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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Medical Symptoms > Rash
      Category : Health Centers > Skin Conditions


Alternate Names : Cutaneous Eruption

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

A rash is an area of the skin that has broken out or changed in appearance. It may affect one small patch of skin or the entire body.

What is going on in the body?

There are many skin changes that can occur with a rash, including:

  • swelling
  • warmth
  • blisters
  • bumps
  • color changes
  • itching
  • pain
  • Skin can react or break out for many different reasons, ranging from allergic reactions to infections and even cancer.

    What are the causes and risks of the condition?

    There are many possible causes of a rash. General categories include:

  • infections, such as ringworm; Lyme disease; syphilis; measles;chickenpox; scabies; roseola; impetigo; genital herpes and herpes zoster; Rocky Mountain spotted fever;Kawasaki disease;hand, foot, and mouth disease; cat scratch disease; Group A strep infections; staphylococcus infections; diaper rash; and scarlet fever
  • allergic reactions, which can be from medications, metals, chemicals, soaps, lotions, foods, or other materials
  • primary skin diseases, such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, or rosacea, which often occur for unknown reasons
  • autoimmune disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma,, and ulcerative colitis
  • other conditions and diseases, such as diabetes or pregnancy
  • skin cancer or a cancer deeper in the body that causes a rash
  • leukemia, a blood cancer
  • inflammation of blood vessels, called vasculitis, in the skin
  • poor circulation, which commonly causes rashes in the lower legs
  • reaction to various childhood vaccinations, such as the chickenpox vaccine
  • heat or sun exposure
  • Other causes are also possible. Sometimes the cause is not found.


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    Rash: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Adam Brochert, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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