A skin rash is a very broad medical term and well-defined as a widespread outbreak or eruption of skin lesions. Skin rashes can be greatly different in appearance and there are numerous potential causes for it. On account of the wide range variety of skin rashes, there are likewise different sorts of treatment options available for them.

A skin rash can be just localized to a small or else may cover a large area or part of the body. Skin ashes touch down in many forms such as dry, moist, bumpy, smooth, cracked or blistered and so on. Moreover, they can be agonizing, itchy and even change its color or texture.

A skin rash shows an anomalous change in skin shading or surface. Rashes are normally brought about by the inflammation of the skin which can have several causes.

Skin rashes influence a huge number of individuals over the world; a few rashes may require no treatment and will clear up alone, some could be treated at home while others may be an indication of something highly serious.

Skin rash is a general, vague term that depicts any visible skin flare-up. Skin rash is found frequent in all ages from newborns to adults and almost everybody will have some sort of skin rash sooner or later in their life. There is a huge range of medical diagnoses for skin rash and has many diverse causes.

It is beyond the realm of imagination to completely cover each kind of skin rash. Therefore, special mention has been offered here to probably the most well-known sorts of skin rashes. A dermatologist is a medical practitioner who has expertise in diseases of the skin and should be counseled for consultation regarding skin rashes that are hard to diagnose and treat.

What Are the Different Types of Rashes?

While there is a wide range of types, skin rashes may essentially be partitioned into two kinds:

  • Infectious
  • Noninfectious

Infection Associated Skin Rashes

Infectious skin rashes, as the term indicates, are caused by infectious agents like viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Some of the infectious skin rashes are:

  • Tinea (Ringworm)
  • Impetigo
  • Staphylococcus
  • Scabies
  • Herpes
  • Chickenpox
  • Shingles

Non-infectious Skin Rashes

The cause of the non-infectious skin rash is non-infectious. These skin rash may include:

  • Eczema
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Drug eruptions
  • Rosacea, hives (urticaria)
  • Dry skin (xerosis)
  • Allergic dermatitis

Determining the particular reason for skin rash commonly needs a detailed explanation of the skin rash together with its symptoms, shape, symmetry, circulation, length, and history. These elements are significant in distinguishing the right diagnosis. Exact data about past medicines, family history, daily habits and exposure with certain substances are very significant to ask.

Treatments that work might be a clue to the reason for the skin rash, may subside symptoms or alter the appearance and creating a certain diagnosis harder. At times, decent quality photos of the early stage of skin rash may help in reaching an exact diagnosis.

What Causes Infectious Rashes?

Skin rashes have a comprehensive list of potential. In a wide sense, rashes are normally categorized as infectious or noninfectious.

Causes of Infectious Rashes

Infectious skin rash occurs due to the following causes:


The causative agent of skin rash is the fungi. Here are the different types of fungi that contribute ion the formation of skin rash:


It is a kind of skin fungus that generally causes rashes on the ski besides effacing hair and nails. This irresistible skin rash is called tinea or ringworm and might happen on any surface of the body.


Candida can bring about common yeast infections in in clammy zones like in the fingers, inside the mouth, vaginal region and in the folds of the groin area. It would be infrequent to see a Candida rash in a dry body area.


Other considerably less common fungal infections incorporate


Little kids and infants are especially inclined to numerous sorts of viral diseases and ailments. There are different types of viruses that contribute to skin rash. These are:

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) of types I and II can cause infections on the facial skin, lips, nose, private parts, and buttock area.

Herpes Zoster

Herpes zoster causes skin rash in the form of chickenpox and shingles.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

HIV causes several kinds of skin rashes in different areas of the body due to a compromised immune system.

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is associated with numerous kinds of skin rashes and most ordinarily with mononucleosis also known as mono or kissing disease.


Parvovirus can result in a variety of rashes extending from red cheeks to a net-like red rash on the regions of arms to purple hands and feet.


Enteroviruses including echoviruses or coxsackievirus cause skin rashes. Coxsackievirus is related to hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD).


Roseola is a skin rash that influences newborn children and characteristically is gone before by very high fevers that all of a sudden resolve as a bright red skin rash showing up on the trunk.


Measles is once in a while observed since most youngsters are vaccinated. It is the classical viral skin rash described by the beginning of little red macules that grow and coalesce, beginning from the head with spread descending and outwardly.

