Skin Rashes

What are some common skin rashes and what can I do about it?
Skin Condition Appearance Cause Treatment
Hives (Urticaria) Welts of various sizes, sometimes joined together

Can be itchy or burn

Can appear anywhere on the body

Extreme temperatures, allergic reaction, infection (i.e. strep) Avoid irritants, use antihistamines and skin creams to treat symptoms, may require steroid treatment
Psoriasis Thick, red, scaly patches that can come and go, usually on scalp, elbows, knees, lower back Unknown

Mechanism is overgrowth of new skin cells.

Topical and oral medications, light therapy
Eczema Inflamed, red, dry, itchy skin, usually on hands, elbows, skin folds

Not contagious

Stress, irritants, climate changes, allergens Cool, wet dressings, steroid creams, antihistamines
Rosacea Facial redness or flushing, more so with age

Sometimes with bumps or pimples.

Unknown Avoid hot or spicy foods, avoid sunlight, wear sunscreen, use natural cosmetics

Topical or oral medications can be used for pustular symptoms

Cold Sores Small, painful fluid-filled blisters on the mouth or nose Herpes virus 1

Triggered by, overexposure to sun, hormonal changes, or stress

Symptoms will resolve without treatment, contact with others should be avoided

Anti-viral creams or medications can be considered

Poison Ivy/Oak/Sumac (Irritant Contact Dermatitis) Redness, swelling, itchiness, and blisters appear in the exposed areas Contact with the leaves and oils of poisonous plants Wash skin (soap/water) ASAP after exposure, cool wet dressings, calamine lotion, antihistamines

Steroids (topical/oral) can be considered.

Athletes Foot Peeling, red, itchy, burning feet

Can also develop sores or blisters


Fungal, contagious usually from being barefoot in locker room Anti-fungal creams

Keep feet dry and clean

Pityriasis Rosea (aka Christmas Tree Rash) Scaly, pink rash with raised borders, starts as one patch then can spread


Harmless, not thought to be contagious

Common 10-35 yrs of age

Unknown Resolves independently in 6-8 weeks
Heat Rash (Miliaria) Clusters of small red bumps that feel prickly or fluid filled

Bumps that are asymptomatic

Hot, humid weather, tight fitting clothes, overdressing Resolves without treatment other than wearing loose fitting clothes
Ringworm (Tinea corpus) (aka jock itch, athletes foot) Fungal infection that leads to itchy, red, scaly, slightly raised areas, with expanding rings as the infection spreads

Contagious with contact or shared clothing

Contact with infected person or clothing Prescription anti-fungal medication

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