Dermatology St. John's - A rash on the skin is usually defined as a change to the skin in its color, appearance or texture. A skin rash could effect the entire skin or may be localized on one specific area of the body. Rashes can often cause the skin to itch, become bumpy, dry, painful, blistered, cracked, warm or swollen. Normally, rashes can cause the skin to change color. The causes and treatments for rashes differ considerably depending on the diagnosis. The diagnosis is formed by considering various factors like for example the rashes' overall appearance, what the individual's job is, family history, what the person may have been exposed to and various indications. The diagnosis can in fact confirm whatever number of health problems.
The rash can help to indicate some connected symptoms and signs which are common to specific diseases. Measles for example, can give a rash that is called an erythematous, morbilliform, maculopapular rash. This normally presents itself a few days after the fever begins and classically it presents at the head and afterward works its way downwards.
The most common causes of a skin rash consist of food allergies, anxieties, dyes, medicines and insect bites and stings. Jewelry made of nickels and zincs have been found to be allergens. Skin contact with an irritant normally leads to hives. These raised portions of skin could become red, inflamed, itchy, swollen and painful. Rashes may likewise result from a reaction to vaccination, from a fungal infection like for instance ringworm, from friction because of chafing of the skin, from heat exposure or sunburn, and from skin diseases like for example eczema or acne.
Bacterial and viral infections can result in a rash on the skin. The smallpox, chickenpox, measles and cold sore viruses can lead to distinct and uncomfortable rashes. There are some uncommon causes of rashes like: pregnancy, lead poisoning, Lyme disease, autoimmune disorders like psoriasis and of course frequent and repeated scratching on a specific part.
There are many potential causes of a rash, making the evaluation more difficult. In order to get an accurate evaluation, a health provider may have to do a completely thorough history. For example, what is the individual's job? Are they taking any kind of medication regularly? Has the patient just traveled to whatever exotic locations? Usually, a complete physical examination will be useful so as to determine the origin and cause of the rash.
Certain Factors to Include in the Examination Are:
The appearance of the rash, like for instance, is it fine and sandpaper as found with scarlet fever, is it purpuric, which is typical for meningococcal disease and vasculitis? Is the rash consisting of plaques with silver scales which is often seen with psoriasis? Or does the rash consist of circular lesions with a central depression, which is usual of small pox and molluscum contagiosum?
What is the distribution of the rash? For example with chicken pox, the vesicles normally follow the hollows of the body; thus, they are most prominent in the hollows of both shoulder blades as well as along the depression of the spine on the back. The rash presented with scarlet fever becomes confluent and forms bright red lines in the skin creases of the armpits, groins and neck. These lines are called Pastia's lines. There are not many rashes that affect the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet, although this could be seen in spotted fevers or rikettsia, secondary syphilis, hand, foot and mouth disease as well as guttate psoriasis and also in kertoderma blenorrhagica. The symmetry of the rash is another feature to consider. For instance, herpes zoster usually only affects one side of the body throughout an outbreak and does not cross the midline.
Normally, it is good advice not to scratch the rash. This is due to the scratching causing a spread of the rash. It can be tempting to gently rub the affected area so as to provide temporary relief but it is better to avoid contact with the affected parts completely.
Different skin diseases could show their indications on the body. These indications can come in the form of Acne Vulgaris which comprises nodules, papules, comedones and pustules. Normally, this particular condition is found on the back, chest and the face. Acne Rosacea is defined as an area of flushed appearance or redness, typically found on the chin, nose, cheeks or forehead. Boils are a skin condition which can happen anywhere as a cluster or series of red painful bumps or a painful red bump. Cellulitis could be found around a skin breach such as in a cut or scrape. It presents as a red, swollen and tender area of skin. Insect bites can happen anywhere on the body and are found as itchy and red, normally swollen bumps on the skin.
After being exposed to or ingesting certain medicines, foods or drugs, allergic reactions could visibly appear on the skin. They appear as raised, flat or irregular red sores. Hives may appear anywhere on the body. These are bumps that form all of a sudden and are often initially noticed on the face. Seborrheic Dermatitis is the definition of swelling and bumps that appear near glands. Cradle Cap is a condition on the scalp of newly born babies that looks like dry, scaly skin. Irritant Contact Dermatitis is another condition that becomes a red, scaly or itchy or oily rash. It can be found on the edge of the scalp, nose, eyebrows or where the body is in contact with clothing, perfume or jewelry.
Some bushes and trees like for example sumac, poison ivy and oak could elicit an allergic response known as Allergic Contact Dermatitis. It presents on the person as red, scaly, oily or itchy rash which could be leathery or weeping. Allergic Purpura can occur anywhere on the body and looks like tiny red dots on the skin or even larger, bruise-like spots that appeared after taking medicine. Pityriasis Rosea could initially start with a single red, scaly, slightly itchy spot. Within a few days, there could be large numbers of smaller patches of red or tan rash. This is found on the chest and abdomen area. Dermatitis Herpetiformis is a condition which comprises an extremely itchy rash with blisters and red bumps, found on the buttocks, elbows, back or knees.
These are amongst the common skin rashes: Erythema nodosum, warts, Psoriasis, Chickenpox, Fifth Disease, Shingles, Ringworm, diaper rash, Jock itch, yeast infection, Impetigo, Tinea versicolor, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Scabies, Lupus erythematosus, and many others.
Depending upon the type of rash the individual has, there are different treatment options existing. Lots of skin rashes can be cured making use of non-steroidal treatments such as salves made with aloe vera, sage, tea tree oil or comfrey. Other topical steroid creams like hydrocortisone are prescribed. Different medications can be found over the counter and some could be specifically blended from a Herbalist or Naturopathic Doctor.
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