Dermatology Bathhurst - A skin rash is defined as a change of the skin which affects its color, appearance or texture. Rashes could be localized in one area of the body or they may affect the whole skin. Normally, rashes can cause the skin to itch, become bumpy, dry, painful, blistered, cracked, warm or swollen. Often, rashes can cause the skin to change color. The treatments and causes for rashes vary considerably depending on the diagnosis. The diagnosis is formed by considering a variety of factors such as what the individual's occupation is, the rashes' overall appearance, different signs, family history and what the individual may have been exposed to. The diagnosis could in fact confirm any number of health problems.
The rash can help to indicate certain connected symptoms and signs that are common to specific diseases. Measles for example, may give a rash that is referred to as an erythematous, morbilliform, maculopapular rash. This typically presents itself a few days after the fever begins and classically it presents at the head and then works its way downwards.
There are numerous common causes of rashes like for example: food allergies, anxiety, dyes, medicines and insect bites and stings. The metals zinc and metal are often found in jewelry and are commonly known allergens too. Skin contact with an irritant normally leads to hives. These raised portions of skin could become red, inflamed, itchy, swollen and painful. Rashes could also result from a reaction to vaccination, from a fungal infection like for instance ringworm, from sunburn or heat exposure, from friction because of chafing of the skin, and from skin diseases such as acne or eczema.
Viral and bacterial infections can result in a rash on the skin. The smallpox, chickenpox, cold sore and measles viruses can result in distinct and uncomfortable rashes. There are several uncommon causes of rashes like for example: lead poisoning, Lyme disease, pregnancy, autoimmune disorders like psoriasis and of course frequent and repeated scratching on a particular part.
As there are so many possible causes of a rash, the evaluation may be somewhat difficult. A health provider may have to do a completely thorough history so as to acquire an accurate evaluation. For instance, what is the individual's job? Are they taking any kind of medication on a regular basis? Has the patient recently traveled to whichever exotic locations? Usually, a complete physical examination would be helpful to determine the cause and origin of the rash.
Certain Elements to Include in the Examination Are:
When referring to the appearance of the rash, is it like for example purpuric, which is normal for meningococcal disease and vasculitis, or is it fine and sandpaper as found with scarlet fever? Is the rash consisting of plaques with silver scales which is usually seen with psoriasis? Or does the rash consist of circular lesions with a central depression, that is typical of molluscum contagiosum or small pox?
What is the distribution of the rash? For example with chicken pox, the vesicles often follow the hollows of the body; hence, they are most prominent along the depression of the spine on the back as well as in the hollows of both shoulder blades. The rash presented with scarlet fever becomes confluent and forms bright red lines in the skin creases of the groins, neck and armpits. 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, foot, mouth and hand disease as well as guttate psoriasis and even in kertoderma blenorrhagica. The symmetry of the rash is another feature to consider. Like for example, herpes zoster usually just affects one side of the body through an outbreak and does not cross the midline.
It is generally good advice never to scratch a rash, because whatever scratching may cause it to spread. It could be tempting to softly rub the affected area to be able to provide temporary relief but it is better to avoid contact with the affected areas completely.
Skin diseases could present symptoms anywhere on the body. Among the prevalent forms include Acne Vulgaris which consists of papules, nodules, comedones and pustules. This condition is generally found on the back, chest and on the face. Acne Rosacea is defined as an area of redness or flushed appearance, usually found on the chin, nose, cheeks or forehead. Boils are a skin condition that can take place anywhere as a painful red bump or a series or cluster of red painful bumps. Cellulitis could be found around a skin breach like in a cut or scrape. It presents as a swollen, red and tender part of skin. Insect bites can occur anywhere on the body and are found as red and itchy, normally swollen bumps on the skin.
Allergic reactions could visibly appear as raised, flat or irregular red sores that appear on the skin after being exposed to or ingesting some foods or taking medicine or drugs. Hives could occur anywhere. These are bumps which form suddenly and are often initially noticed on the face. Seborrheic Dermatitis is the definition of bumps and swelling which 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 which becomes a red, oily or scaly or itchy rash. It could be found on the nose, eyebrows, edge of the scalp or where the body is in contact with clothing, perfume or jewelry.
Some trees and bushes like for example sumac, poison ivy and oak may elicit an allergic response called Allergic Contact Dermatitis. It presents on the person as scaly, red, itchy or oily rash which can be leathery or weeping. Allergic Purpura could happen anywhere on the body and looks like small red dots on the skin or even larger, bruise-like spots which appeared after taking medicine. Pityriasis Rosea can initially start with a single scaly, red, somewhat itchy spot. Within a few days, there could be large numbers of smaller patches of tan or red rash. This is found on the abdomen and chest area. Dermatitis Herpetiformis is a condition that consists of an intensely itchy rash together with blisters and red bumps, found on the elbows, buttocks, back or knees.
These are amongst the common skin rashes: Erythema nodosum, warts, Chickenpox, Psoriasis, Shingles, Fifth Disease, Ringworm, diaper rash, Jock itch, yeast infection, Impetigo, Tinea versicolor, Scabies, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lupus erythematosus, and a lot more.
There are various treatment options depending on what type of rash the person has been diagnosed with. Some rashes are easily fixed with non-steroidal treatments such as salves made with sage, aloe vera, comfrey or tea tree oil. Other topical steroid creams like for example hydrocortisone are prescribed. Various medications could be found over the counter and others could be specially blended from a Naturopathic doctor or Herbalist.
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