Nowadays chances are everyone has had one or two skin rashes along the way, but some people struggle with a particular form of rash most of their lives. Even though dermatology research has been making tremendous headway in the last few decades, it is only just beginning to unravel what exactly triggers the multitude of diseases associated with rashes. Some forms remain a total mystery to scientists even after years of comprehensive study and testing.
Skin rashes are generally defined as a change in the color, the texture or the appearance of one’s skin and it can be localized on a particular body part or it can become generalized, affecting the whole surface of the skin. Apart from the esthetic aspect of this skin condition, rashes come accompanied by a variety of different symptoms like itchiness, swelling or drying, bumps forming, blistering or cracking. Observing which signs are present on a particular patient and which are not is the first step to a correct diagnosis. However, due to the complexity of the causes possible, the treatment methods vary immensely. Some of the more common causes include:
- food allergies;
- reaction to vaccination;
- prolonged exposure to sunlight or heat;
- insect stings;
- other skin conditions (mostly eczema and acne) ;
- irritation from clothing rubbing onto the skin.
There are literally dozens of conditions and disorders related to skin rashes, each with their own particularities. In the following, we are going to briefly go through some of the most widespread forms:
1. Acne Vulgaris affects people of all ages and it usually involves pustules, comedones and nodules on the face, the back and the chest. Treatment mostly focuses on prescription antibiotics, ointments and creams.
2. Seborrheic Dermatitis develops bumps and swelling of the tissue in areas rich in sebaceous glands, like the scalp, face or torso. The treatment options consist of proper hygiene, natural supplements like Aloe Vera and coconut oil as well as phototherapy (in extreme cases).
3. Irritant Contact Dermatitis is an inflammatory disease that is caused by chemical or physical irritants, and it emerges in areas in which jewelry, clothing or perfumes touch the skin as well as on the edges of the scalp and the nose.
4. Allergic reaction to certain categories of foods or drugs characterized by irregular, flat or raised sores throughout the whole skin surface. It is typically one of the most enduring or skin rashes, but the treatment involves only temporary changes in diet and plenty of fluids.
5. Measles and Chickenpox are both virus induced, contagious and start off from the forehead and face, spreading downwards from there. They come with red rashes, blisters, aches, a sore throat and a sensation of perpetual tiredness. Treatment resides in easing the symptoms as there is no precise cure for these conditions. Nevertheless, one tactic that has proven successful over the years is simply waiting for the immune system to clear out the virus, as opposed to taking aggressive action.
6. Psoriasis is one of the more complex skin rashes as it has its roots in a malfunction of the immune system. It is generally hereditary, but other factors like stress or drug abuse can also trigger the disease. Psoriasis distinguishes itself through the characteristic plaques that form over flaky, irritated skin, primarily on the elbows and knees. The treatment is intricate and consists in creams, ointments for mild cases and light therapy and strong medication for severe outbreaks.
Our immune systems are weakened by stress, pollution and a faulty diet and are therefore more exposed to the different pathogens all around us. Skin rashes are a largely caused by the hectic lifestyle we are forced to have nowadays.