Rashes are abnormal changes in the color and texture of the skin. They are often the result of skin inflammation and can cause the skin to become bumpy, scaly, itchy or red and irritated. Sometimes, rashes even appear as blotches, welts or painful blisters.

Rashes are not all alike. Some rashes are localized on a particular area of the skin, while others occur all over the body. Some rashes only last for a short time, while others are long-lasting. Some rashes are mild, while others are more serious and require medical treatment.

Read on to learn more about some of the different causes of rashes and how to help ease your itchy symptoms.



Eczema/dermatitis is a rash-like skin condition that can show symptoms anywhere on the body. This skin condition can cause an individual’s skin to become red and itchy. If scratched, the skin will become inflamed and even more red. Eczema can affect both adults and children.

There are multiple types of eczema/dermatitis, including:

Eczema/dermatitis treatment is based on the type of eczema/dermatitis that you have. Treatment options include:

Granuloma Annulare

Granuloma annulare is a chronic skin condition that consists of a circular-shaped rash made up of small, firm reddish bumps (or papules). These bumps often appear on the forearms, hands and feet. Granuloma annulare usually affects children and young adults.

Treatment for granuloma annulare is usually only necessary for cosmetic reasons. In some cases, a steroid cream or ointment is prescribed to help the rings of bumps disappear, or liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the lesions. In more severe cases, ultraviolet light therapy is used, or oral drugs are prescribed.

Lichen Planus

Lichen planus is a common skin condition that creates flat, shiny-topped bumps. The bumps are reddish-purple and are angular in shape. They frequently appear on the insides of the wrists and ankles, lower legs and back and neck. Sometimes, they also appear inside the mouth or on the scalp. Lichen planus typically affects adults between the ages of 30-70.

Though lichen planus is incurable, its symptoms can be treated with anti-itch medications like antihistamines. In more serious cases, light therapy is used, or steroid shots, prednisone, or other immunosuppressive medications are prescribed.

Pityriasis Rosea

Pityriasis rosea is a mild skin rash that begins with a large, scaly pink area of skin located on the back or chest. Additional pink areas of skin also form and become red, itchy or inflamed. This rash differs from person to person and often affects the back, chest, neck, upper abdomen and legs.

Mild cases of pityriasis rosea typically go away on their own. Oral antihistamines and prescription steroids are often prescribed to help soothe symptoms like itching. Ultraviolet light is also used to help heal sores caused by pityriasis rosea.

Other Types of Rashes

Besides what is listed above, there are other causes for rashes to be mindful of, including:


Not every rash is preventable. In some cases, rashes are the result of certain diseases. Specific genes can even cause people to get rashes more than others. Since there are so many different causes of rashes, you must visit your dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment.

Dermatologists recommend the following tips to prevent itching:

And whatever kind of rash you have, do not scratch it! Scratching only causes the skin to open up and bleed, which raises the risk of infection.


Most rashes are not life-threatening, but sometimes, rashes can be a signal that something serious is wrong. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your dermatologist or visit the emergency room immediately:


Rashes can be frustrating conditions to deal with. At the Dermatology Center for Skin Health, PLLC, we want to do whatever we can to help diagnose and treat your rash.


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How to relieve itchy skin

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