10 Common Skin Rashes – How to Treat Them
When you have a rash, it is not a symptom that is hard to miss. A rash is not a specific diagnosis instead, it refers to any type of inflammation and/or discoloration that distorts the normal appearance of the skin. A rash may leave you feeling embarrassed and conscious of your appearance, and in many cases may accompany other symptoms such as irritation, pain, and itching. You will also be left to question what caused the rash and if it could be the result of an underlying problem. Skin rashes are a common complaint in primary care clinics, emergency rooms, and in the dermatologist office and even though other symptoms may be present, there are identifiable factors for each disease or condition that presents itself with the skin rash. This article will take you through the 10 common skin rashes – how to treat them.
What is a skin rash?
It may seem obvious to those who have had the misfortune of experiencing a skin rash, especially since it is visible, but each condition that presents a rash has varying characteristics. A skin rash is also called cutaneous condition and is the temporary outbreak of red, bumpy, itchy, or scaly patches of skin. The rash may have blisters or welts. Although many common skin rashes are attributed to a disease, not all skin rashes are caused by an underlying illness and may simply be the result of humid and hot weather, scratchy clothes, or excessive exposure to the sun.
A skin rash that is a result of an underlying disease or an infection is normally caused by bacterial, viral, parasitic, or fungal etiologies. A skin rash is often temporary but if it lasts longer than a few days and is accompanied by other symptoms, it is always best to consult with a medical professional in cases like these.
Atopic dermatitis is also known as eczema. As a young child, I suffered from severe eczema and as an adult, it has presented itself again. Unfortunately, atopic dermatitis is a chronic condition. Eczema makes the skin red and itchy and often appears as dry patches on the feet, hands, neck, ankles, limbs, and upper body. I still have not determined the cause of my eczema since it may be caused by infections, allergens, heat, and other immune system disorders. I use a topical application of Aloe Vera gel which soothes the irritation and reduces the inflammation, click here for more information on the benefits of Aloe Vera as a topical treatment for skin rashes.
Christmas Tree Rash:
Before the diagnosis of having eczema, doctors assumed I had Christmas tree rash or pityriasis rosea. This rash is fine, itchy, and scaly and often forms in the pattern of a Christmas tree. It begins as a single patch, known as the herald patch, but may spread as smaller patches to the back, neck, and chest. The exact cause behind this rash is unknown, although researchers believe it is a type of viral infection. Taking a lukewarm oatmeal bath is a great way to treat the rash naturally because oats contain compounds called avenanthramides which have strong anti-inflammatory and anti-itch effects.
Heat RashAlso known as miliaria or prickly heat. A heat rash is present when the flow of sweat is obstructed because the sweat pores are blocked. It is usually due to hot, humid weather, and is also caused by overdressing or wearing clothing that keeps the heat trapped against the skin. There are two types of miliaria:
- Miliaria Rubra: Appears as small clusters of red bumps that have a stinging sensation.
- Miliaria Crystalline: Appears as clear, fluid-filled blisters.
Heat rash is generally no cause for concern and will resolve once the affected area has been cooled with a cool compress or a cool bath. A great natural remedy for heat rash is to use sandalwood as it is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic. Mixing two parts of sandalwood powder with one-part water will make a paste that can be applied to the skin (test a small area to ensure that you do not react to the mixture). The paste will reduce the prickly or burning sensation of the rash.
Lichen PlanusThis is an inflammatory condition that affects the skin, hair, nails, and mucous membranes. It will appear as a purplish, itchy, flat-topped lesions. It can appear in the mouth, vagina, and other areas covered by mucous membranes: in these areas, it will form lacy white patches. Lichen planus is thought to be caused by Hepatitis C; this is a virus that attacks the liver.
Lichen planus can be treated naturally with turmeric. A turmeric ointment can help change the appearance of the rash and relieve some of the discomforts. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties which makes it excellent for inhibiting the growth of squamous cell carcinoma: an identified risk of oral lichen planus. A turmeric topical ointment can be used to soothe the irritated skin and drinking turmeric tea may help promote healing internally. Vitamin A rich foods such as raw carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach are recommended during a bout of lichen planus because Vitamin A helps keep the skin and mucous membranes healthy.
