Symptoms, Causes and Treatment of Skin Rash

11 September, 2020
In recent decades, a skin rash has become a health problem that affects more and more people in the world. It's a response that manifests as redness and itching in a localized area of the body.

We come into contact with all kinds of objects every day and many of those are microorganisms that can lead to skin rash — a reddish coloration of the skin that responds to allergens.

Firstly, the skin is the first defense barrier we have against external agents. This is why it’s so important to pay attention to it and take some preventive measures. Below we’ll tell you more about what constitutes a skin rash and what you can do to prevent it.

What’s a skin rash?

Redness on the skin is a skin rash and is often accompanied by small lesions such as hives in localized areas. There are different factors that can lead to it. Also, there are two types and they depend on the cause, the color, and how it manifests.

Contact dermatitis

This type of skin rash arises as an allergic reaction towards a chemical compound or some other physical agent. Presently, any product you consume has components that can cause alterations and damage to your skin. Some examples of this are:

  • Soaps
  • Lotions, cosmetics, and perfumes
  • Cleaning products
  • Medication

In turn, this type of dermatitis is divided into two categories: contact and allergic. Its manifestations are identical but differ in the course of the disease and in its pathophysiology.

A badly sunburnt person.
Dermatitis is a form of skin rash that causes intense itching.

Seborrheic dermatitis

As revealed by a study in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, this condition affects between 1 and 3% of the healthy population. Therefore, we can say that seborrheic dermatitis is a common recurrent inflammatory disease.

People affected by this pathology have oily skin and a skin tone that ranges from pink to red, accompanied by a yellowish peeling. The intervention of the sebaceous glands in this disorder is what contributes to its development.

Discover more Skin Spots and What Causes Them

Symptoms and causes

Oftentimes, the symptoms are characterized by the appearance of rashes and itching of the skin in a specific place on the body. In addition, there may be itching, erythematous macules, papules, vesicles, and localized bullae.

Particularly, seborrheic dermatitis is a type of oily yellowish skin that affects the lips, the eyelids and the eyebrows, the scalp, and the chest.

The site of the condition, age, sex, and genetic predisposition are all factors that make some people more or less sensitive to have a skin rash.

Furthermore, this pathology can be caused by various causative agents. The most common ones are infections by microorganisms, and reactions to allergens or chemicals found in fabrics, cleaning products, and cosmetics.

Contact dermatitis arises due to chemical skin damage. However, the allergy is really due to a hypersensitive reaction within 48 hours of exposure to a given allergen. Some of the products that lead to this kind of redness of the skin in contact dermatitis are corticosteroids, antihistamines, antibiotics, and sun lotions.

On the contrary, seborrheic dermatitis seems to be caused by fungi and genetic predisposition. For instance, this is the case of Malassezia yeast, a commensal fungus that produces metabolites that irritate the skin. In addition, it’s been shown that patients who suffer from other diseases, such as HIV, or who have received an organ transplant, are more susceptible.

A person applying ointment to their skin rash.
The skin rash can originate from bacteria, fungi, and even medications.

Keep reading Diagnosis of Skin Necrosis

Treatment of a skin rash

One of the most effective ways to prevent a skin rash is to be aware of what substances cause allergies, and thus, avoid contact with them. It might be hard to decipher the nomenclature of the chemical components on the label though.

Firstly, dermatologists and allergists must take into account which compounds are the most common in allergies and which are most present in personal care products and medications. This is because it’ll help them make a better diagnosis.

Finally, the type of skin rash depends on the product, microorganism, or physical agent that originates it. Therefore, the recommended treatment to follow will also depend on the causal agent, mainly.

  • Karakadze, M.A., Hirt, P.A. and Wikramanayake, T.C. The genetic basis of seborrhoeic dermatitis: a review. J. Eur. Acad. Dermatol. Venereol. (2018) 32(4):529-536.
  • Nguyen, H.L. and Yiannias, J.A. Contact dermatitis to medications and skin products. Clin. Rev. Allergy Immunol. (2019) 56(1):41-59.
  • Grice, Elizabeth A., and Thomas L. Dawson. “Host–microbe interactions: Malassezia and human skin.” Current opinion in microbiology 40 (2017): 81-87.