloration that change the way the skin looks and feels.

Generally speaking so called “skin rash” could mean nothing or could refer to a wide variety of skin disorders. Sometimes the appearance of skin rashes in certain places of the body could mean certain diseases but very often location of the skin rash means nothing or shows the place of contact with allergic or irritating factors. Sometimes the skin rash is an alarming symptom of very serious diseases but sometimes skin rash is just a mild short symptom of just irritation.

Skin rash

For doctors the skin rash is an important symptom which could lead to proper diagnosis and effective treatment. It is very important to know the density, color, size, consistency, tenderness, shape and temperature of the skin rash as well as the shape of it (circular, round, linear, ring-shaped, snake-like, etc.). The size of skin rash is also very important (small, medium, large, widespread).

Short-term rashes (1-3 days) don’t need any special attention or specific treatment but long-term unexplained skin rash could be a symptom of very serious diseases and should be examined by qualified medical experts.


Wide range of conditions could trigger skin rash including general diseases, allergies, medication, cosmetics and external or internal factors.

Here are some most common skin rash causes:

Contact Dermatitis

Very often skin rash develops after contact with irritating objects or substances (chemical elements, different plant or flowers, poisons, aggressive medications) – it is brought on either by contact with a specific chemical to which the patient is uniquely allergic or with a substance that directly irritates the skin. The skin rash usually starts within 48 hours after contact.  Main symptoms of Contact Dermatitis include skin redness (mild or severe), itching or rash of small red bumps. In severe cases of Contact Dermatitis you could note skin swelling and larger blisters.

Contact Dermatitis could develop in different body locations depending on contact place with irritating factors – usually skin rash affects the parts of the skin which have come in direct contact with the offending substance.

Seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a pretty common type of skin rash – it is inflammatory skin condition with red, scaling eruption that characteristically affects the scalp, forehead, brows, cheeks, and external ears. Seborrheic dermatitis can also cause flaky, white to yellowish scales to form on oily areas of the skin (scalp, face, inside the ear).

Unfortunately the exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown. Scientists suggested that it could be the combination of few triggering factors – hormonal dysfunctions, weakened immune system, lack of certain nutrients and/or problems in nervous system. Appearance of Seborrheic dermatitis in the same family could confirm the genetic predisposition of the disease.

Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is a very specific skin rash which sometimes called “eczema”. Itchy, red, inflamed skin with weeping rashes is the main symptom of Atopic dermatitis which could appear on the inner areas of the elbows and in back of the knees as well as the cheeks, neck, wrists and ankles. In severe cases the Atopic dermatitis can cover most of the body.

It is common to discover Atopic dermatitis in women who suffer from asthma and hay fever. Sometimes women could have so called “atopic triad” which includes asthma and/or hay fever combined with eczema.

Atopic dermatitis is genetically determined and very often starts from childhood. It is not contagious but pretty unpleasant.


Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that causes skin cells to grow too quickly, resulting in thick, white, silvery, or red patches of skin combined with skin rash. In healthy women skin cells grow gradually and flake off about every 4 weeks and new skin cells usually grow to replace the outer layers of the skin. During Psoriasis new skin cells move rapidly to the surface of the skin in days (instead of weeks) and they build up and form thick patches called “plaques”.

Size of psoriatic skin could be different – small, medium, large, widespread. Most common places of psoriasis are on the knees, elbows, scalp, hands, feet, or lower back.

Scientists believe that immune system is responsible for psoriasis – usually psoriasis occurs when the immune system overreacts, causing inflammation and flaking of skin.

Having psoriasis can be embarrassing for women – they usually avoid open cloths, swimming costumes and skin exposure.

Psoriasis is not contagious but could be spread by touch from person to person. Smoking women are at high risk of having psoriasis and/or having severe symptoms of psoriasis.

Stasis dermatitis

Stasis dermatitis is a weepy, oozy dermatitis that occurs on the lower legs of women who suffer from chronic venous insufficiency with venous hypertension. Skin rash during Stasis dermatitis could be long-term and severe – it is a result of chronic skin swelling because of poor circulation in veins.

Stasis dermatitis typically affects women in perimenopause and menopause.

Nummular eczema

Nummular eczema is another type of skin rash – it is an allergy disorder in which itchy, coin-shaped spots or patches appear on the skin. Nummular eczema is more common in women with dry skin during cold seasons (winter). Main cause of Nummular eczema is unknown.

Most common symptoms of Nummular eczema are coin-shaped skin lesions on arms and legs (could be spread to middle of body) with itching, scaly or raw skin, redness or inflammation.

Skin rash during infections

Skin rash could be triggered by several infections including fungal, bacterial or viral infections.

Fungal infections tend to affect folds of skin during obesity or skin under the breasts or the groin. Fungal skin rash looks fiery red and have pustules around the edges.

The most common bacterial infection of the skin is impetigo which caused by staph or strep germs. Bacterial skin rash looks like bumps topped by pus (pustule) or plaque-like quite painful (cellulitis). Bacterial skin rash could be widely distributed affecting large area of the skin.

Viral skin rash looks like herpes or shingles – they could be localized on one part of the body or sometimes could be symmetrical. During viral rash of skin women could have also temperature, coughing, sneezing, nausea or stomach upsets. Viral rash of skin usually lasts only few days (3-6 days) and disappears itself (without any treatment).


Skin rash could be symptom of very many diseases and health conditions. Most common cases of rash are described above but there are much more possible types of this disease. Here is the full list of all diseases which could trigger RASH:

Contact Dermatitis, Diaper Rash, Bites and Stings, Fungal Infection, Flea Bites, Fifth Disease, Impetigo, Shingles, Scabies, Allergic Eczema, Hay Fever, Scarlet Fever, Drug Allergy, Rheumatic Fever, Infectious Mononucleosis,Ringworm of the Body (Tinea Corporis), Measles, Candidiasis of the Skin, Stasis Dermatitis and Ulcers, German Measles (Rubella), Sepsis, Atypical Pneumonia, Lyme Disease, West Nile Virus Infection (West Nile Fever), Cellulitis, Erysipelas, MRSA (Staph) Infection, Chickenpox, Reye’s Syndrome, Addisonian Crisis (Acute Adrenal Crisis), Chemical Burns, Diphtheria, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Colorado Tick Fever, Toxic Shock Syndrome, Trichinosis, Accidental Poisoning by Soap Products, Acute HIV Infection, Adult-Onset Still’s Disease, Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acrodermatitis, Histoplasmosis, Hookworm Infections, Kawasaki Disease, Syphilis, Systemic Gonococcal Infection, Typhus, Dermatomyositis, Graft vs. Host Disease, Ichthyosis Vulgaris, Pemphigoid, Sarcoidosis, Dengue Fever, Phenylketonuria, Polio, Porphyrias, Ebola Virus and Disease, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)

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