At some point in your life, you have probably had a skin rash. Rashes frequently come and go, and they are often no cause for concern.
If your rashes are painful, exceptionally itchy, particularly unattractive, and frequent, however, schedule an appointment with a doctor. There are four primary types of rashes, all of which have independent causes. Your general practitioner can help you determine what kind of rash you have, and set you up with a treatment plan.
Small bumps or lesions on your skin are called papules, When clustered together, they form a "papular rash."
More often than not, papules are more of an aesthetic concern than a serious medical one. Acne is one of the most common--and most dreaded--form of papules. Rosacea is another common skin condition marked by papular rashes.
Other causes of papular rashes include warts, scabies, and contact dermatitis.
Maculopapular rashes, or simply "macular rashes," are small, reddish, smooth rashes that are flecked with bumps. Macular rashes have a wide variety of causes, many of which are viral in nature, like measles, Rubella, mononucleosis, and Chlamydia.
If you are taking medications that your body does not agree with, you can also develop macular rashes. Usually, these rashes occur between four and 12 days after you start taking that medication. Weakened immune systems and autoimmune deficiency disorders, like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, can also cause these rashes.
Vesicular rashes, or "vesicles," are small skin blisters filled with fluid. If you break a vesicle, the pus will escape and crust over.
Like macular rashes, vesicular rashes can occur for numerous reasons. They can be so small or occur so frequently that you may not even think twice about them. Unfortunately, they can be a sign of a more serious medical condition, like herpes, shingles, chicken pox, and even an allergic reaction to a medication.
Scaled rashes are often itchy, inflamed, and red. Many conditions result in scaly rashes, so identifying the cause can be challenging, but psoriasis and eczema are two of the most common causes.
Psoriasis is a skin disorder that causes cells to suddenly over-produce. There are five unique forms of psoriasis, but all result in scaly, itchy, thick patches.
Eczema not only causes flares of scaly rashes, but also overall dry, itchy skin. On adults, the rashes usually occur on the elbows and the backs of the knees. Eczema and psoriasis are frequently confused, but they are two different conditions.
For more information about common rashes, contact a clinic such as Sound Family Health.