Skin redness or inflammation; Skin lesion; Rubor; Skin rash; Erythema
A simple rash is called dermatitis, meaning inflammation of the skin.
- Chemicals in elastic, latex, and rubber products
- Cosmetics, soaps, and detergents
- Dyes and other chemicals in clothing
Poison ivy, oak, or sumac
Age, stress, fatigue, weather extremes, oily skin, infrequent shampooing, and alcohol-based lotions aggravate this harmless but bothersome condition.
Other common causes of a rash include:
Eczema(atopic dermatitis) -- tends to happen in people with allergies or asthma. The rash is generally red, itchy, and scaly.
Psoriasis-- tends to occur as red, scaly, itchy patches over joints and along the scalp. Fingernails may be affected.
Impetigo-- common in children, this infection is from bacteria that live in the top layers of the skin. Appears as red sores that turn into blisters, ooze, then crust over.
Shingles-- a painful blistered skin condition caused by the same virus as chickenpox. The virus can lie dormant in your body for many years and re-emerge as shingles.
- Childhood illnesses such as
chicken pox, measles, roseola, rubella, hand-foot-mouth disease, fifth disease, and scarlet fever.
- Medications and
insect bites or stings.
Many medical conditions can cause a rash as well. For example:
Rheumatoid arthritis, especially the juvenile type Kawasaki disease
Review Date: 08/08/2009
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.