Although rashes are not considered
to be life-threatening in most cases, they can be annoying and
irritating. Rashes can not only be the result of contact with an
irritant, they can also be a warning of an underlying, and possibly serious
medical condition. Always have a
first aid kit ready to handle rashes because at first, it is hard to tell if it is a serious matter or simply a skin irritation.
What Is A Rash?
Rashes are easily identifiable as irritated, red patches on the body, limbs, or
face. Some rashes will cover only a fairly small area, while others can
affect the entire body. A rash may be simply a reddened area, or it may
consist of blisters, or roughened, scale skin. Some rashes, especially
those that have blisters or cracked skin can ooze clear fluid. Almost all
rashes itch and some will actually hurt. Care should be taken to prevent
scratching a rash as this will only lead to further irritation, and can also
produce infection and scarring.
Very often, when some substance produces an allergic reaction to us, it will
show up as a rash. Sometimes, it can be a strictly topical reaction, as
when you have come into contact with poison ivy. This will produce a very
itchy rash, often with large blisters. Allergic rashes can also be caused
by sensitivity to different fabrics, soaps, animals, or other plants.
Usually, rashes of this type can be treated with a cortisone cream to relieve
Allergic rashes can also be caused by internal allergens. If you prove to
be allergic to a prescription medicine, a rash is usually the first
manifestation of trouble. Any rash that occurs while taking medication
should be reported to your
doctor immediately, as more severe reactions can
also happen, some of them life threatening.
This form of rash is also referred to as ‘duck itch’ because it can be spread
by ducks. Swimmer’s itch is caused by the larvae of a flatworm burrowing
into the skin when someone goes swimming. Not all lakes harbor this
flatworm, but it is carried from place to place in the internal systems of
waterfowl. This rash causes intense itching, and raised spots called
papules. Often, antihistamines are prescribed to give some relief.
Within seven days, however, the larvae die off and the rash will dissipate.
Rash From Prickly Heat
As suggested by the name, prickly heat rash will occur only during hot and
humid summer weather. Prickly heat rash occurs when there is a blockage
of the sweat glands. The sweat actually becomes entrapped under the skin,
and causes the irritation. I have found that bathing the affected area
with cold water can help to alleviate the itching. When the weather cools
off a bit, prickly heat will disappear. Staying hydrated with
pure water will help your body fight any irritants that come in contact with the skin, but also make sure that first aid kit is ready in case you do come in contact with anything that does harm to your skin.
Rashes That Need A Doctor’s Attention
While the rashes above are mostly self-correcting, or will need only topical
treatment, there are rashes that will call for a visit to the doctor.
Ringworm is actually a fungus that causes a ring shaped rash. It will
spread if not treated and can cause permanent scarring.
Another rash that will need a physician’s help is psoriasis. This
condition is actually an autoimmune disease, and it can spread over large areas
of the body. It will produce very rough areas of skin that will itch
intensely and can ooze as well. Rashes caused by chicken pox or measles
should always receive