" “Identifying skin rashes can be difficult since many of the symptoms are similar. However, based on where the itch is occurring and how it looks may indicate probable causes. Localized itching or rash refers to a skin condition that occurs in specific area of the body, and often the result of an insect bite or contact dermatitis (from something that came in contact with the skin). All over body itching which is referred to as a generalized skin condition is usually caused by some type of allergic reaction, which can be environmental or food. Other common causes are some type of fungal or bacterial infection. Be sure to take note of accompanying symptoms such as lethargy (tiredness) and fever. This guide is not a replacement for medical attention and should be used as a way of having an informed conversation with your physician."
Some Common Categories of Skin
Most rashes are not dangerous. This however, does not mean doing your own diagnosis is a smart move, largely because you may make the wrong diagnosis and get the wrong treatment, which may aggravate the condition.
Flaking, itchy skin is also referred to as eczema or
dermatitis. Some of the skin rashes found in this category are:
Typically hereditary. May affect children in the form of
patches, peeling patches on legs, arms and the torso. This may progress
in adulthood to patching on the whole body, around eyelids and on
Those with atopic dermatitis might have allergies, however, most cases are not in and of themselves allergic. Dermatitis is normally inflamed and very itchy and red with a weeping crust, but is not contagious.
Literally, contact dermatitis refers to contact with
materials that irritates the skin or causes a local allergy reaction.
Examples include poison ivy or oak or metal allergies to nickel or
lead. Mostly appears just in locations touched by reactive material.
There are also three other fairly common body rashes not mentioned above including pityriasis rosea (scaly patches on back and chest), psoriasis (hereditary patching body wide) and xerosis (extremely dry skin).
If you have an infection and also have a rash, the usual culprit is a bacterial or fungal infection.
Relatively Common Fungal infections:
infections of this nature are not as frequent as skin rashes in the
eczema category. One mistake made in diagnosis of fungal
infections is to call a scaly rash a fungus, when in fact it is usually
Yeast infections are “related” to fungal infections, but usually strike in areas where there are skin folds and are often beet red with pustules. These kinds of infections have nothing to do with hygiene, are not easily transmitted and are not highly contagious.
Treatment: • Anti fungal creams/lotions OTC
The most common bacterial infection is impetigo, caused by strep or staph germs. This typically affects more kids than adults. Hygiene doesn’t cause this.
Skin Rashes caused by a secondary syphilis infection, which is a bacterial condition primarily spread through sexual contact. Skin rash can appear on one or several body areas. Rash primarily appears on the hands and bottoms of the feet, but can appear in other areas as shown here.
A hot tub rash is due to germs that survive in the warm water of an improperly chlorinated hot tub or swimming pool. The rash forms under the bathing suit and will go away on its own in several days.
Treatment for Bacterial Infections:
An episode like this is usually an allergic or viral response.
generally speaking, viral skin
infections (e.g. shingles) are located in one part of the body. Viral
skin rashes may be everywhere. People with viral skin rashes may have
nausea, sneezing and coughing. Viral rashes are generally self-limiting
and fade away on their own in about a week.
Allergic reactions may start
within minutes to weeks after taking a drug. If it’s new, the doctor
may suggest stopping the drug to determine the reaction. There is no
definitive test to see if a rash is an allergic reaction or not. If it
does not respond to stopping the drug, allergies are not usually to
One other really common cause of skin rashes is hives, which the doctor may refer to as urticaria. They come and go and no one seems to be able to determine their cause. They happen to everyone at some point in their lives and appear in different locations on the body, although they do seem to love the neck and upper chest, groin, elbows and under breasts.
Prickly heat rash occurs when individuals are exposed to outside heat and humidity levels that are higher than normal body temperature. In extreme heat the body sweat glands have difficulty with the cooling needs of the skin, resulting in a heat related heat rash commonly referred to as prickly heat or miliaria. No treatment is necessary beyond staying out of the sun for an extended period of time. Avoid using creams that can clog the pores and reduce the efficiency of the body's sweat glands. Instead, if itch is a problem, consider a oral medication such as an anti-histamine or a homoepathic remedy such as Skin Dr..
Prickly heat rash (also called Miliaria Crystallina) which requires no treatment other than staying in cool, dry places
Source: U.S. Army; Dermatology Service, Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Other conditions that occur due to high heat and humidity (primarily in tropical climates) are Hypohidrosis syndrome (from excessive sweating such as in the face), Tropical Acne (sick feeling, occurs in individuals that had teen acne) and Cholinergic Urticaria (1mm to 3mm skin wheals).
Tropical Acne is characterized by large, inflamed and pus filled blisters.
Source: U.S. Army Dermatology Service