Itchy Rash

What Is a Rash?

A rash is any abnormal change in skin color or texture. Medical terminology of rashes.

What Is an Itch?

Itch is a sensation that provokes a desire to scratch. Itch diagnosis, prevention, and treatment.

Itchy vs. Non-itchy Rash

A presence of itch may help in a diagnosis of a rash. For example, bumps in keratosis pilaris usually do not itch, in acne occasionally, in folliculitis often, and in allergy (bumpy hives) regularly. Severity of itch sometimes reflects severity of the disorder, for example, mild psoriasis does not itch, but severe one does.

Here is a list of non-itchy rashes.

Itchy Rash

INFANTS and Itchy Rash

  • Greasy yellowish scales on the scalp (cradle cap) are result of the overactive oil glands on the infant scalp.
  • A red patchy rash under diapers (diaper rash, napkin dermatitis) is caused by fungal or bacterial infection, urine or feces irritation, atopic dermatistis or psoriasis.
  • Extensive skin scaling due to a toxin released from bacterium Staphylococcus aureus occurs inStaphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS).

CHILDHOOD Diseases with Red Itchy SPOTS (Exanthema)

Exanthem (in Greek it means eruption) is widespread spotty rash, accompanied by fever, headache and malaise. It may be a result of a skin damage by viruses or bacteria, their toxins or immune reactions.

  • Chickenpox (Varicella zostervirus) appears with raised red spots (papules), vesicles or pustules that crust over and fall off with time. The rash is mainly on the face and trunk.
  • Measles or morbilli (rubeolla virus) appear as red spots in the level of the skin (macules – up to 1 cm) on the face, trunk, limbs, and raised whitish spots in mouth (Koplik’s spots). Cough is usually present.
  • German measles (rubella virus) appear as pale red spots on the face and spreads all over the body.
  • Roseola infantum or erythema subitum (herpes virus 6) appear as mild spotty rash on the face and trunk.
  • Fifth disease or erythema infectiosum (Parvovirus B19) is characterized by ‘slapped cheeks’ rash, followed by spotty rash on trunk and limbs.
  • Hand, foot and mouth disease (Coxsackie virus A16, or Enterovirus 71): small blisters appear on the hands and feet, and painful ulcers appear in the mouth.
  • Pictures of chickenpox, measles, German measles, scarlet fever, fifth disease, and hand, foot and mouth disease.
  • Hepatitis B, Epstein Barr virus (infectious mononucleosis), coxsackie viruses, echo viruses, and respiratory syncytial virus may appear as Gianotti Crosti syndrome with prominent red spots on limbs, trunk and finally on the face. In Asymmetric Periflexural Exanthem of Childhood (APEC), a rash, supposedly of a viral origin, appears in armpits or groin and spreads mainly over one side of the body. Pictures.
  • Scarlet fever or scarlatina (Streptococcus group A or, rarely, Staphylococcus aureus) appear as tinny scarlet blotches (boiled lobster appearance) that coalesce and may cover the whole body in 24 hours. Sore throat and fever are usually present.
  • Meningococcal disease is infection of the inner brain membrane (meninge) by a bacterium Neisseria memingitidis. A red dotty rash represents small bleedings that do not disappear after applying pressure. Dots may merge to form a bruise like rash. Neck stiffness, headache, nausea, fever and sensitivity to light are main symptoms.
  • Kawasaki disease is inflammatory disease of uncertain (probably infectious) cause, resulting in red eyes, lips, tongue, hands and feet, widespread rash on the trunk, fever, malaise, and heart abnormalities.

CHILDHOOD Diseases With Red Scaly PATCHES

Itchy Rashes in PREGNANCY

  • PUPPP (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy), also known as Polymorphous Eruption of Pregnancy or Polymorphic eruption, is an itchy bumpy reddish rash appearing in the stretch marks of the abdomen in the last 3 months of pregnancy, and clears with delivery.

