Skin rashes that itch are one of the most common of all health complaints. Every day, dermatologists and other medical doctors see numerous patients presenting with some sort of skin irritation on their body..
In most cases, rashes are easy to treat and not something to be concerned about. In fact, many rashes will go away on their own after a short period of time with no serious lasting consequences. Sometimes a rash is a symptom of a more serious underlying condition. In these cases it may be necessary for your doctor to treat the cause in order to alleviate the symptoms of the rash.
While itching skin is the most common rash symptom, it is not the only one. In general, a rash is defined as an inflammation that distorts the skin’s normal appearance. Rashes can take on a number of different shapes and may be oozing or dry. Doctors will use these distinct characteristics to identify the cause of the rash. Whether it is circular, “bull’s-eye”, in a straight line, made up of a clump of smaller spots or consists of larger, raised patches, this can be an indication of a particular cause. Identifying that cause can help to determine proper treatment.
What causes an itchy rash on the skin?
Some of the more common causes of skin rashes that itch include allergic reactions, fungal or bacterial infections, or drug side effects. Sometimes there are other symptoms associated with rash. These can include scaling, skin ulceration or blistering. If you have a sudden appearance of a rash that is accompanied by a fever this may be the sign of a more serious underlying condition and you should see your doctor as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis.
Specific conditions that can result in itching skin and rash include atopic or seborrheic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is more common in children and individuals with asthma and hay fever. It is characterized by red, itchy, weeping rashes inside the elbows and in the back of the knees as well as on the cheeks, neck, wrists and ankles.
Seborrheic dermatitis is the most common cause of rash among adults. It is characterized by red, scaling itchy eruptions on the forehead, brows, cheeks and outside of the ears. In infants it is commonly known as cradle cap.
Other conditions that may cause skin rashes that itch include contact dermatitis, hives, eczema, and psoriasis. Contact dermatitis and hives are allergic reactions caused by coming into physical contact with a specific irritant. Eczema and Psoriasis are skin conditions that usually involve extremely dry skin. Some drugs, such as antibiotics, can also produce a skin rash as a side effect.
While some rashes can be caused by dry skin, still others are the result of excess moisture which leads to the formation of fungus such as yeast. In the case of fungal infection, itching skin is just one symptom along with redness and irritation. They are often acquired in places where your skin comes in contact with wet surfaces such as locker rooms, pool decks, bathrooms or gyms and can be passed from one person to another.
Treatment For Skin Rashes That Itch
For a fungal infection rash, an antifungal ointment such as Lotrimin or Lamisil is the best form of treatment.
For other types of skin rashes that itch, treatment can vary depending on the specific underlying cause. Non prescription anti-itch medications such as hydrocortisone or calamine lotion will usually alleviate the symptoms. Sometimes oral antihistamines like Benadryl can help to alleviate allergic reactions. For rashes caused by bacterial infection, such as staph or strep, a course of antibiotics may be necessary.
Rashes are never pleasant and if they become persistent they can be quite distressing, but in most cases they are easy to treat and entirely curable. The important thing is to see your doctor if your symptoms persist or don’t respond to home treatment. There is no reason to suffer needlessly. Get the help you need and no matter what its cause you can make your rash a thing of the past.