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7 Most Common Types of Skin Rashes

Skin rashes can occur because of a variety of factors including heat, infections, medications and environment stimulants. Here is a rundown of the most common types of skin rashes.

Different Types of Skin Rashes

There are different types of skin rashes that can occur from allergies. The key is knowing the difference and taking care of the problem as soon as it happens.

1. Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)

This allergic skin rash has certain characteristics such as dry, itchy skin. It can be aggravated by clothing, laundry detergent, soaps or stress. Many times it is found in families that have a history of asthma or hay fever.

The first way to treat eczema is through proper skin care. Avoid soaps with scents or creams in them. Avoid certain clothing such as wool that can aggravate it. Use warm water when bathing and avoid body lotions with extra ingredients.

2. Contact Dermatitis

This is a skin rash that is caused by coming in contact with a substance that causes a rash on the skin. Another way to get contact dermatitis is by doing that something irritates the skin.

Contact dermatitis most commonly happens when a person comes in contact with poison ivy, poison oak or fake jewelry, to name a few, but these are not the only things that can cause it.

Contact dermatitis only affects the parts of the skin that were touched. Treatments usually come in the form of topical creams or lotions.

3. Allergic Drug Rash

Allergic skin rashes can be caused by having a reaction to medicine. People might have an allergic reaction to drugs and a skin rash will break out.

Unfortunately, there is no specific way to test that the skin rash is from an allergy to the medicine. The doctor might recommend the patient stop taking the drugs to see the rash’s course of action.

4. Hives

Anyone who has had hives knows this is terrible allergy. It’s a skin rash that can happen on any part of the body. Hives can be caused through other means though and not just an allergy.

It can be induced by stress or outside factors. There is no medicine or cream for hives. The itchy, red bumps need to just their course.

5. Shingles

The interesting fact about shingles is that anyone who has ever had chickenpox is susceptible to getting shingles. After chickenpox clears, the shingles virus stays in the body.

If that virus is ever reactivated, the result is shingles. Unlike chickenpox where itching is common, pain is the common symptom with shingles. A shingles rash typically appears in groups of clear blisters and typically last 2 to 3 weeks.

Shingles is most common in older adults. For individuals over the age of 50 there is a vaccine available that reduces the risk of developing shingles by 51 percent.

6. Swimmer’s Itch

Common in spring and summer is swimmer’s itch. Swimmer’s itch, also known as cercarial dermatitis, is a rash that occurs after swimming in freshwater lakes or ponds.

The rash is caused by an inflammatory reaction to microscopic parasites that originated with waterfowl. These parasites are released into the water when the bird lands in the water.

Swimmer’s itch typically appears as reddish pimples or small blisters, with the skin usually feeling tingly, burning or itchy. Swimmer’s itch is not contagious and can be easily treated with corticosteroid creams.

If itching is severe, please see your local dermatologist for a treatment plan.

7. Pityriasis Rosea

Pityriasis rosea, also known as the Christmas tree rash, most often occurs in the spring and fall. This common skin disease causes patches on the skin, typically starting with a larger patch, the mother “herald” patch, and spreading as smaller patches, daughter patches.

Pityriasis rosea is typically seen in adolescents and young adults and is uncommon for those over 60 years old. The cause of pityriasis rosea is still unknown, but research shows it is not caused by an allergy, fungi or bacteria.

It usually goes away without treatment, but rashes can last 6 to 8 weeks. If itching becomes unbearable, schedule an appointment with your local Forefront Dermatologist for a treatment plan.

Not All Skin Rashes Are Allergies

Skin rashes are not rare when it comes to allergic reactions. They can come from all sorts of triggers from food to clothing to laundry detergent. Even going for a stroll in the park, you can walk into something that will give you an allergic skin rash.

Allergic reactions can come in many forms. There is the sneezing with the itchy, watery eyes. Someone can have trouble breathing where their asthma is triggered by a substance in the air. There are many different ways someone can suffer from an allergy.

Yet, skin rashes can be caused by other medical conditions. Never self diagnose. Always go to a doctor or a dermatologist to learn the nature of the skin rash.

If it does turn out to be an allergic skin rash, visit an allergist and run tests to find out what you are allergic to. This way you can avoid these substances and stop scratching so much.

3 Steps to Managing Skin Allergies

An effective approach to managing skin allergies has three components. Firstly you must understand the condition, then you must discover if anything is triggering your skin reaction, and thirdly you must look after your skin.

Many people think that allergies only affect the respiratory or digestive systems, but they can also affect your largest organ- your skin. As with other allergies the immune system overreacts to the presence of certain substances and releases inflammation-producing chemicals.

Do some research and talk to your doctor. You can be confident of controlling your skin condition better if you are sure you understand what causes it.

The second component in managing a skin allergy is identifying then eliminating the allergens and irritants that start the itching/scratching cycle. There are over three thousand known triggers for skin allergies. Many are natural, but there are plenty of man-made ones too.

Latex

A common man-made trigger is latex, which comes from the sap of the Brazilian rubber tree. The natural proteins and those added in the manufacturing process can trigger an allergic reaction.

Most people are aware that this can lead to reactions if you wear latex gloves. However latex is also present in baby pacifiers, balloons, pencil erasers and elastic bands in undergarments.

There can also be problems when latex particles become airborne and are inhaled. If you have a latex allergy try to avoid the material and use vinyl or plastic where possible.

Nickel

In addition to the obvious nickel-containing metallic objects like coins and jewelry, nickel is also present in everyday objects like scissors, bathroom and kitchen cabinet handles, and zippers.

Mascara, eye shadow and eye pencils also contain nickel. Experts estimate that the number of people suffering from a nickel allergy has risen about 40% in the last decade. Much of this is believed to be due to the popularity of body piercing.

Some foods also have natural nickel content and people who suffer severe symptoms may need to restrict their diet under medical supervision. At present there is no way to desensitize a person with a nickel allergy. Avoidance is the best strategy.

Managing Your Skin’s Condition

  1. Managing your skin’s condition means firstly moisturizing and softening the skin to ensure it does not dry out. Your doctor may recommend you use topical corticosteroid preparations to control the inflammation.
  2. When you take a bath soak in lukewarm water for 20 to 30 minutes. Do not have hot baths or showers, as the heat will increase skin dryness and itching. You can add oatmeal or baking soda to the bath for a soothing effect, though it does not help moisturize the skin.
  3. Use a mild soap or a non-soap cleanser with neutral pH (pH7). If you wish to add bath oils do so after you have been in the water so that it can seal in the moisture. Do not use bubble baths as they can form a barrier that stops the bathwater moisturizing your skin.
  4. After the bath dry yourself by patting your skin with a soft towel. This helps retain moisture. Immediately after drying your skin apply a lotion or emollient cream to help your skin retain the moisture.
  5. To look after your skin you will also need to avoid situations where you will experience extreme physical contact, heavy perspiration, or heavy clothing. This may mean avoiding some sports. Swimming is permissible if you rinse the chlorine from your skin as soon as you leave the pool, and use a moisturizer after drying yourself.

Follow these steps and you will be able to control your skin allergy and minimize its impact on your everyday life.

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