Itchy Red BUMPS

  • Insect bites. Red, itchy, and often painful bump(s) appear on the site of a bite by flies, mosquitoes, ants, bees, wasps, spiders, scorpions, or snakes.
  • A foreign object in the skin, like a thorn, causes a bumpy red inflammation.
  • Acne
    • Acne vulgaris – common acne (itch only occasionally) appear mostly in adolescence as red bumps with occasional white centers (whiteheads), and regularly with tinny black caps that block the hair follicles (blackheads)
    • Acne rosacea
  • Razor bumps appear as red bumps several hours after shaving or depilation; they are caused by ingrown hair
  • Nonspecific skin rashes may be side effect of various drugs.
  • A  stye is a barley-sized red itchy bump caused by a bacterial infection of the hair follicle on the eyelid. A hordeolum is a pea-sized itchy red bump on the eyelid due to a non-infectious inflammation of the eyelid soft tissues. Itchy eyelids in detail.
  • Miliaria (sweet rash) is a bumpy red rash, resulting from obstruction of the sweat glands, appearing in hot weather, mostly on skin areas covered by clothes.
  • Milia are small (1-2 mm) cysts on the face formed from blocked hair follicles or sweat glands.
  • Staphylococcal folliculitis appears as red bumps with white centers, just like acne, usually from staph infection of the hair follicles.
  • Hot tub folliculitis appears with bumps with red haloes up to 1 cm in size, appearing under a swim-suit, after using hot tubs contaminated by a bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
  • Eosinophilic folliculitisappears as pale red bumps on the face and neck, mostly in persons with immune deficiency (like in AIDS)
  • Sea bather’s eruption are itchy red bumps appearing under a swimming suit due to a reaction on jellyfish larvae.
  • Perioral dermatitis appears as a scaly rash around the mouth and eyes, almost exclusively in women
  • Grover’s disease mostly appears in men over 50 who are unwell. Small pimple-like red bumps appear on the chest or back.
  • Bumpy hives are small pin-sized bumps with pinkish or reddish haloes around them. They are usually caused by an allergic reaction to physical stimuli like heat, cold, pressure, stress (cholinergic urticaria) or in allergy to food, medicines, cosmetics, sunscreens, hair dyes, jewelry, plants (poison ivy, poison oak) or sweat (prickly heat).
  • Disseminate and recurrent infundibulofolliculitis (DRIF)
  • Filariasis , strongyloidiasis
  • Rocky mountain spotted fever is caused by rickettsiae, appears mainly in North America, and is characterized by groups of red blotches anywhere on the body. High fever is usually present.
  • Dengue fever is a flu-like viral illness, transmitted by mosquitoes from human to human. It appears with measles-like rash, high fever and muscular pains.

Itchy BOILS, NODULES and LUMPS

  • Afuruncle is a prominent, red, often painful bump (may be over 1 cm in size), usually appearing on the back of the neck or limbs, as a result of a staph infection. Carbuncle is a collection of furuncles that have merged together.
  • In nodular prurigo several itchy red nodules with a warty surface appear mainly on the limbs. The cause is not known.
  • Erythema nodosum appears as rounded slightly elevated red patches several cm in size, mainly on the lower legs (also on the thighs or forearms). They represent inflammation of under-skin fat and may occur in tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, as side effect of drugs (sulphonamides, salycilates), contraceptive pills, or in pregnancy.
  • In hidradenitis suppurativa, itchy lumps that may ooze fluid appear in the armpits or in the groin area.

Itchy Nevuses – Birthmarks

Nevus is a chronic delimited rash appearing as macule or mole.

Itchy Red PATCHES Without Scaling or Blisters

  • Mild sunburn appears as an itchy burning patch on the skin several hours after sun exposure.
  • Hives (urticaria) , acute or chronic, physical urticaria (solar urticaria)
  • Angioedema
  • Extensive red discoloration of the face, neck and upper chest appears within 30 minutes after scombroid fish poisoning.
  • Pityriasis rosea (herpes virus 6 and 7). Pale red patch (‘Herald patch’) few cm in size is followed by other small red scaly patches, mainly on trunk.
  • Granuloma annulare mostly appear in children or young adults as a red ring with the unaffected center. The cause is not known.
  • Dermatomyositis is a muscular disease with a scaly reddish/violaceus rash, mainly on arms.
  • Amyloidosis

