Skin irritation may usually cause rashes, but sometimes illness, adverse effects of medication or allergy to certain food items may also cause rashes on the body. In normal situations, rashes are considered as a minor problem that can be treated with home remedies. However, if the rash is stubborn, or the skin irritation is high, or it is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, medical attention should be sought urgently.

In children as well as adults, mild rashes are usually caused when the skin comes in contact with an irritable substance. The rash typically appears within 48 hours following the contact. This condition is termed “contact dermatitis”. It may result in tiny red bumps on the skin or mild redness in the affected area. More severe reactions of such rashes may cause blisters and swelling. The cause of a rash may sometimes be indicated by its location.

Causes of Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis may not always occur the very first time when the skin comes in contact with an allergen. However, once the skin has had a reaction to the allergen, thereafter even tiny amounts of the substance may also result in a rash. Contact dermatitis is not dangerous, but it can cause significant itchiness and discomfort.

Items that can commonly lead to contact dermatitis include the following:

• Plants such as oak, sumac or poison ivy
• Soaps, shampoos and detergents
• Cosmetics, creams and lotions
• Perfumes
• Synthetic fabrics
• Metal jewelry
• Metal toys, tools or appliances
• Rubber or latex

Viral infections such as herpes zoster, bacterial infections such as impetigo, fungal infections such as a yeast infection, and sexually transmitted infections may also cause rashes. In some cases, the rashes may also appear as a symptom of more serious diseases such as kidney disease, liver disease or some form of cancer.

Atopic Eczema

Rashes commonly affected patients suffering from atopic eczema. This condition requires professional medical attention in order to reduce the symptoms. In mild cases of atopic eczema, over the counter lotions, ointments and creams containing steroid hydrocortisone may be used.

This can help reduce the rashes, swelling, and itching associated with atopic eczema. Prescription strength cortisone shots and pills may have to be given to treat more severe forms of the eczema. Antihistamines can be used to control itching and antibiotics to treat infection in patients suffering from eczema.

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