Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is one of the most common, long-term skin problems that causes rashes. It is usually due to using harsh soaps and detergents among other substances that irritate the skin.
Parts of the face, neck, trunk or limbs become itchy and inflamed in persons with eczema. Usually, the same spots will flare up for some time and then become normal. This happens over and over again over a long period of time. Avoiding substances that cause the flare-ups while using creams or lotions can improve the symptoms.
Irritant contact dermatitis is another skin problem that is caused by chemicals such as cleaning products or industrial chemicals. When exposed to such chemicals, the skin becomes dry and scaly, but this type of rash does not itch.
On the other hand, allergic contact dermatitis causes itchy rashes with bumps and sometimes blisters. Latex rubber and nickel are the common substances which cause this type of rash. Avoiding the substances that cause the rash can prevent both irritant and allergic contact dermatitis.
Psoriasis is another long-term problem that causes itchy, dry and inflamed patches of skin, which may be painful as well. Its periods of flare-ups can last for a long time. Psoriasis can be a mild disturbance to some people while severely disabling in others. Treatment in the form of topical medications and light therapy may improve the symptoms.
Shingles, or herpes zoster, start off with itching or pain and leads to clusters of small blisters somewhat like chickenpox rash. However, the blisters can only be seen on one side of the body. After several days, the blisters will break into ulcers that will dry up and form crusts. People with shingles recover after a few weeks. Under normal circumstances, doctors will prescribe antiviral medications to lessen the pain and reduce the risk of pain once the rash heals. For the elderly, a vaccine for shingles is available and recommended.
Unlike the above skin problems, which are related to the immune system, tinea, or ringworm, is a fungal infection. Tinea corpus is found on the body, tinea cruris in the groin while tinea pedis affects the foot. Itchy, red, scaly, slightly raised, expanding rings on the skin show ringworm infection. Skin-to-skin contact, unwashed clothes and bed sheets are some of the ways how ringworm can spread. Antifungal medication is needed to treat tinea infections.
If you have rashes, do consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Skin Rash. Available at www.healthline.com
Slide show: Common skin rashes. Available at www.mayoclinic.org
Tinea Infections. Available at www.nlm.nih.gov