Itchy SCALING Patches

  • Fungal infections appear as scaly areas, mostly on the feet (athlete’s footTinea pedis), in the groin (jock itchTinea cruris), on the body (ringworm of the body – Tinea corporis), or on the scalp (ringworm of the scalpTinea capitis). Details about itchy legs.
  • Lichen sclerosus is an itchy, shiny, scaly rash, mostly appearing on the women genitalia, but occasionally also on other parts of the skin, also in children or men.
  • Psoriasis is a genetic disorder, appearing as thick silvery scales on a red skin surface with distinct borders, mainly on the knees and elbows, or other parts of the body, including the genital area or scalp. Itch appears only in severe cases.

Itchy Red PATCHES WITH SCALING, BLISTERS, and/or CRUSTS

  • Severe sunburn Sunburn itch – prevention and treatment
  • Actinic prurigo
  • Chronic actinic dermatitis
  • Photosensitivity is a condition in which certain drugs or ointments react with UV rays from the sun, and cause a strong skin reaction resembling a severe sunburn.
  • Dry skin (xerosis)
  • A cold sore (Herpes simplexvirus) appears as a group of tinny translucent blisters on a reddened skin, usually on the lip border, or near the nose. The same rash may appear on the genital mucosa.
  • Shingles represent reactivation of a Herpes zoster (varicella) virus that remained dormant in the roots of the spinal or cranial nerves. It may appear several years after having chickenpox as a red rash resembling chickenpox, and extends as a stripe over the course of the cranial nerve (on the face) or spinal nerve (on the trunk or limbs), from the spine to the mid-line in the front, usually only on one side of the body.
  • Poison ivy
  • Severe cellulitis is an under-skin infection, appearing as a bright red patch with large blisters, mainly on the limbs, caused by a bacterium Staphylococcus aureus or group A Streptococci.
  • Tinea versicolor is also known as Pityriasis versicolor.
  • A dermatophytide is an allergic rash caused by an inflammatory fungal infection at a distant site.
  • An id reaction is an itchy rash with blisters that often occurs on the sides of the fingers, but it can also be found on the chest or arms. It is actually caused by a fungal infection somewhere else in the body.
  • Contact with certain plants, like a nettle, usually results in a burning red patch with small translucent blisters. Contact with chrysanthenum may result in a red patchy rash.
  • Contact with certain sea animals, like jellyfish, may also result in a red patch.
  • An eczema is a reddish patch with occasional scaling or blisters as a result of allergic contact dermatitis. It most often appears on the hands.
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Erythema multiforme appears on the forearms and hands (also on the knees or feet) as a target-like rounded reddish rash with occasional blisters or crusts in the center. It occurs in certain infections or as side effect of medications.
  • Impetigo appears as a red, scaly rash, often on the face in children, but also in adults and on the other parts of the body. The cause is infection with a bacterium Staphylococcus aureus.
  • A discoid eczema (nummular dermatitis) appears as a coin-sized red rash anywhere on the skin.
  • Paronychia is a red painful swelling of a nail base due to an infection, usually by Staphylococcus aureus.
  • In pemphigus, red patches with blisters and ulcers occupy extensive areas of the skin and mouth mucosa. The cause is not known. Benign mucosal pemphigoid appears with itchy blisters.
  • Pompholyx are rough translucent blisters on the hands or feet, often appearing in excessive palmar sweating.
  • Scabies appears as red bumps, blisters and later scaling, mostly between fingers and toes, on inner sides of the wrists, in the skin folds, or anywhere on the body.
  • Ared rash with under-skin canals appears in parasitic infestations with cutaneus larva migrans, tungiasis See pictures and check other causes of itchy feet and toes, like acroangiodermatitis, sweaty sock syndrome, pitted keratolysis.
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis
  • Palmoplantar keratoderma is yellowish thickening of the skin on the palms and/or soles, appearing in small children
  • Paget disease appears as a scally itchy discoloration of the breast areola and is almost always connected with a breast cancer.

