The term rash is a general identification used for various skin conditions. Typically, a rash defines a change that affects the skin and often appears as a red patch, small bumps, or blisters on the skin. A rash can appear on a small area or cover most of the skin. Most people will develop some type of rash over their lifespan.
A rash normally signifies another skin problem such as:
- Allergic responses to medication
- Bacterial infections such as impetigo
- Fungal infections such as ringworm
- Non-infectious skin conditions such as eczema
- Reactions to allergens such as poison ivy
- Viral infections such as chicken pox
Usually, a rash is identified by scaly patches of skin or as raised, red bumps. A rash will often itch.
Most rashes cause no harm to the skin and respond to treatment from over-the-counter antihistamines, anti-itch creams and moisturizing lotions. If these solutions do not work, if the rash gets worse or if it spreads, make an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist.
To avoid developing a rash, try to:
- Use skin moisturizers immediately after washing hands or body
- Stay away from anyone with a skin infection
- Use only clean razors for shaving
- Choose non-irritating, fragrance-free soaps and cleansers