Other Viruses

A number of more severe viral infections may have vague and insignificantly symptomatic skin rashes, for example, West Nile and Zika infections while others have considerably more dramatic hemorrhagic skin results for instance Ebola virus infection and dengue fever.


Various types of bacteria contribute to the occurrence of skin rash. Some of them are discussed below.


Staphylococcus infections are highly common and might cause many sorts of skin rashes along with:

  • Folliculitis
  • Abscesses
  • Furuncles
  • Cellulitis
  • Impetigo
  • Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome
  • Surgical wound infections
  • Necrotizing fasciitis


Pseudomonas may result in a wide range of skin problems including:

  • Green discoloration of the nails
  • Folliculitis
  • Hot tub folliculitis
  • Surgical wound infections
  • Foot infections


Parasitic causes of skin rashes include:


Scabies is a very bothersome, infectious infestation with a microscopic mite.


Lice invasions may cause various sorts of itchy rashes in the affected parts like scalp and nape of the neck or pubic zone.

Causes of Noninfectious Rashes

There are different causes other than infections which can lead to skin rashes. These are:

Drug Allergies

Drug allergies may appear from exposure to drugs having sulfa, penicillin or anti-seizure medications like phenytoin and phenobarbital and so on.

Contact Allergic Dermatitis

Contact Allergic Dermatitis may have a chance to develop on repeat use or exposure to topical products containing nickel, neomycin, cobalt, adhesives, latex, rubber and dyes.

Eczema Or Atopic Dermatitis

Eczema or atopic dermatitis has a wide variety of skin sensitivity resulting in skin rash on which are dry, red and itchy in nature.

Hypersensitivity or allergic dermatitis

Repeated exposure to poison oak and poison ivy may develop allergic dermatitis.

Irritant dermatitis

Irritant dermatitis as of excessive skin dryness might result from repeated exposure to harsh soaps and strong cleaning chemicals.

Food Allergy

Food allergy rashes usually occur due to allergy from any ingredient in food and present as hives.

Autoimmune Conditions

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, scleroderma, and other disorders often cause skin rashes.

Other Diseases

Other systemic diseases include amyloidosis and sarcoidosis resulting in skin rash symptoms.

A wide range of risk factors figures out what skin rash a patient might get. A strong family history of eczema, multiple exposures to sick children, the use of immunosuppressive medications and exposure to different medications all contribute to the danger of developing skin rashes.

A correctly taken history of drug use including over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, supplements, and prescription drugs are also important. There are a few rashes that just show up in a relationship with pregnancy, either during pregnancy or even after the delivery of the baby. The majority of these are not serious but rather can be exceptionally irritating.

Symptoms of Skin Rash

Most skin rashes will, in general, be itchy, albeit a few, particularly the most serious might be painful or burning. The most common symptoms of skin rash that may be present in all are:

  • Redness of skin
  • Pain
  • Slight inflammation
  • Pus in some cases
  • Edema in few
  • Warmth
  • Skin changes
  • Color changes
  • Difficulty in moving or carrying daily activities

Signs and symptoms of skin rash also need a description of the skin rash. Rashes appear in a wide range of hues, sizes, shapes as well as patterns. Most rashes will, in general, be red, as a result of skin inflammation. Skin rashes may be explained as:

  • Flat as macular
  • Raised or bumpy as papular
  • Raised, sheet-like as plaque
  • A mixture of flat and raised termed as maculopapular
  • Small pus bumps called pustular
  • Acneiform which is acne-like with small or large pimples
  • Small clear blisters called vesicular
  • Red or pink petechial i.e. tiny pinpoint bleeding into the skin
  • Silvery white scales of psoriasis
  • Annular which is circular with central clearing, like in ringworm infections or Lyme disease
  • Eczematous that is dry, scaly, rough when early, thick and discolored after time
  • Excoriated with scratched areas and this may be superimposed on any other rash

Skin Rashes in Children

Skin rashes in kids require cautious history taking, assessment, and examination of the skin. Rashes in youngsters are normal and might be hard to separate by appearance alone, in this way, it is essential to consider the whole clinical presentation as to make a suitable diagnosis. There is a different symptomatic classification of skin rash in kids which is described below.

