Different types of itchy rashes

There are many different types of rashes that show up in an allergist’s office. Many of these represent allergic processes, while many other rashes are not caused by allergies. The following rashes are common in allergy offices. There are many different treatments available, depending on the type of rash. Treatment may include topical steroids, oral antihistamines, or topical antifungal creams. Avoiding allergy triggers can also help prevent symptoms from recurring.

atopic dermatitis

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Atopic dermatitis, commonly called eczema, can have different appearances depending on how long it has been present. For example, acute eczema can include blisters and fluid-filled blisters. Subacute eczema that lasts from days to weeks may appear dry and flaky. Chronic eczema that lasts from months to years can cause the skin to thicken or have a leathery appearance. This is called mossification. Eczema usually appears on the flexed areas of the body, especially in the folds of the elbows and behind the knees.

Learn about treatments for eczema.

poison sumac

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Poison oak rash.

Poison oak is an acute form of eczema that most often presents as fluid-filled blisters and blisters on the skin. Because poison oak is caused by skin-to-plant contact, the rash usually follows a linear pattern, caused by plant-to-skin friction, such as when a person is hiking in the woods. Poison oak responds to treatment with topical steroids.

psoriasis

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Facial psoriasis.

Psoriasis appears as thick, silvery scales, most commonly on joint surfaces and the scalp.

Dermatitis herpetiformis

Dermatitis herpetiformis usually appears as small fluid-filled blisters on the surface of the joints, but can also appear on the back of the scalp and lower back area. This rash is often the result of gluten sensitivity, also known as celiac disease. Dermatitis herpetiformis responds to gluten-free diet and dapsone treatment.

Ringworm

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Ringworm/tinea corporis.

Tinea corporis, or tinea corporis, appears as a flat rash that is usually red around the outer edges and white in the center. There may be peeling or scaling at the boundaries. Ringworm is caused by a fungal infection of the skin and responds well to topical antifungal medications, including over-the-counter clotrimazole.

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folliculitis

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Folliculitis.

Folliculitis is an infection of the hair follicles that appears as small papules, especially on parts of the body where hair has been shaved, such as the lower legs in women or the face in men. Since a person is covered with hair follicles, the rash can occur on most parts of the body. Folliculitis can be treated with antibacterial soaps, including over-the-counter triclosan and chlorhexidine, as well as topical and oral antibiotics.

hives

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hives.

Hives, or hives, are raised, red, itchy bumps of various sizes and shapes. They are usually red on the edges and white in the center. Hives are caused by the release of histamine into the skin, which usually lasts only a few minutes to a few hours. So hives are one of the few rashes that comes and goes, or at least moves quickly. The hives also disappear quickly after treatment with oral antihistamines such as Zyrtec, Allegra, or Claritin.

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Learn more about the causes and treatments for itching.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many people have eczema?

    In the United States, it is estimated that eczema of any type affects more than 31 million people. Can be taken by infants, children and adults. Most cases of eczema go away after childhood, but in some people, it persists into adulthood.

  • Can eczema cause a rash?

    Yes, eczema can cause the rash to appear in the plaques, but it doesn’t happen to everyone. In some adults, eczema can lead to neurodermatitis; a skin condition characterized by thicker, tougher, more itchy skin. It can be caused by intense itching due to irritation of the nerve endings in the affected skin. Symptom management, prevention of scratching, and pruritus relief through non-scratching methods can help treat neurodermatitis.