A rash is an irritation of the skin. It is also known as dermatitis and can include swelling along with redness and itching. Rashes can range from a mild irritation to a serious sign of an underlying illness that demands immediate medical attention.
Types of Rashes
There are many different kinds of rashes. Babies sometimes develop rashes from dirty diapers. Rashes may also by caused by an allergic reaction. Some chemicals in certain soaps and detergents can be irritants and lead to a rash called contact dermatitis. And rashes also develop from contact with poisonous plants like poison ivy. Even a severe sunburn is classified as a form of rash. These are just a few of the many types of rashes.
Prevention and Treatment
The treatment for a rash varies based on the cause and condition. The best way to prevent rashes is to avoid the allergen or irritant that is causing the rash. If a rash does develop, try not to scratch it. This can spread the rash, cause an infection and delay the healing process.
Special creams and moisturizers can help soothe rash pain or itchiness. These are available over the counter or with a prescription. For example, calamine lotion may be recommended to soothe the rash and itchiness caused by poison ivy. And if the rash is related to an allergic reaction, a consultation with a doctor could be a good idea. The doctor can perform additional testing to determine the allergens and offer possible medications to prevent future reactions.
SOURCES: KidsHealth; U.S. National Institutes of Health