What is a rash?Exanthema is an acute rash that can occur on a limited area of the body or over the entire body.
Exanthema is an acute rash that can occur on a limited area of the body or over the entire body. The rash may spread slowly across the body or migrate from one location to another. In most cases, the exanthem appears as red spots on the skin, but other manifestations are possible.
Physicians use the term "efflorescences" to describe the individual lesions, and differentiate between primary and secondary sclerosis. Primary sclerosis is the name given to the skin changes that occur first, such as spots, knots, blisters or wheals. If the rash changes during the course of the disease, secondary sclerosis is said to include dandruff, ulcers, plaques and scars. In addition, depending on the cause, symptoms such as itching, pain and fever may occur.
The causes of a rash are diverse and require the distinction of three exanthema species. The first is the infectious exanthem by bacteria, fungi, viruses, fungi or parasites. These include lice, herpes zoster or simplex and lichens.
The second form are rashes related to systemic internal diseases. This includes lupus erythematosus, a rare chronic inflammatory connective tissue disease.
The third exanthema occurs in sex and childhood diseases or allergies. In allergies occur contact or drug eruption, which are often associated with other symptoms. Typical childhood diseases include measles, rubella, scarlet fever and chickenpox.
Rarely is the immune deficiency in HIV infection the cause.
Diseases with this symptom
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Scarlet fever
- HIV infection
- Drug rash in baby and child
- Seborrheic dermatitis
Diagnosis & History
In the case of rashes, the person concerned should quickly consult a doctor to ensure the rapid initiation of appropriate therapy. The right contact point is a dermatologist, but a general practitioner or pediatrician can also help.
In the detailed medical history, the doctor asks about the time and place of the first appearance, pre-existing conditions, medication and accompanying symptoms such as itching, fever, nausea or cold symptoms. Also important is the question of whether the patient had contact with sick persons.
Often the localization of the rash gives important clues to the cause. Viral exanthemas often begin in the head area and spread from there over the body. Rash on abdomen, back or chest is an indication of a drug reaction.
In the following detailed examination of the rash, the doctor uses aids such as a magnifying loupe or a spatula. Blood tests, allergy tests and smears can also be used to secure the diagnosis.
Rash can cause multifaceted complications. First, a bacterial secondary infection can occur in which other areas of the skin are also affected by the rash. Frequently it comes to pigmentary disorders or hemorrhages, with chronic skin rash, scars form and there are sensory disturbances (paresthesia) in the affected areas. Skin rash resulting from cold allergy can lead to a circulatory shock in severe cases.
As a result of shingles, skin rash is no less problematic: there is a proliferation of zoster viruses on other areas of the skin and possibly on internal organs and external organs such as ears and eyes. If the visual and hearing organs are affected, blindness and loss of hearing are at risk. The complications always depend on the original cause of the rash. An immune deficiency can help to make the pustules and redness spread faster and the rash intensifies overall.
This results in nodules or blisters, which also differ visually from the original rash. In the treatment itself, the drugs used, in the case of skin rash usually ointments or the like, can lead to an intensification of symptoms. If there is an allergy, depending on the type and severity of the allergy, various accompanying symptoms can occur, such as shortness of breath, severe pain, inner agitation and, in severe cases, organ failure.
When should you go to the doctor?
Rashes caused by intolerance to a detergent or cream often disappear by themselves within a few days - if this is not the case, seek medical attention. If the rash occurs very suddenly or if its cause is unclear, it is advisable not to wait so long, but to ask a dermatologist for advice as soon as possible.
The same applies if children are affected or the rash is accompanied by swelling, pain or intense itching. Concomitant symptoms such as fever, dysphagia or shortness of breath should be taken as an opportunity to have the skin examined immediately by a doctor. Often, skin changes also occur in spurts or the rashes change over time in shape, size or color.
The clarification by a physician is also urgently recommended. For skin diseases, the dermatologist is the most important contact person. Alternatively, it is possible to make representations to the family doctor. If necessary, this will issue a referral to the dermatologist.
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Treatment & Therapy
With rapid treatment, the symptoms of a rash usually resolve quickly. Simple is the treatment of a contactant agent: Avoiding the allergen will relieve the rash. In addition, soothing ointments or creams can be used.
Depending on the severity and after consideration of advantages and disadvantages, the drug eruption is also treated by the removal of the allergen. Problematic may be the deposition while taking several drugs, then together with the doctor the triggering drug must be identified. Intake of glucocorticoids or antihistamines supports healing.
Teething problems are treated symptomatically. Anti-itching medicines are given supportively until the rash subsides with the onset of the disease.
If skin diseases are identified as a cause, a special therapy is necessary. Possible are the local treatment with salicylic acid, the intake of vitamin D and cortisone preparations or a laser therapy. Patients should not start treatment on their own, as over-the-counter remedies may additionally irritate the skin. Therapy should only be given according to medical prescription.
Outlook & Forecast
What a patient has to expect after a rash depends on its causes. Frequently viral diseases are responsible for an exanthem. If it is one of the common childhood diseases, the rash usually spreads very quickly over the entire body. Itching, often watery bubbles form, but leave no scars, unless the patient scrape it.
The disease is usually associated with fever, fatigue and body weakness and is overcome after about 14 days. Bacterial infections associated with rashes, such as scarlet fever, often have a similar course, but can be treated very well with antibiotics.
If the rash is caused by a fungus, this often affects other parts of the body. Particularly affected are the armpits and the anal and genital region. The patient is usually referred to a dermatologist who treats the infected areas with antimycotics. Skin fungus must be treated quickly and consistently, so that they do not appear chronic.
Allergic reactions usually disappear as soon as the contact with the trigger fails. However, the avoidance of allergens almost always results in a change of lifestyle for the patient.
Home remedies ↵ for skin rash When it comes to the question of preventive measures, a distinction must be made between the different forms of the rash. Contact and drug rash can only be prevented if the risk of disease and response can be eliminated. While the risk of infectious skin rashes and STDs can be reduced by good hygiene and avoidance of contact with those affected, 100% protection against teething problems is not possible.
You can do that yourself
Various measures help to relieve rash. A cooling envelope can relieve short-term itchy rashes. Beneficial are also ice packs, which should not be placed directly on the skin. Also recommended are special cooling gel from the pharmacy.
Rash may worsen by constant or severe scratching. Pathogens can invade the scratched skin and cause infections. Therefore, people with skin rash should absolutely avoid scratching. If you can not stand the itching, you should gently pat, rub or tweak. Short-cut fingernails prevent scratching on the skin. Soft cotton gloves can also be worn at night to prevent unconscious scratching.
People with skin rash should not take a hot shower or bath. Hot showers or baths burden the diseased skin. Instead, sufferers should wash with lukewarm or cool water and cleanse their skin with ph-neutral lotions only. For example, perfume-free aloe vera gel is well suited. Also helpful is a bath in a saline solution. One kilo of sea salt comes to 50 liters of water.
Other home remedies for rash include ablutions with cold chamomile tea, envelopes with cold yogurt, urea-containing creams or rubs with olive, sunflower or lavender oil. On rashes also freshly ground coriander leaves or a porridge of water and healing earth can be placed.