While the word ‘rash’ does not have an exact meaning or refer to a specific disease or kind of disorder, it is a general term that refers to the outbreak of bumps on the body that change the way one’s skin looks and feels. Rashes can be localized to one area or be widespread across the body and can refer to many different skin conditions.
Rashes refer to an inflamed area of irritated skin that is characterized by redness, itching, swelling and various types of skin lesions such as macules, papules, nodules, plaques, pustules, vesicles, and wheals. In some cases, the area of affected skin is dry and sensitive and warm to the touch. In other cases the skin can crack and flake. Most people will experience some type of rash during their lifetime. Most rashes are not serious, but in rare instances, a rash can indicate a life-threatening condition. It is important to see a board-certified dermatologist at the onset of a rash to receive accurate diagnosis and treatment.
The four main categories of rashes are as follows:
1. Scaly patches of skin not caused by infection.
2. Scaly patches of skin caused by fungal or bacterial infection.
3. Red itchy bumps or patches across the body.
4. Allergic reaction such as hives.