Skin Rash symptoms, causes and treatment

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Overview

Skin rash appears in different forms of irritated and inflamed skin. Most types of rashes are itchy, irritated, painful, and reddish. They can lead to blisters, peeling, and spots of raw skin. In most cases, a rash appears as a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Allergens and irritating substances may also cause it. Some people are more prone to getting skin rashes than others due to their genes. 

The most common skin rash that is accompanied by itching, redness, and peeling is contact dermatitis. But various other types of skin rashes may lead to a worsened condition. Likewise, some rash develops right away where you have touched an irritant or allergen. 

Skin rashes usually clear up quickly, while others require long-term and lasting treatment plans. And because different things cause it, you must know what kind of rash you have to treat it properly. If your rash is not improving despite asthma treatment, consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and medication. 

Causes of Skin Rash With Sloughing 

Various skin conditions can lead to scaling, peeling, and sloughing skin. In most cases, it is due to an underlying issue. Some of the conditions and causes of this type of skin rash include. 

  • Actinic Keratosis – is a condition that may start with scaling and sloughing skin, but it can progress to skin cancer. It usually appears in thick, crusty or scaly skin patch that is about the size of a pencil eraser. 
  • Allergic Eczema – is a condition that may require urgent care. It is an allergic reaction to substances or things that you have touched. Rashes appear in itchy raised welts moments after exposure to allergens. Hours or days after, the rash may become red, itchy, and sloughy. In severe allergic reactions, there may be swelling and difficulty in breathing; thus, immediate medical attention is needed. 
  • Athlete’s Foot – is an itchy, burning, and a stinging rash between the toes or soles of the feet. It may appear as itchy blisters or thick, discolored nails. The skin on the feet also remains raw and itchy. 
  • Contact Dermatitis – this skin rash appears hours or days after exposure to allergens. It has visible borders, red, scaly, and itchy. Blisters that ooze fluid and crusty may also appear. 
  • Hypoparathyroidism – is a rare condition that happens when the body produces an insufficient parathyroid hormone. It affects calcium and phosphorus levels. Symptoms of this condition include patchy hair loss, brittle nails, anxiety, seizures, dry skin, and rashes. 
  • Ichthyosis Vulgaris – is an acquired or inherited condition wherein the skin does not shed dead skin cells. Thus, dry and dead skin cells gather in patches that look like fish scales. It typically appears on the lower legs, knees, and elbows. 
  • Ringworm – appears in circular-shaped skin rash with a visible border that is itchy and scaly. The inside portion may appear clear and healthy, but the edges may spread wider.
  • Psoriasis – is a condition of the skin that appears as itchy, scaly, silvery patches of skin. It is usually asymptomatic and located on elbows, scalp, knees, and lower back. 
  • Eczema – is characterized by white or yellowish scaly patches that slough off. The skin may appear red, greasy, and itchy. Likewise, hair loss can happen in an area that is affected. 
  • Kawasaki Disease – usually affects children under five years of age. It is characterized by red, swollen tongue, swollen red palms and soles, bloodshot eyes, swollen lymph nodes, and high fever. May cause heart disease in severe cases.
  • Seborrheic Eczema – appears in white or yellow skin patches that sloughs off. The skin may appear red, greasy, and itchy. The affected area may also have hair loss. 
  • Allergic Reaction – often, the skin rash resembles a burn. It is itchy, scaly, reddish, or raw. Affected areas are the hands and forearms. Blisters may also form and weep fluid, ooze, and become crusty. 
  • Drug Allergy – skin may have a mild, reddish, and itchy rash that appear days after drug-taking. Severe cases can be life-threatening; thus, urgent care may be required. 
  • Stasis Dermatitis and Ulcers – this condition develops in areas where there is reduced blood flow, commonly in the lower legs and feet. It may cause swelling in lower legs and ankles, and it becomes better when legs are elevated. Skin can become dry, itchy, and crusty. The rash can develop open sores which weep fluid and lead to stasis ulcer. 
  • Toxic Shock Syndrome – is a rare but severe medical condition wherein a bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus produces toxins into the bloodstream. The body’s immune system strongly reacts to this superantigen with symptoms, including muscle aches, vomiting, sudden fever, a skin rash that resembles burns, dizziness, and many others. 

