What Are Rashes?
Rashes are abnormal changes in the colour or texture of the skin. They are usually due to inflammation of the skin, which can have many causes.
Types of rashes
There are many types of rashes, including eczema, granuloma annulare, lichen planus, and pityriasis rosea.
Eczema is a general term for rashes that describes various conditions such as redness, redness, peeling, and itching of the skin. Eczema is a common skin condition, and atopic dermatitis (also known as atopic eczema) is one of the most common forms of eczema.
Eczema can affect adults or children. The condition is not contagious.
The specific cause of eczema remains unknown, but this condition often affects people with a family history of allergies. If you have eczema, you may also have hay fever and/or asthma or have related conditions.
Some things can cause eczema inflammation or make it worse, but they are not the cause of the condition. Triggers for eczema include stress, skin irritation (including soaps, skincare products, or some clothing), allergens, and the weather.
The appearance of eczema varies from person to person. In adults, eczema often affects “bent” areas, such as the insides of the hands, elbows, and the back of the knees. In young children, eczema often appears on the inside of the elbows, behind the knees, and on the face, back of the neck, and scalp. Signs and symptoms of atopic eczema:
- The skin is red
- Dry, scaly, or crusty skin can become thick and leathery from chronic scratching.
- Formation of small fluid-filled blisters.
- Infection can occur anytime your skin is broken
To diagnose atopic eczema, your doctor will examine your skin and ask about your symptoms. They will examine the area with scaly or crusted skin to find out other skin diseases or infections.
You can treat eczema with odourless moisturizers that contain ingredients like ceramides, glycerin, and mineral oil. Medications include over the counter creams and ointments that contain steroid hydrocortisone (eg, Cortizone-10, Court-Aid, Dermarest Eczema, Neosporin Eczema). These products help control the itching, swelling, and redness associated with eczema. Cortisone creams, as well as cortisone tablets and injections, are also used for more severe cases.
For those with mild to moderate eczema, topical immunomodulators (TIMs) can help. TIMS, brand-name products that include Elidel and Protopic, work by altering the body’s immune response to allergens, preventing inflammation. Chrysaborol (Ucrisa) is an ointment for mild to moderate psoriasis in people older than 2 years.
Dupilumab (Dupixent) is an injectable monoclonal antibody that is used in patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis. Relieves itching quickly in most patients. Other medications used to treat eczema include antibiotics (to treat infected skin) and antihistamines (to help control itching).
Phototherapy is another treatment that can help some people with eczema. Ultraviolet light waves found in sunlight have been shown to help treat certain skin disorders, including eczema. Special lamp phototherapy uses ultraviolet light – ultraviolet A (UVA) or ultraviolet B (UVB) to treat people with severe eczema.
Risks associated with phototherapy include burning (usually similar to a mild sunburn), dry skin, itchy skin, small scars, and premature ageing of the skin.
There is no way to prevent atopic eczema, but there are things you can do to avoid the condition
- Reduce stress
- Avoid scratching materials (eg wool) and chemicals such as strong soaps, detergents, and solvents.
- Avoid sudden changes in temperature or humidity
- Avoid conditions that cause sweating and overheating.
Granuloma annulare is a chronic skin condition characterized by circular rashes with red bumps (papules).
Most often, this condition affects children and adolescents. The granuloma ring is slightly more common in girls and is more common in healthy individuals.
Cause of the granuloma ring is still unknown.
People with granuloma annulare usually causes no symptoms, but in some cases, can notice one or more small rings, firm bumps on the back of the forearms, arms, or legs. The rashes may be a bit itchy.
Your doctor can diagnose it. They can use a skin biopsy to confirm that you have a granuloma annulare.
Granuloma annulare usually causes no symptoms and clears up by itself, you may not need treatment (except for cosmetic reasons). In some cases, steroid creams or ointments can help the lumps go away. Some doctors may decide to freeze the wounds with liquid nitrogen or inject steroids directly into the tumour rings. Ultraviolet light therapy or oral medications can be used in severe cases.
Lichen planus is a common skin disorder such as rashes that produces shiny, flat bumps. They are often angular in shape and reddish-purple in colour. Lichen planus can be found anywhere on the skin, but it usually occurs on the wrists and ankles, lower legs, back, and neck. Some people have lichen planus inside the mouth, genital area, skin, and nails.
Lichen planus primarily affects adults between 30 to 70 years. It is not common in very young or old people.
Doctors consider lichen planus to be an autoimmune disease, which means that your body’s immune system attacks its own tissues.
If you are allergic to medications to treat high blood pressure, heart disease, and arthritis, you may have lichen planus-like rashes. Lichen planus is not contagious.
Signs and symptoms of the condition are shiny, flat purple, or purple-red bulbs. When it appears on the scalp, lichen planus can cause hair loss. Lichen planus on the nails can cause brittle or split nails.
Your doctor can diagnose lichen planus as it appears or with the use of a skin biopsy. For this procedure, they take a small amount of skin from the affected area and send it to the lab for analysis.
Lichen planus is not curable, but you can treat symptoms with anti-itch products such as antihistamines (such as Benadryl or diphenhydramine). If lichen planus affects only a small part of the body, you can apply a medicated cream to the affected area. In more severe cases, doctors may prescribe injections of steroids, prednisone, or other medications that suppress your immunity. They may give you retinoids or try phototherapy.
Pityriasis rosea is usually a mild skin rash. This condition often begins with pink, large, and scaly skin on the chest or back. You will then quickly notice a patch of pink skin. Your skin is itchy and red or swollen. The amount and size of the spots can vary.
Causes pityriasis rosea is unknown. There is evidence to suggest that pityriasis is caused by the rosacea virus because the rashes are similar to some viral diseases. The rashes spread from one person to another.
The main symptom of pityriasis rosea is a large, scaly, pink area of skin, followed by more swollen or more itchy patches. Pityriasis rosea affects the back, neck, chest, abdomen, upper arms, and legs. The rashes vary from person to person.
A doctor can usually diagnose psoriasis by looking at the day. They may do blood tests, scratch your skin, or do a skin biopsy to rule out other skin conditions.
If your case is mild, you do not need treatment. The most serious cases sometimes go away on their own. Oral antihistamines (such as diphenhydramine), over-the-counter medications, and prescription steroids that are rubbed into the skin can help reduce itching.
Sores heal faster with a little exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet light. Don’t get too much sunlight. In most cases, pityriasis rosacea clears up in 6-12 weeks.