Itchy Rash With ULCERS

  • Gravitational eczema (venous eczema, stasis eczema) appears on the lower legs in persons with a venous disease (varices, vasculitis) or thrombosis.
  • Skin cancers: a basal or squamous cell carcinoma and, rarely, a melanoma may appear as an ulcer or ulcerated mass on the skin.

Itchy Rash on SCALP, BEARD, ARMPITS or GROIN

  • Dandruff appears as whitish skin flakes falling from the scalp or other hairy skin areas.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis appears as yellowish, greasy, flaky skin on the scalp, around the ears or nose or in the genital area.
  • Head lice and pubic lice cause red bumps with intense itching on the scalp (also on the forehead, neck or shoulders) or in the groin.
  • Epidermal or sebaceous cyst
  • Tinea capitis (scalp ringworm) is a fungal infection of the scalp, mostly in children.
  • Barber’s itch (ringworm of the beard)
  • Causes of itchy scalp in detail
  • Tinea cruris (jock itch) is a fungal infection of the inner thighs and groin
  • Genital warts, plaques and rashes caused by sexualy transmitted diseases (STDs) may cause itchy groin. Read about rectal and anal itch.
  • In hydradenitis suppurativa, itchy lumps that may ooze fluid appear in the armpits or in the groin.
  • Fox-Fordyce disease is a rare disease resembling hidradenitis suppurariva, occuring mainly in young women (13-35 years of age). Sweat glands become clogged and small itchy bumps appear under the arm, or/and in the groin.
  • Causes of itchy armpits in detail

Rash Around NAILS

Internal Diseases and Itchy Rash

  • Liver disease with cholestasis, Wilson’s disease, brucellosis of the liver, leptospirosis, trichinosis
  • Kidney disease with uremia
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Systemic connective tissue diseases: rheumatoid arhritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, systemic sclerosis
  • Acanthosis nigricans, malignant are dry bumpy discolored skin (and mouth) lesions that often appear in abdominal malignancies.
  • Chemochromatosis
  • Lymphomatoid granulomatosis
  • Androgen-, estrogen-, or drug-induced jaundice
  • Hypersensitivity vasculitis, polyarteritis nodosa, polymyalgia rheumatica, Henoch- Schönlein purpura
  • Schistosomiasis
  • SLE (rarely itches)

Related Articles:

  • List of Causes of Itchy Skin
About Jan Modric (249 Articles)
Health writer
  • Jan Modric

    Tattanooga,

    rash “formed over the pores” could be some form of folliculitis (an inflammation/infection of the hair follicles). “Loosing feeling in the index finger” could mean nerves are affected from, for example shingles (reactivation of an old Herpes zoster infection). It is a dermatologist who can probably give you a diagnosis.

  • tarynlee

    Hello, a little over a week ago, I started with what I thought was a boil on my spine, [between my shoulder blades] it progressed to an extremely itchy rash, and spread to the surrounding area, [about 4 to 5 patches] and then another patch [of rash] on my chest. i also have been feeling low grade ill, for the same amount of time, no temp. but headachy, and a bit disoriented. today, over a week after it all began, the rash has turned red, seems to be shrinking, and still itches, but last week I had stabbing pain in the rash area alternating with extreme itching. does this sound like anything in particular? I have been alternating anti fungal creme with steroid creme [and started with calamine], I can’t tell which is helping, but since I still don’t feel very good, I’d love to hear your thoughts. thank you,

  • Jan Modric

    tarynlee,

    is the rash limited to the left or right side of your body, running like a stripe from the spine to the breastbone? In this case it could be shingles, which may last for few weeks and heal on its own. Red bumps with occasional white heads appearing in no particular order can be from staphylococcal folliculitis. In this case OTC antibiotic ointment containing mupirocin could help, but prescribed oral antibiotics are more effective.

    I can’t exclude fungal infection, eczema or other skin disorders from your description, though.

