Far from being a diagnosis as such, a rash is an irritation of the skin that usually shows up with red patches, and can be due to any number of reasons. We list the most common offenders below.
Eczema and dry skin
Common in children, eczema is a skin condition that causes itchy, red, and dry skin due to inflammation. Also known as atopic dermatitis, it’s usually managed with moisturising creams. It’s key to avoid triggers, such as changing temperatures, fragranced products or food allergens. Eczema and dry skin can be treated with medication or steroid creams.
Toxicodendron radicans, aka poison ivy is a toxic Asian and North American flowering plant that causes an irritating, allergic reaction. Its sticky oil is responsible for the rash. It can present itself in the shape of lines, blisters or hives and even seeping blisters.
Everyone has their own triggers and allergens but the most common are without a doubt food allergens such as nuts, eggs and milk, as well as gluten. Pollen is another natural allergen which often causes reactions, and products such as soaps or detergents which contain alcohol and fragrances.
Athlete's foot and Fungal infections
A common skin infection, Athlete's’ foot is due to a fungal infection which can cause a rash and itching. Fungal infections are often found around the feet area, around the genitals, inner thighs, and buttocks.
A common scenario, bacterial infections can be harmless or a symptom of something more sinister. Most are due to Staphylococcus aureus (such as Follicutis, Impetigo and Toxic Shock Syndrome to name but a few) and a form of Streptococcus (such as Scarlet Fever and Gangrene).
Viral infections that cause a rash are also plentiful, from Measles to Rubella and Chickenpox - the choice of infection is wide. If in doubt, consult your doctor urgently.
How can I cure my rash?
Depending on the cause of the rash, it might just disappear of its own accord or need a course of medication. Treatments can relieve symptoms and pains like itching and flaky skin but the real key to calming a rash down is to leave it alone. Though tempting it may be to scratch, it’s best to resist!