4 Common Types of Skin Rashes

Is your skin red and itchy? Perhaps it’s dry and cracked? It might even be blistered and peeling? These symptoms are all tell-tale signs that your probably suffering from a skin rash. Correctly identifying and treating skin rashes can be tricky. Take the wrong steps and you could make your condition worse. Continue reading to learn how to properly identify and treat 4 of the most common types of rashes.

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections often times appear without any warning and begin as red spots on skin or tiny red dots on skin. If left untreated, bacterial infections can quickly escalate into more serious problems. The skin is the body’s first layer of defense against infection. When the skin is broken, as in the case of a wound or a picked scab or even the site of a ruptured pimple, bacteria is able to penetrate the skin and begin to fester and multiply. Initially, the bacteria affects the wound and surrounding tissue, but can rapidly begins to spread throughout your entire body if left untreated. Common signs of bacterial infections can include red spots on skin, tiny red dots on skin, red blotches on skin, heat, inflammation and possibly bleeding. The skin may also weep or ooze fluid or pus.

Bacterial Skin Infection on Forearm

Bacterial Skin Infection on Forearm

Be sure to thoroughly clean all wounds and cuts with soap and water. Then gently apply an antiseptic healing ointment or a topical antibiotic directly to the site of infection. Be sure to change your bandages frequently and see your doctor if the infection gets worse.

Fungal Infections

Common types of fungal infections include athlete’s foot, ringworm and jock itch. These types of infection typically develop in between the toes, the groin region, under the breasts, in the folds of skin or in areas covered by diapers in babies. These areas of the body are usually covered or clothed, creating a warm, dark and moist environment that is conducive to fungal infection. Skin that is red, cracking and peeling or even blistering are sure signs of a fungal infection.

Fungal Infection Tinea Corporis

Fungal Infection Tinea Corporis

Tiny red dots on skin or red spots on skin in a circular pattern with a blister like appearance are usually ringworm. It is quite easy to come in contact with the fungus that causes these types of infections, especially in warm damp areas like pool decks, locker rooms, public showers or workout areas. Use these quick easy steps to help prevent fungal infections

  • Be sure to use shower shoes in locker rooms, around pool decks and while using public showers.

  • Thoroughly dry trouble areas like the groin, folds in the skin and the feet.

  • Tea Tree Oil may be effective in treating some fungal toe-nail infections.

  • Use an anti-fungal spray at the first sign of trouble.

  • See your doctor if the fungal infection persists.

Eczema

Eczema, easily confused with Psoriasis, is an inflammatory skin disorder that causes the skin to be dry and cracked. It is often red and itchy and primarily affects the elbow and knees, the back of the arms, the hands and the eyelids. Studies indicate that 17-20% of children under the age of 12 months are affected by eczema. Many will outgrow their condition by early adolescence, but recurrence in adulthood is common.

Eczema on Flexor Surface of Elbow

Eczema on Flexor Surface of Elbow

Environmental factors can play a major role in the frequency, as well as the severity, of eczema outbreaks. Fluctuating temperatures and a dry climate, or skin contact with latex gloves or perfumes are known triggers. Persons with eczema should resist scratching the affected areas, as this will only make the condition worse. Practicing the following steps will help to reduce the frequency and severity of eczema.

  • Minimize contact with water, especially hot water, as it tends to strip the skin of natural oils.

  • Avoid harsh soaps that often leave the skin dry. Instead use soap-free moisturizing cleansers like Cerave and Cetaphil.

  • Use unscented skin-care products. Remember, fragrance free is not the same as unscented and still may irritate the skin.

  • Showers should be brief using lukewarm water. Pat dry the skin and then apply an emollient, such as Aquaphor, which helps the skin to retain moisture.

  • When eczema outbreaks occur, use an anti-itch healing cream, such as a topical steroid with 1% hydrocortisone. Newer and stronger prescription barrier creams can also be prescribed by a dermatologist.

Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is considered a type of eczema and is triggered by the skin coming in physical contact with something that produces an allergic reaction or severely irritates the skin. Luckily, unlike many forms of eczema and psoriasis, contact dermatitis can be completely cured in most instances. The hallmark of contact dermatitis is intense itching associated with welts or a blistering rash.

Contact Dermatitis Due to Clip-on Earring

Contact Dermatitis Due to Clip-on Earring

About 75% of the people known to suffer from contact dermatitis have the irritant variety. The remaining 25% endure with the allergic variant. Common contact dermatitis triggers include certain fragrances, cosmetics and hair dyes. Other triggers include poison ivy, latex, cleaning fluids, detergents and formaldehyde in nail polish.

The fastest way to prevent contact dermatitis is to avoid contact with known triggers that cause you to break out. When dealing with a current bout of contact dermatitis, try to identify the trigger source so you can avoid it in the future. Use an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream when treating contact dermatitis. See your dermatologist for more serious outbreaks.