  • tarynlee

    Hello again, thanks for the info. while it is confined to my right side, I would’nt say it’s a straigt line, the original one is on the spine right between my shoulder blades, the second one is a little higher up on my right shoulder, and the one on the front is near the top inside of my right breast. there are a couple of smaller ones in the same vicinity on my right upper back. so you could loosely draw a line through them, but it would’nt be a straight stripe. this morning they seem to have gotten bigger again, and are pretty itchy. but I’m feeling pretty much normal, healthwise. i did forget to mention, there was an attack of diahhrea a day or so before all this started. not sure if that was related to this. thanks for any further insight.

  • Jan Modric

    tarynlee,

    with a “stripe” I meant a band running along one ore more of spinal nerves, usually only on one side. These images of shingles can show you the actual appearance may be much more vague as I described before. Bumps, blisters filled with translucent fluid and crusts in various stages may be present at the same time. Diarrhea and mild malaise with symptoms you’ve described may all be symptoms of shingles. I recommend you to read some article about shingles.

    Bumpy rash due to a staphylococcal infection may be in the form of big hard reddened bumps (furuncles) or small red bumps with occasional white heads (filled with pus). Staph infection is usually contracted by direct skin-to-skin contact or sharing towels, clothes…with an infected person. Headache and diarrhea are much less likely in skin staph infection…

  • Stacyy

    Well i have a number of things wrong with me i’m just too scared to talk about :/
    i have lumps in my breasts, not sure wether they’re just milk glands or not but i also have ‘wierd’ nipples :/ i’ve got nausea,high temperature and a red itchy rash allover my body, almost like chickenpox but some are more like lumps i suppose :/
    and i heard that bieng bloated easy can link to cancer or ibs? i’m to scared to talk to anyone about these things, i just wanna know what to do and wether i should be worried? ://
    Thanks x

  • Jan Modric

    Stacyy,

    please go to the doctor soon. If it is a cancer, it can be treated better the sooner it is discovered.

  • werne220

    Hi,
    I have a rash that is very very itchy. The rash started on my arms and legs near my elbows and knees. Those areas have since cleared up and now the rash has moved to my hands, feet, shins, and calfs. The rash starts out looking like mosquito bites and always appears in clusters of at least 3. After about a day they get tiny clear blisters in the center, about 2 or 3 on each “bite”. They clear up after about 3 days but as soon as one cluster clears up another one forms somewhere else. Hydrocortizone gives relief for about 10 minutes. There doesn’t seem to be any pattern to when they appear. I do have an ant problem in my apartment but I do not know if this is related, though I have found multiple ants crawling on me. Please help!

  • werne220

    I should also mention that I live with my boyfriend and we share a bed and he has no rash at all.

  • Jan Modric

    werne220,

    one possibility would be an allergy to ants or some sort of mites or their saliva or secretions. A skin test performed by an allergist may reveal the cause.

  • werne220

    Thanks for the advice, I’ll have to check into that.

  • ADean

    I was reading about the different types of rashes/skin conditions out there. I have had a red rash that started on my bikini line on one side that looked identical to Pityriasis rosea. It has spread out over my hip in a smaller blotchier form and a bit lower on the same leg. This has been going on over a year and I cannot get rid of it. Went to dermatologist and he gave me some creams. They help a bit with the itching and seem to calm the rash down after a few days but it NEVER goes away. It is very itchy and is driving me crazy. I was given an oral pred. pack and that made it almost go away but then it came right back. Help!!!!! Any suggestions?

  • Jan Modric

    ADean,

    do you remember how did the rash start? Which diagnosis has a dermatologist give you? Has he/she excluded the possibility of fungi?

  • tlc91970

    My husband has a reoccurring rash on his arms, neck & other sun exposed areas. He has had this problem for almost 25yrs. It only occurrs when he is exposed to the sun. He gets raised red bumps almost like tiny blisters, they itch and are sometimes painful. Sun screen does not help, it intensifies it. He works outdoors and is exposed frequently, and the rash seems to multiply day after day. It goes away in the cooler months, when the suns intensity is lower. What could this be? Is there a treatment? I appreciate any answers as we’ve been dealing with this a very long time.

