Itchy rashes are irritating and annoying, and they sometimes occur without people knowing the causes. Often, a rash is identified by the types of behaviors a person has recently engaged in, or by checking for the presence of certain illnesses or infections, and appearance of the rash may help identify cause. Rashes can have bumps or scales, be flat or raised, and they may localized to a certain area or spread around the body. Their causes are numerous and it would be hard to make a full list, since an itchy rash can occur for so many reasons.
Some of the top rash causes include rashes that develop when the skin is sensitive or allergic to certain substances. Most are familiar with skin itch that occurs after extensive exposure to things like poison oak and poison ivy. Yet a substance doesn’t necessarily have to cause rashes in all people to provoke an irritation. Around the belly button, people may get a round or oval irritation that can be caused by nickel allergy, and exposure to it on metal belt buckles or the metal snaps on pants. Alternately, some people develop sensitivities to detergents or other chemicals and exposure to them can cause rash to develop all over the body, called contact dermatitis.
Other forms of a rash may develop when people ingest substances. An allergic reaction to medicines or even to some foods may result in rash or hives occurring. As a side effect, some medications cause rash, though this may or may not be considered as an allergic reaction.
Fungal infections may result in itching. These can occur on various parts of the body, including the feet, around the vagina, in the groin, or under the arms and the breasts. There are differing types of fungal infections including ringworm, which looks like a circle, and may occur on any part of the body. This usually doesn’t get better without treatment.
Some itchy rashes may not always have the same cause. People can develop hives under numerous circumstances, from allergy, stress, or for no determinable reason. These are bumps on the skin that may require some time to resolve, or that may resolve quickly without treatment.
There are rashes that develop on the skin and may last for a very long time. These include eczema, which occurs in patches, and may have numerous causes. It is normally chronic and needs to be treated for life. Conditions like psoriasis can result in a scaly rash on various parts of the body. This particular condition has new treatments that may help reduce presence of rash and itching.
Viral infections sometimes cause itchy rash. Chicken pox begins as blisters that occur the skin. When these pop, the rash itches until the red spots crust over and scab. Exposure to certain parasites like scabies, which are small mites that can live in the skin, can create a rash that spreads all over the body, too.
Due to the numerous causes of itchy rash, it’s important to try to identify its source. Sometimes this is easy to do. A walk in the woods and exposure to poison oak tends to mean a poison oak rash. Some people know when they’re going to get hives or realize they’ve eaten something that will cause them to have a rash reaction. With viral rashes or contact dermatitis of unknown cause, doctors may definitely want to view the rash, diagnose it, and treat it. Certainly something like chicken pox requires diagnosis so that exposure to others is minimized, rashes caused by fungal infection or parasite involvement tend to require treatment to improve, and chronic rashes may respond to treatment and give a person relief from skin damage and itch.