Skin Rash with Fever

Skin rash with fever in kids includes:

  • Slapped cheek syndrome
  • Chickenpox
  • Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD)
  • Scarlet fever

Skin Rash with Itching

Skin rashes with the complaint of itching consist of:

  • Prickly heat rash/heat rash
  • Eczema
  • Hives
  • Ringworm

Skin Rash without Itching

Skin rash without fever or itching are:

  • Milia
  • Erythema toxicum
  • Molluscum contagiosum
  • Nappy rash

Other Skin Rashes

Other skin rashes include bacterial meningitis which is a major one.

Skin Rash and Pregnancy

Skin rashes can occur in pregnancy or might be unique to pregnant women. The conditions that are unique in pregnant women causing skin rashes are:

  • Pruritic papules
  • Urticarial papules
  • Plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP)
  • Polymorphous Eruption of Pregnancy (PMEP)
  • Pemphigoid Gestationis
  • Pustular psoriasis

Some of these can be highly severe and their treatment in pregnancy is complicated by concern that the treatment may possibly have an adverse impact on the fetus.

How to Diagnose a Skin Rash?

There are many useful laboratory and special examinations that can be helpful in the diagnosis of rash, like:

  • Bacterial culture to check for bacteria on the skin rash
  • Microscopic examination of a scraping of the skin with potassium hydroxide to look for fungus
  • Blood tests such as Antinuclear Antibody (ANA), complete blood count (CBC), liver function tests (LFT), thyroid function tests, etc.
  • Blood test for EBV (mono) or syphilis may be appropriate
  • Nasal culture using a cotton tip swab to check for Staphylococcus and other bacteria
  • Gram stain to identify bacteria types
  • Skin biopsy for microscopic examination)
  • Patch test to determine contact allergies

What Are Treatment Choices for a Skin Rash?

By and large, most noninfectious rashes are typically treated symptomatically and regularly with cortisone creams or potentially pills. Infection-related skin rashes are much of the time treated by addressing the root cause or the underlying infection. A few treatments like oatmeal baths might help control the itching of infectious and noninfectious both types of skin rashes.

Treatment of Infectious Rashes

These are treated by:

  • Topical, intravenous course or oral antifungal medications
  • Topical, intravenous course or oral antiviral medications
  • Topical, intravenous course or oral antibiotics
  • Vaccination
  • Use of steroidal medicines

Treatment of Noninfectious Rashes

Treatment options for noninfectious skin rash consist of the following options.

  • Management of a rash due to a drug allergy suggests stopping or discontinuing the drug responsible
  • Withdrawal of the offending topical agent
  • Use of topical steroid creams
  • Lubrication of skin avoidance of harsh soaps and chemicals
  • Use of petrolatum (Vaseline)

What Is the Prognosis for a Skin Rash?

The appearance of the rash relies upon the underlying cause. The prognosis of treating a superficial fungal infection skin rash is generally excellent while a patient with psoriasis or eczema may not resolve fully even with aggressive therapy.

Most skin rashes are short-lived and simply get clear. There are certain chronic skin rashes that are incurable, for instance, psoriasis. Medical monitoring is regularly important to watch the progression of highly resistant or recurrent skin rashes. Any persistent skin rash or rashes that are stubborn to proper treatment require a skin biopsy to rule out malignant growth.

How to Prevent Skin Rash?

Risk factors, as well as preventive measures for skin rash, rely on the type of rash. However, certain steps must be kept in mind to prevent skin rash. Some of them are:

  • Abstain from offending or irritating agents such as harsh soaps, cleansers or detergents if one has contact dermatitis.
  • Do patch testing with special allergens if there is a doubt for topical allergies.
  • Keep the skin hydrated and moist with cream, ointment or emollients.
  • Avoid infected individuals, particularly with active chickenpox.
  • Contact with the body fluids for example blood, respiratory droplets and saliva also must be avoided.
  • Washing hands and keeping proper hygiene are significant in prevention.
  • Abstain from shaving with dirty razors.
  • Use special precautions measures while using in public facilities like gyms, showers and swimming pools to prevent developing rashes.
  • Try not to keep razors in the shower as humidity energizes bacterial growth.

If your skin is itchy, flared up or covered in a rash or if you consider you have one of the discussed skin problems, consult your physician or specifically a dermatologist as mostly skin rashes are minor yet others can flag something increasingly serious.