Common Skin Rashes
A skin rash, or noticeable change in the texture or color of the skin, is not a diagnosis in and of itself. Rather, it is an umbrella term that is often used to describe an outbreak of irritated, itchy, chapped, or scaly skin that can result from a variety of causes. Rashes are common in people of all ages, from infants to senior citizens.
Most rashes fit into three broad categories:
- Localized inflammations resulting from direct contact with an allergen or irritant
- Confined outbreaks caused by a bacterial or fungal infection
- Limited or widespread reactions triggered by medications or viruses
To identify a rash, it’s usually helpful to think about recent exposures to potential allergens, irritants, and new medications. Some common rashes include:
- Dermatitis – An itchy inflammation that follows exposure to an irritant, such as a harsh soap, or an allergen, such as poison ivy
- Heat rash – Small, blister-like bumps can result from heat exposure and can be exacerbated by sweat and tight clothing
- Intertrigo – A bright red rash that develops in moist areas where skin rubs together, such as behind the knees, under the arms, and in other skin folds
- Ringworm – An outward-expanding ring of irritation caused by a fungal infection
- Swimmer’s itch – A mild, itchy rash that can result from exposure to parasites that thrive in unclean water
- Medicine-related rash – Small red splotches that can appear and spread quickly after an individual starts taking a new antibiotic, anti-seizure medication, or diuretic
- Shingles – A painful, blistering rash that develops when the dormant chicken pox virus becomes active, usually later in life
Some rashes, such as poison ivy and intertrigo, will go away on their own, while others can require the attention of a physician. In general, if a rash cannot be identified, is painful or accompanied by a fever, or simply does not go away, it’s advisable to seek medical attention. A doctor can identify the underlying culprit, prescribe appropriate treatment for relief, and help restore the skin to a healthy state.
To learn more, or if you would like to seek medical attention for a skin rash, please contact or visit South Tampa Immediate Care, where you can see a doctor at our walk-in clinic today.