What is Causing This Rash? Common Reasons for Rashes
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What is Causing This Rash? Common Reasons for Rashes

There are many reasons why skin rashes develop. These are the most common causes of skin irritation leading to rashes.

Anyone who has experienced a rash will understand how irritating and uncomfortable they may be. There are a number of reasons why rashes develop. Some explanations are as simple as having an allergy to laundry detergents, while others include descriptions of life threatening illnesses.

What are the most common causes of rashes?

Some of the most common causes of rashes are related to contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is a medical term meaning an inflammation of the skin resulting from contact with an irritation substance. There are a number of chemicals in the environment that we come into contact with every day that are irritating to the skin such as:

  • Laundry detergent
  • Body soaps and lotions
  • Clothing dyes and chemicals
  • Cosmetic make-up
  • Perfumes

How to deal with contact dermatitis

The easiest way to deal with a contact dermatitis condition is to find out what chemical or substance is causing the irritation and simply avoiding it. This may be a difficult task when the culprit is hard to pin point. To find out what is causing the rash, start by eliminating chemicals one-by-one. For example, if one suspects that a new laundry detergent is causing the issue, that particular detergent should be avoided. If the rash does not clear after the detergent has been avoided for a period of time, one should consider moving on to another suspect, such as body soap while continuing to avoid the detergent.

Rashes caused by a disease

Another reason that one may be getting a rash is due to a medical condition. This type of skin irritation is typically due to a common disease state, such as eczema or psoriasis. These two medical conditions will produce dry, scaly, and sometimes leaky patches that can become cracked and infected. Many times these patches are intensely itchy leading to scratching and further irritation.

Rashes caused by viruses

There are many viruses that will cause a rash, especially in young children. Roseola is one of the most common rashes in small children and can appear following a high fever that has lasted for several days. The rash can look quite uncomfortable, although the child appears to be feeling well. Oftentimes the rash looks much worse than the child feels.

Fifth’s Disease is another rash that appears in small children. Also known as, “Slapped Cheeks,” Fifth’s Disease may follow or appear along with a fever. The child may also have a runny nose. The rash itself is not a concern, however if fever gets high, caregivers are advised to seek medical attention.

There are many , many reasons why rashes develop. The only way to know for sure if your particular rash requires treatment is to seek the assistance of a licensed medical professional. It is never wise to try and self-diagnose a medical condition.


Ask Dr. Sears.com, Skin Care (Accessed January 18, 2011)

National Institutes of Health, MedLine Plus, Rashes (Accessed January 18, 2011)


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