5 Common Types of Rashes You Should Know About

Different types of rashes can occur anywhere in the body. (Photo via Pexels/Srattha Nualsate)
Different types of rashes can occur anywhere in the body. (Photo via Pexels/Srattha Nualsate)

Do you have rashes on your skin? Well, you must know about some common types of rashes so that it's easy for you to identify the right treatment and whether or not it’s time for medical assistance. In this article, we will discuss different types of rashes, what causes skin rashes and their treatments.

Whether it’s due to heat or allergies from a new soap or detergent, there are different types of rashes that can occur anywhere in the body. A skin rash can be painful, itchy, dry, bumpy, inflamed, and vary in appearance depending on different skin tones and textures.

While rashes often appear to be red, they may be grey, white, or sometimes even purple on darker skin tones.


What causes rashes?

Dry and itchy skin can cause rashes. (Photo via Pexels/Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz)
Dry and itchy skin can cause rashes. (Photo via Pexels/Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz)

While the major cause of different types of rashes is dermatitis, a condition where the skin reacts to irritants and allergens, several other things might also lead to the same. These include:

  • skin problems such as eczema
  • allergens
  • irritants
  • bacterial infections like a strep throat
  • viruses

Also read: 6 Causes Of A Itchy Back That May Surprise You


Common types of rashes

Here’s a rundown of the five most common types of rashes:

1) Granuloma annulare

It's among the most common types of rashes that often affect young adults and children.

It's a chronic skin condition that causes circular-shaped itchy bumps on the skin, commonly called papules. People with granuloma annulare might notice rings of firm and small bumps on their hands, feet, and forearms.

Symptoms of granuloma annulare include:

  • red or yellowish thick bumps on the body
  • one or many rings of bumps on hands, feet, and legs
  • itchy and dry skin

This type of skin rash usually goes away on its own, but doctors may prescribe steroids and medicated ointments to speed up the healing.


2) Atopic dermatitis

Eczema is a type of skin rash that cause flare-ups. (Photo via Instagram/drsandyskotnicki)
Eczema is a type of skin rash that cause flare-ups. (Photo via Instagram/drsandyskotnicki)

Also known as eczema, it's one of the most common types of rashes that cause flare-ups.

It often occurs in toddlers before age 5, but this autoimmune disease can affect people of any age. People with asthma or allergies are more likely to get this skin rash.

Symptoms of eczema include:

  • red, dry, itchy, and irritated skin
  • fluid-filled small bumps
  • family history of allergies to certain products or foods

You can improve your condition by using the right moisturizer and skin care habits. Medicated ointments and creams might help too.


3) Contact dermatitis

It occurs when the skin touches something that causes allergies and irritation. It's one of the most common types of rashes that affect people of any age.

While this type of skin rash isn’t contagious, it can lead to severe itching and discomfort. You can get contact dermatitis from certain fragrances, soaps, lotions, beauty products, jewelry, plants, chemicals, and dyes.

Symptoms of contact dermatitis include:

  • itchy skin
  • cracked or blistered skin
  • darker skin becoming grey or purple, and lighter skin becoming red

4) Drug rash

A drug rash can be caused by taking certain medications. (Photo via Pexels/Pixabay)
A drug rash can be caused by taking certain medications. (Photo via Pexels/Pixabay)

A drug rash is a type of skin rash caused by the side effects of taking a medicine or as an allergic reaction to it. It's one of the most serious types of rashes that can affect anaphylaxis (breathing).

A drug rash can be caused by consuming diuretics, antibiotics, or other medications, and might show up within a few hours of taking the medication.

Symptoms of a drug rash include:

  • hives
  • swelling
  • fever
  • dry and itchy skin
  • shortness of breath and wheezing

Drug rashes usually appear as pink or purple spots, but the color of the spots depends on your skin tone. Once you stop taking the medicine that caused the rash, the rash clears up in days or weeks.


5) Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

It's one of the most painful types of rashes, caused mainly by the same virus that causes chickenpox – the varicella-zoster virus.

This type of skin rash may start with pain, and within a few days, fluid-filled bumps might appear on one side of the body. The bumps break and crust over, and in a few weeks, they fall off.

Symptoms of shingles include:

  • red spots
  • skin sensitivity
  • itching
  • pain
  • tingling sensation on the affected area

Treatment for rashes

Early treatments for different types of rashes can ease painful symptoms, reduce itching, and eliminate the rash as well. Some common skin rash treatments include:

Anti-inflammatory creams

Creams such as cortisone or ones that contain hydrocortisone can help calm the rash and prevent itching.

Medications

Allergy medications can prevent itching. (Photo via Pexels/cottonbro studio)
Allergy medications can prevent itching. (Photo via Pexels/cottonbro studio)

Allergy medications such as oral antihistamines can stop itching and prevent future skin rashes.

Also read: What Causes Itchy Skin and How to Treat It?

Steroids

Doctors might also prescribe a topical steroid ointment or an oral steroid if the symptoms become painful or persist for a longer period.

Other treatment options include using immunosuppressants and topical immunomodulators. These medicines calm the inflammation and change the immune system’s response to irritants and allergens.

It's important to note that treatments for skin rashes depend on their cause and might take a few weeks to heal completely.

Edited by Bhargav