Rash


Skin | Dermatology | Rash (Disease)


Description

Rash is a change of the skin which affects its color, appearance or texture. A rash may be localized in one part of the body, or affect all the skin. Rashes may cause the skin to change color, itch, become warm, bumpy, chapped, dry, cracked or blistered, swell and may be painful.

The presence of a rash may aid associated signs and symptoms are diagnostic of certain diseases. For example, the rash in measles is an erythematous, morbilliform, maculopapular rash that begins a few days after the fever starts. It classically starts at the head and spreads downwards.

Causes and Risk factors

The causes of a rash are extremely broad, which may make the evaluation of a rash extremely difficult. Rashes can be caused by a wide variety of diseases and conditions, such as infection, inflammation, allergic reaction, parasite and insect bites, and autoimmune processes.

Diagnosis and Treatment

An accurate evaluation by a provider may only be made in the context of a thorough history (What medication is the patient taking? What is the patients occupation? Where has the patient been?) and complete physical examination.

The treatments for rashes, vary widely. Diagnosis must take into account such things as the appearance of the rash, other symptoms, what the patient may have been exposed to, occupation, and occurrence in family members. The diagnosis may confirm any number of conditions.

Most rashes are not dangerous to a person or people in the vicinity (unless they are part of an infectious disease such as chickenpox). It is therefore not unreasonable to treat symptoms like itchy and/or dry skin for a few days to see whether the condition gets milder and goes away. Over-the-counter remedies include anti-itch creams containing camphor, menthol, pramoxine and antihistamines. ...