Diagnosis and Treatment

Initially, when a person has a skin rash with sloughing skin, applying lotion is the typical next step. It is a widespread condition that not many people give it much thought. However, if the peeling does not improve, worsen, or spread, you should see a doctor get proper diagnosis and treatment. 

You will be asked about your medical history and symptoms. You should provide details such as where the rash first appeared. You can help your doctor determine the cause of your skin rash by telling them specific information about your condition. 

Diagnosis of skin rash will be based on the location of the rash, appearance, duration, and exposure to potential risks, irritants, or allergenic substances. The accompanying symptoms will also be considered. In most cases, doctors can get a precise diagnosis after a physical examination of the rash. But when needed, additional tests may include the following: 

  • Patch Tests – for a local allergic reaction, a skin test or patch test may be conducted. This test involves the application of different substances on your skin for two days to see if an allergic reaction develops. 
  • Blood Tests – This test will help identify some bacteria and viruses, which might have caused the skin rash in your case. Likewise, it is also used to determine if you have an autoimmune disorder. 
  • Wood’s Lamp – is used to evaluate rashes. It is a black light that may cause the rash to glow pale blue, red, white, or yellow. 
  • Tzanck test – is done to check for signs of herpes virus infection. A blister is usually opened and scraped to get a sample. 
  • KOH preparation – this test is done if fungal infection is suspected. The skin area is scraped to get a sample, and this is mixed with potassium hydroxide and examined for signs of fungi. 
  • Skin Biopsy – a sample of the affected skin will be removed and examined in a laboratory.

Treatment Options for Sloughing Skin

Depending on the severity of the skin rash symptoms and its causes, several treatment options may be prescribed. In case of an allergic reaction, you will be advised to discontinue the use or contact with your allergen and apply topical medication for the symptoms to subside. You might need to see an allergist confirm your triggers. 

Typically, skin rash with sloughing and itching are managed with simple topical ointments or creams. If symptoms are more than skin deep, oral medications will also be prescribed. Your doctor may also refer you to a dermatologist for more specialized treatment. Here are some treatment options depending on the cause of rash:

  • Infections – antibacterial and antifungal medication will be given to cases with bacterial or fungal infections, respectively. Viral infections often go away on their own within a few days and need no medication. In some cases, antiviral may be given.
  • Allergic Reactions – for severe allergies, urgent medical care may be required. Localized rash due to allergies can be managed with topical or oral medications to relieve swelling, to peel, and itching. 
  • Autoimmune Disorders – skin rash due to these causes may be treated with immunosuppressive and corticosteroid medications. 

What are the normal conditions?

Skin rash is a common condition that everyone experiences. There are several causes, and in most cases, the symptoms fade away in a matter of days. Likewise, there are several medications or remedies that you can apply on your skin rash, depending on its cause. 

One of the best ways for you to avoid having skin rash and for it to prevent sloughing, you should avoid the triggers or exposure to allergens and irritants. For instance, you can best prevent skin rashes due to infections by ensuring that you and your kids are updated with routine immunizations. It is also vital that you practice handwashing and proper hygiene. 

If you are prone to allergies, best to avoid food, skin products, or medications, which may cause allergic reactions, never take medicines when they are not prescribed for you. You should also keep an extra bee-sting kit if you are active in outdoor activities. 

For rashes due to local irritants like diaper rash, make sure that your baby changes diaper often and that their bottom is completely dry before closing a fresh one. You may also check for sensitivity to cleaning products like laundry soap or fabric conditioners. 

When to Seek Medical Attention

Skin rash that is accompanied by sloughing or peeling rarely is a cause of emergencies. But in case of an allergic reaction, urgent care may be required. If your skin rash is accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, high fever, sudden blistering, hives, swelling, itching, and difficulty breathing, call for help immediately.