  • Jan Modric

    tlc91970,

    a dermatologist may give him a diagnosis after examining a sample of the rash obtained by a biopsy of the skin. However, a dermatologist can help make a diagnosis only when he/she can see the rash. Your husband should write down, how exactly the rash looks (colr, size, any oozing, scaling, crusts), where exactly does it appear and where not, for how long a certain bump persists, does he take any medications (sunlight may react with certain substances [in medications or supplements] when these substances are present in the skin), does anyone of the relatives has any skin disease.

    Examples:
    - in solar dermatitis rash would appear after several minutes or few hours after exposure to sun. A sunscreen with a high sun protective factor (15 or more) could prevent this type of rash. But if sunscreen intensifies the rash, he could be allergic to certain substance.
    - in solar urticaria, bumps would appear within seconds or minutes after exposure to sunlight and persist only for some hours and new ones would appear after the next exposure to sun. In this case antihistaminic pills might help.
    - certain types of psoriasis can be aggravated by sun (unlike other types which get better after sun exposure)
    - in photoallergic dermatitis, sunlight reacts with certain substances (soap, cosmetics..) on the skin
    - in drug induced photosensitivity, sunlight reacts with substances that appear in the skin after taking certain medication or supplement

    An experienced dermatologist could have more ideas.

  • lilamy2195

    I have been getting bites or something on my face, ears(in&out),my back, and I’ve even had one on my knee, and I’ve been dealing with this for 3yrs. now. I have been to two dermatologist and my regular doctor and none of them were of any help, they don’t want to listen, some would partially but still they are clueless and seem to not really care. So I’m here hoping that someone on here might know what I’m dealing with. It starts out this way, I will get an itch and of course I go to scratch or rub it and then I look at it, it looks sort of like a pimple at first (a fresh pimple that hasn’t even got a head to it yet, just red, raised and swollen), it’s painful and so I mess with it and it only gets bigger (just to note: I have left them alone before as hard as it was, just to see if it would go away, get better or what but no they only get worse cause it digs such a deep whole into the face to where it almost looks like you’ve been stabbed), so I squeeze on them and only clear liquid comes out but then hours to a day later depending on the size, it keeps itching and hurting and so I continue to mess with it, sometimes I get like a puss or infection out of some of them, but everyone I have ever had has a white stretchy center and I pull it with a tweezer but it always breaks off. That same spot remains for months some have for up to a yr. and the white thing in the center( it resembles a piece of rice,or a larva)anyway it keeps the bite or whatever it is there for a long time because there will be a scab where I’ve picked it but the white center makes the scab raised in the center. So, I have took and scratched up around the whole scab and the scab will be lifted but still connected in the center of the bite and it’s always hooked to the white thing in the middle. Then once I do that I take the tweezer and pull it and you can see the nasty white thing in the center stretch and then it snaps off and it’s like it goes back in but then by the next day or two it’s back the same way, its a never ending battle. Can someone please help because I would love to get to the bottom of this because this is scarring my face and my body and right now it has one of my ear lobes split and all the dermatologist can tell me is that my face is so scarred that it’s gonna cost me $3000 to $5000 to fix it because now I need microdebration. I would be happy with just figuring out with this is and being able to putting a stop to it cause if I can get it to stop, over time the scars will fade. Thanks to all for reading this, I know it’s very long but I just want to make sure that I had all the detail in.

    Thanks, Amy!

  • Jan Modric

    lilamy2195,

    an experienced dermatologist should be able to give you a diagnosis. Sometimes a sample of the rash needs to be investigated under the microscope.

    If red bumps have openings on the top it means they are inflamed hair follicles due to: acne, staphylococcal folliculitis or some other type of folliculitis. Folliculitis does not appear on the palms and soles since there is no hair follicles.

