Common Causes of Rashes:

  • Allergies
  • Eczema/Atopic Dermatitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Molluscum Contagiosum
  • Poison Ivy, Poison Sumac, or Poison Oak
  • Infection

Identifying and Treating Rashes
There are a number of causes of itchy, red, or bumpy rashes. Rash is the effect of a skin condition, so the cause of the symptom may vary. Allergens such as pet dander, fragrances, and chemical irritants cause the skin to break out in red and irritated patches. Eczema/Atopic Dermatitis is characterized by patches of itchy, red, irritated skin. In severe cases, the rash may develop into patches of oozing and flaking skin, and may cause the skin to thicken. A chronic skin condition called psoriasis, in which patches of skin become itchy, scaly, and red. Molluscum Contagiosum, which is a contagious rash typically consists of pearly bumps on the skin, which may be bordered with red. 10-20 bumps is common, but persons with weaker immune systems may experience more numerous bumps. Contact with certain plants, like Poison Ivy, Poison Sumac, or Poison Oak, can result in skin rashes. Simple infection, which is the response of the body’s immune system to bacterial or fungal infection may include skin rash or irritation.

While many rashes, such as allergic rash, are usually not severe or dangerous, one should never assume the cause of the rash. It is important to contact a professional dermatologist, such as Dr. Amy Vaughan, in order to discover the cause and proper treatment for rashes and skin irritants. If the rash is continuous, recurring, or severe, it may indicate a more serious skin condition.

Rashes are treated according to their cause. Removal of irritants and allergens are important with allergic rashes, while other rashes require topical creams or prescription medications. Chronic conditions such as eczema or psoriasis require continual treatment.