Where does the rash on the body come from and what to do about it

Where does the rash on the body come from and what to do about it

Where does the rash on the body come from and what to do about it

July 2, 2020

Educational program Health

Sometimes just waiting is enough.
Photo by Ekaterina Komissarova

Ekaterina Komissarova

Lifehacker medical journalist

Where does the rash on the body come from and what to do about it


A rash on the body is a common occurrence. Most of the time she doesn’t hurts health: small red spots, pimples, bubbles spoil the appearance, itch, but quickly disappear by themselves.

However, sometimes rashes can be symptoms of serious and even life-threatening disorders.

When to see a doctor urgently

Go to your GP, dermatologist, nearest emergency room or call an ambulance as soon as possible, if:

  • The rash spread all over the body.
  • The rash is accompanied by fever. A temperature above 38.3 °C indicates an acute inflammatory process.
  • The rash on the body appeared suddenly and is getting thicker. This may be a sign of a powerful allergic reaction that risks developing into Quincke’s edema or even anaphylactic shock. Be especially careful if the rash appears on the face and neck. If you notice that it is becoming difficult to breathe, immediately dial 103 or 112.
  • The rash is blisters. That is, in place of numerous red spots, bubbles filled with liquid begin to appear.
  • The rash is painful to touch.
  • The rash on the body is very itchy, and you easily scratch it until it bleeds. In this case, there is a risk of introducing an infection into the wounds and getting blood poisoning.

If there are no threatening symptoms, exhale. Most likely, nothing bad is happening to you.

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  • What to do if the temperature is kept at 37 ° C

What are the causes of a rash on the body

It is often difficult to immediately determine where the rashes came from. Here are some of the most common options.

Insect bites

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The bite of a mosquito or, let’s say, a bee is easy to identify: in its place there is a rounded dense swelling that itches or hurts. You can’t confuse such damage to the skin with a rash. But there are insects whose bites look like rashes. These are, for example, fleas – bed or sandy.

If you find itchy red dots on your skin in the morning or after the beach, you may have been bitten.


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She is allergic reaction to ultraviolet (“solar poisoning”). The rash can be different:

  • small itchy redness;
  • flesh-colored pimples that feel like sandpaper;
  • blisters;
  • spots of a distinct red color, tending to merge into a single whole.

Most often, an allergy to the sun occurs due to the fact that during tanning, some harmful substance was present on the skin – cream, lotion, medicine, plant juice – and ultraviolet turned it into an allergen. Alternatively, you may be taking medication that has made your skin sensitive to the sun.

contact dermatitis

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It occurs when some toxic substance (allergen) enters the skin and the epidermis reacts with irritation and rashes in response. Allergens are often:

  • The sap or pollen of certain plants, such as poison ivy or nettle. A skin reaction to nettle pollen is so common that the characteristic skin rash is called hives.
  • Latex.
  • Some metals that may be found in jewelry, hair clips, key rings. Most often, allergies occur on nickel, cobalt, chromium, copper.
  • Various cosmetic products – from creams to toilet water.
  • Dyes in cheap clothes.

drug allergy

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Rashes and itching can be side effects of certain medications, such as antibiotics. If you have recently started taking a new medicine, check the package leaflet. At the same time, check if there is any mention that the drug has a photosensitizing (that is, increasing sensitivity to sunlight) effect.

hay fever

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He’s also allergic to pollen. This option can be suspected if the rash appeared against the background of other signs of an allergic reaction:

  • runny nose;
  • watery eyes;
  • obsessive coughing or sneezing.

food allergy

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It can manifest itself as urticaria, appearing on different parts of the body, and scarlet rashes on the cheeks (this symptom is more typical for young children).

The most common food allergens considered:

  • eggs;
  • milk;
  • peanuts and hazelnuts;
  • fish and crustaceans;
  • wheat;
  • soy.

Skin infections

A rash can appear due to bacteria, fungi, viruses attacking the epidermis.

For example, with ringworm, rounded itchy spots with a bright border appear. This fungal infection, contrary to stereotypes, can attack not only the scalp, but also any other part of the skin.

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An example of a viral infection is molluscum contagiosum. This disease makes itself felt by raised reddish-brown and, importantly, hard bumps with a diameter of 1-5 mm, which can appear on any part of the body. Despite the name, no…






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