  • loveacjmajor

    For about two years now, I’ve had a cluster of very very small bumps at the base of my left hand just above my wrist on the non palm side. The bumps are the same color as my skin, close together for the most part, and are barely raised. They are smooth like the rest of my skin, but the area hardens/becomes coarse soon after I scratch it. At its smallest, the cluster is maybe a half inch in diameter. It is only occasionally itchy, but when it DOES itch and I scratch it, the cluster spreads up my hand toward my pointer finger to become about 2-3 inches long, and 1-2 inches wide. I’ve noticed that the rash seems to be worse (more itchy and therefore spreads) in the winter months, but I’m not sure that the dry weather is the culprit, maybe just an irritator. I am always drinking plenty of water, and the rest of my body is well moisturized. I have tried both eucerin and aquaphor, and other intense moisturizers to no avail. Itching it is mainly what seems to make it spread, but its like a vicious cycle. Once it starts itching, it itches REALLY bad. I try to avoid scratching it, but sometimes it happens. The rash will basically go away for maybe 3-4 months (usually in warmer months) but always come back.

  • Jan Modric

    loveacjmajor,

    it could be a localized viral skin infection. I believe, I myself got this few times, but it was so mild and transitional I didn’t take much care about it. A dermatologist can give you the exact diagnosis and recommend some ointment.

  • ItchingLikeMad

    Hi there! Great website! I have a rash for the last couple of months that is very itchy. It began mostly on my jawline and neck and has recently affected my face, chest, scalp, upper arms, back, and now a few spots on my torso. The spots are more scattered and individual rather than collective or grouped. They also are skin toned except when irritated by constant itching. It only remains fairly constant to my jawline and neck and I constantly itch. For the most part it comes and goes, or perhaps only appears to. I have searched the web but have not found anything similar. I have also switched to Aveeno bath products to help but have no real relief. Please help! Any insight is greatly appreciated! Btw, I am 40yo female with no medical problems and not on any medication.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi ItchingLikeMad

    A skin rash is a broad term and you need to see a dermatologist who can examine the are and diagnose the condition. It could be related to an allergy or infection (localized or systemic), or possibly even the skin care products you were using. Given the distribution, I would advise that you look into your hair care products. Take note of what aggravates the condition, foods, seasons, situations and this may help you identify a possible cause. Ideally a dermatologist should be consulted with for further advice.

  • helpme!!!!

    Hi I just recently started working at a housekeeping job where I wear gloves after that I noticed my hands got extremely red and burned and in three days I developed little bumps and they are very itchy is this because I’m allergic to the gloves some please help me I just got the job and I don’t know what to do!! I’m 15 years old and so concerned!!

  • Louise

    Hi there, i couldn’t find description matching my kind of rash. I got a spray tan a few days ago for the first time however everyone around me said it couldn’t have a direct connection. It started on my inner elbow two days ago, a red moist and swollen rash with purple lines across (both arms), my neck is now very red and itchy and my face is drying out so quick and burning. I don’t know what to do! I have to heal asap before i go back to work.
    If someone can tell me what it is i would be so grateful
    Thanks.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Louise

    Given that you recently had a spray tan, this could very likely be contact dermatitis. This type of skin rash is associated with exposure to chemicals from skin care products, detergents and other chemical applications. Spray tans are usually safe, provided that you went to a reputable establishment, but individual sensitivity to these products may occur. It is more likely in a person with an allergic predisposition, especially those with atopic dermatitis (eczema). However, the spray tan on its own may not have been the culprit and other skin care applications could also be responsible especially if there was a chemical interaction with the spray tan. Of course there are other skin diseases that me also be existing but your doctor will first consider excluding teh spray tan as the cause if you did not have any pre-existing skin complaints prior to the tan. Speak to your doctor who can then assess your skin and prescribe the appropriate medication or topical applications to reduce your symptoms.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi helpme

    Yes, this could be a reaction to the material in the gloves but may also be seen with exposure to certain chemicals like those in detergents. Even though you are wearing gloves, it is not possible to avoid some contact with chemicals even for a short period. Another possibility, if you have sweaty palms, is that heat and excessive perspiration when you are hands are in the gloves may be causing these skin symptoms. Speak to a doctor about it. If it is just related to the gloves or detergents then using petroleum jelly on your hands before putting on the gloves and thoroughly washing your hands regularly may help. However, it could be a skin disease and your doctor will need to treat it accordingly.