Common Skin Rashes - Who Gets?
At some point in their lives, almost everyone will encounter skin rashes. Shingles and scabies (seniors), psoriasis and rosacea (adults), acne and athlete’s foot (teens), ringworm and chicken pox (children), diaper rash and cradle cap (infants) are just some of the skin rashes associated with different stages of life. Many skin rashes, however, don’t discriminate by age alone.
Skin Rashes - What are?
Skin rashes may be associated with burning, itching, tingling, swelling, pain, or no discomfort at all. Some skin rashes affect the whole body (generalized); others appear on discrete areas of the skin (localized). Skin rashes may or may not be contagious. Skin rashes can be short-lived, chronic or recurrent.
"Skin rashes" is a general term that describes a group of spots, an area of inflammation, or changes in the colour or texture of the skin.
Many skin rashes are relatively minor and short-lived. However, some skin rashes are highly contagious. Skin rashes can also be the early signs of a number of serious, even life-threatening, diseases, among them, Lyme disease, typhoid fever, meningitis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
To the untrained eye, large numbers of skin rashes look very similar to one another. Dermatologists, trained to distinguish between skin rashes, may need to order lab tests to confirm a particular diagnosis. There are hundreds of different types of skin rashes.
Please play it safe. Don’t self-diagnose your rash. See your dermatologist or family doctor if your skin rashes enter your life, especially if you have other symptoms, like fever, swollen lymph nodes, infection, headache, shortness of breath, sensitivity to light, a stiff neck, or achy joints.
Skin Rashes - What Causes ?
Infestations: Some skin rashes are caused by tiny parasites like mites and lice.
Infections: Bacteria, fungi and viruses are common causes of skin rashes.
Systemic Illnesses: Skin rashes may be one of the symptoms of a primary disease like rheumatic fever, Lupus or Lyme disease.
Irritants and Allergies: Insect bites or stings, certain foods, abrasion, plants like poison ivy, sun or heat exposure, medications, chemical pollutants, cosmetics, chemicals found in household cleaners, an overly too-dry environment—this is just a sampling of possible causes of common skin rashes.
However, the precise cause of many skin rashes, for instance psoriasis and eczema, is still unknown at this time. Genetic predisposition, stress, hormonal changes, and auto-immune problems are among the factors commonly thought to be associated with some skin rashes.