Dermatology Owen Sound - A skin rash is defined as a change of the skin which affects its appearance, texture or color. Rashes could be localized in one part of the body or they could affect the whole skin. Usually, rashes could cause the skin to itch, become dry, bumpy, painful, blistered, cracked, warm or swollen. Often, rashes could cause the skin to change color. The causes and treatments for rashes vary considerably depending on the diagnosis. The diagnosis is formed by considering different factors like for example the rashes' overall appearance, what the individual's occupation is, different symptoms, family history and what the individual may have been exposed to. The diagnosis may in fact confirm any number of health issues.
The rash could help to indicate certain related symptoms and signs which are common to particular diseases. Measles for instance, may give a rash which is referred to as an erythematous, morbilliform, maculopapular rash. This typically presents itself a few days after the fever starts and classically it presents at the head and after that works its way downwards.
There are various common causes of rashes such as: anxiety, food allergies, medicines, dyes and insect bites and stings. The metals zinc and metal are commonly found in jewelry and are commonly known allergens as well. Skin contact with an irritant normally causes hives. These raised portions of skin can become itchy, red, inflamed, painful and swollen. Rashes could also result from a reaction to vaccination, from a fungal infection such as ringworm, from friction because of chafing of the skin, from sunburn or heat exposure, and from skin diseases such as eczema or acne.
Viral and bacterial infections can cause a rash on the skin. The smallpox, chickenpox, cold sore and measles viruses can cause distinct and uncomfortable rashes. There are several uncommon causes of rashes like: Lyme disease, pregnancy, lead poisoning, autoimmune disorders such as psoriasis and of course repeated and frequent scratching on a particular part.
As there are lots of potential causes of a rash, the evaluation could be somewhat hard. A health provider may have to do a completely thorough history so as to obtain an accurate evaluation. For instance, what is the individual's occupation? Are they taking any kind of medication on a regular basis? Has the person just traveled to whichever exotic locations? Often, a complete physical examination would be helpful in order to determine the origin and cause of the rash.
Certain Elements to Include in the Examination Are:
When referring to the appearance of the rash, is it like for example purpuric, that is normal for vasculitis and maningococcal disease, or is it sandpaper and fine as found with scarlet fever? Is the rash consisting of plaques with silver scales which is normally seen with psoriasis? Or does the rash consist of circular lesions with a central depression, which is typical of molluscum contagiosum or small pox?
How is the rash distributed on the body? With chickenpox, for instance, the vesicles would follow the hollows of the body. They are therefore more prominent on the depression of the spine on the back as well as in the hollows of both shoulder blades. The rash presented with scarlet fever becomes confluent and forms bright red lines in the skin creases of the neck, armpits and groins. These lines are referred to as Pastia's lines. There are not many rashes which affect the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet, although this could be seen in rikettsia or spotted fever, secondary syphilis, mouth, hand and foot disease as well as guttate psoriasis and likewise in kertoderma blenorrhagica. The symmetry of the rash is one more feature to think about. For instance, herpes zoster usually only affects one side of the body throughout an outbreak and does not cross the midline.
Generally, it is good advice not to scratch the rash. This is due to the scratching causing a spread of the rash. It can be tempting to gently rub the affected area in order to provide temporary relief but it is better to avoid contact with the affected areas completely.
Skin diseases can present signs anywhere on the body. Amongst the prevalent forms comprise Acne Vulgaris which consists of papules, nodules, pustules, comedones. This condition is generally found on the chest, face and the back. Acne Rosacea is defined as an area of redness or flushed appearance, normally found on the chin, nose, cheeks or forehead. Boils are a skin condition which can take place anywhere as a cluster or series of painful red bumps or a red painful bump. Cellulitis could be found all-around a skin breach like in a scrape or cut. It presents as a swollen, red and tender part of skin. Insect bites can occur anywhere on the body and are found as itchy and red, usually swollen bumps on the skin.
Allergic reactions could visibly appear as raised, flat or irregular red sores that appear on the skin after ingesting or being exposed to certain foods or taking medicine or drugs. Hives can occur anywhere. These are bumps which form suddenly and are often initially noticed on the face. Seborrheic Dermatitis is the definition of bumps and swelling which appear near glands. Cradle Cap is a condition on the scalp of newly born babies which looks like dry, scaly skin. Irritant Contact Dermatitis is another condition that becomes a red, itchy or oily or scaly rash. It could be found on the eyebrows, edge of the scalp, nose or where the body is in contact with clothing, perfume or jewelry.
Some bushes and trees like for example oak, sumac and poison ivy could elicit an allergic response referred to as Allergic Contact Dermatitis. It presents on the person as scaly, red, itchy or oily rash that can be leathery or weeping. Allergic Purpura could happen anywhere on the body and looks like small red dots on the skin or even bigger, bruise-like spots that appeared after taking medicine. Pityriasis Rosea could initially start with one scaly, red, slightly itchy spot. In a few days, there could be large numbers of smaller patches of red or tan rash. This is found on the abdomen and chest part. Dermatitis Herpetiformis is a condition that comprises an intensely itchy rash with blisters and red bumps, found on the elbows, buttocks, back or knees.
Other common types of rashes include: warts, Erythema nodosum, Chickenpox, Psoriasis, Fifth Disease, Shingles, Ringworm, diaper rash, yeast infection, Jock itch, Impetigo, Tinea versicolor, Scabies, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lupus erythematosus, and a lot more.
There are a variety of treatment options depending on what kind of rash the patient has been diagnosed with. Some rashes are easily fixed with non-steroidal treatments like for instance salves made with aloe vera, sage, comfrey or tea tree oil. Other topical steroid creams such as hydrocortisone are prescribed. Different medications can be found over the counter and others can be specifically blended from a Naturopathic doctor or Herbalist.
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