Meningitis RashMeningitis is an inflammation of the meninges: the three membranes that cover the spinal cord and brain. A rash will commonly appear when this illness is present but may not always be the indicator and is often a late symptom. Most cases of meningitis rash are caused by meningococcal bacteria, although it may be caused by viruses and fungi too. The rash is one of the most specific signs of meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia and can appear as pin-prick red or purple spots on the skin or it may appear similar to bruising as a reddish-purple area on the skin. A rapidly evolving rash of this nature is a severe indication of disease and requires medical treatment immediately and will often be treated with intravenous antibiotics.
ChickenpoxThis highly contagious disease is caused by the varicella-zoster virus and more commonly affects children. It causes an extremely itchy skin rash and forms small, fluid-filled blisters. To help relieve the symptoms of chickenpox, guava leaf tea can be consumed. Guava leaves have antimicrobial properties and are a rich source of Vitamin C. Drinking guava leaf tea helps reduce the rash and prevents scarring because of their high content of Vitamin C. Be sure to add honey to improve the taste and for added benefits.
Also known as herpes zoster, shingles is the reactivation of the chickenpox virus that causes a painful rash that appears on the torso as a stripe of blisters. The varicella-zoster virus is the cause of the viral infection behind shingles. A weakened immune system can worsen shingles. A great way to strengthen the immune system and prevent the further spread of shingles to other parts of the body is to consume foods that are rich in Vitamins A, B-12, C, and E. These vitamins will help boost your immune system and offer anti-inflammatory properties too. Include the following foods for improved immunity:
- Orange and yellow foods.
- Red meat.
- Leafy green vegetables.
Rashes associated with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs):
If you have unprotected sex with someone who has an infection or disease on their genitals (a sexually transmitted disease) then you will contract the STD too. The following common STDs will give you a noticeable skin rash over the genital area
- Scabies: Tiny mites will burrow under the skin and lay eggs. This causes an acne-like rash and aggressive itching. Scratching the area can lead to sores that may breed infection.
- Syphilis: Condyloma lata rash is associated with the secondary stage of syphilis (a bacterial STD) and causes large, raised grey or white lesions on the genitals.
- Genital herpes: This STD causes severe itching, pain, and sores in the genital area.
It is important to note that no STD is harmless, if left untreated most STDs can lead to serious complications such as infertility, urinary tract complications, and cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, and anus. STDs like syphilis and AIDS can lead to death. STDs can spread quickly especially through unprotected sex. Each year there are approximately 376 million new infections and more than 500 million people worldwide are estimated to have the herpes virus.
For natural relief of the symptoms associated with an STD, turn to garlic oil because garlic has been shown to inhibit the growth of yeast and has antifungal properties. Have a look at this article for more information on using garlic oil to treat various skin ailments:
Also known as tinea corporis, ringworm is a fungal infection that forms red, itchy, scaly, and slightly raised rings on the body. Ringworm is caused by common mold-like parasites that live on the cells within the outer layer of the skin. Using garlic oil is a great natural treatment for ringworm since it has high anti-fungal properties.
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that causes redness in the face and may also form small red or pus-filled blisters. This rash is the result of increased blood flow to the surface of the skin and may be caused by skin products, certain foods, alcohol consumption, sun exposure, stress, and extreme temperatures. Unfortunately, there is no cure but there are natural treatments available to manage the symptoms. Burdock root is excellent for treating rosacea and can be consumed as a supplement, food, or extract. Burdock root can be consumed to help purify the liver and clear skin rashes and has been proven effective for managing the symptoms of rosacea. You can also drink Aloe Vera water because it helps remove toxins from the body and reduces inflammation.
Skin rash relief:
Skin is the largest organ in the body and will at most times show signs of an impending internal condition before the illness starts showing other typical symptoms. Pay attention to the rash, its color, pattern, and placement in determining what rash it may be and the underlying cause. A common treatment for the relief of skin rash symptoms is Aloe Vera gel and Aloe Vera water. Garlic is excellent too for treating various skin rashes.