A rash is a change of the skin which affects its color, appearance or texture. A rash may be localized in one part of the body, or it can be widespread. Rashes may cause the skin to change color, itch, become warm, bumpy, dry, cracked or blistered, swell and may be painful. The causes, and therefore treatments for rashes, vary widely. Diagnosis must take into account such things as the appearance of the rash, other symptoms, what the patient may have been exposed to, occupation, and occurrence in family members. The diagnosis may confirm any number of conditions.
There are several conditions which can cause itchy skin; skin inflammation, allergies (contact dermatitis), and infections are some of the causes of skin rash. Majority of skin rashes are generally harmless unless they are associated with an infectious disease. Common categories of rash are scaly patches of skin not caused by infection, scaly patches of skin produced by fungal or bacterial infection, and red, itchy bumps or patches all over the body.
Causes of Itchy Red Bumps
Viral rashes on the body are usually symmetrical and widespread and may cause symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and nausea in addition to the itchy red bumps. Viral rashes are temporary and typically dissipate on their own.
Persons may experience allergic reactions to new medications. Most allergic drug rashes start within two weeks of taking a new medication, especially if its use is repeated. It is very unlikely for medicine that has been prescribed for months or years to cause an allergic reaction. Since there is usually no specific test to prove whether a rash is allergic, doctors may recommend stopping a suspected drug to see what happens. If the rash doesn’t disappear within five days of not taking the medication, allergy is unlikely. It is commonly thought that foods, soaps, and detergents may cause an outbreak of skin rash but this is rarely the case.
Hives (urticaria) are itchy, red welts that come and go on various parts of the body. Most hives are not allergic, run their course, and disappear as mysteriously as they came
Human scabies is caused by an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite. The infection causes intense itchy red bumps or an itchy rash that has formed largely on warm parts of the body, such as the genital area, armpits, elbows, wrists, webbing of the hands and feet or other places where there are folds and crevices, is likely a sign of scabies. Scabies may spread to other parts of the skin due to the allergic reaction to the mite.
Bed bugs are small, oval, wingless insects that belong to the insect family Cimicidae, which includes three species that bite people. When bed bugs feed they inject saliva into the skin resulting in adverse reactions. Some individuals however, do not react to their bite, whereas others note a great deal of discomfort often with loss of sleep from the persistent biting. The most commonly affected areas of the body are the arms and shoulders. Reactions to the bites may be delayed; up to 9 days before lesions appear. Common allergic reactions include the development of large wheals, itching and inflammation. The wheals usually subside to red spots but can last for several days.
Jock itch is a fungal infection common to the groin and upper thighs. It belongs to a group of fungal infections called tinea. Jock itch is caused by several types of mold-like fungi called dermatophytes which live on the body. Symptoms include a circular, red, raised rash with elevated edges, itching, chafing, or burning in the groin, thigh, or anal area, skin redness in the groin, thigh, or anal area, and flaking, peeling, or cracking skin.