Types of Skin Rashes

Skin rashes are a very common medical condition that affects people of all ages. Because there are many types of rashes, it can be difficult to determine what sort of illness or rash you are suffering from. The best way to find out what the cause of the rash may be is to visit a physician. He or she is trained in the assessment of rash causes and the treatment of conditions that can cause common rashes.

One of the most common rashes is seborrheic dermatitis. This type of rash is characterized by a red, scaly crust that covers the head, face, ears, neck, or shoulders. While researchers do not fully understand what causes this sort of rash, it is related to the overproduction of sebum, or natural skin oils. This rash is not contagious and it may come and go on its own. However, the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis can often be relieved by prescription creams or shampoos.


Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is another common rash. It appears as red, inflamed skin or red bumps. Like seborrheic dermatitis, it is a chronic condition and researchers do not yet know what causes it. Eczema is often related to asthma and allergies, however. Eczema usually appears after the affected person has been exposed to a trigger, such as an allergen, a chemical, stress, heat, or cold. Eczema cannot be cured, but it can be treated with topical creams and anti-inflammatory medications.

Contact dermatitis is a common rash that is caused by touching something that triggers the rash. This type of rash is characterized by red, inflamed skin where the contact occurred. This rash can be caused by contact with chemicals or allergens that cause irritation for the affected person. This rash will typically go away on its own after the irritant is removed.

Diaper rash is a skin irritation that affects babies and toddlers who wear diapers. This rash appears as swollen, red, irritated skin in the diaper area. This rash is caused by prolonged exposure to wetness or feces. Diaper cream can help shield the baby’s skin from wetness, but the best remedy is to change diapers as soon as possible after the infant or toddler wets them.

Psoriasis is a chronic rash with poorly understood origins. The symptoms include red, scaly, weeping sores and silvery flakes of skin. The rash appears on the face, arms, scalp, knees, or elbows. This rash is not contagious and its symptoms may respond to topical creams.

Finally, rashes can be the result of illness. Chicken pox, scarlet fever, fifths disease, and a variety of other illnesses produce rashes. As a result, if you develop a rash with an unknown cause, you should visit a physician as soon as possible to make sure that it isn’t a symptom of a more serious illness.