How Can You Identify a Type of Rash?


Quick Answer

Identify a type of rash by determining the cause of the rash, examining the rash’s characteristics and comparing these characteristics with those of various rashes, according to HowStuffWorks. If these steps do not provide a determination of the rash’s type, consult a doctor.

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Full Answer

Most rashes are local rashes due to direct contact with an allergen or irritant, local rashes due to a fungal or bacterial infection, or rashes due to allergic reaction to a medication or virus, explains HowStuffWorks. Determine if exposure to fungi, parasites, viruses, heat or certain medications caused the rash. After identifying the rash’s characteristics and possible cause, comparing its characteristics with those of various rashes helps determine its type.

Athletes are more prone to heat rash, older individuals are more prone to shingles, and younger children are more prone to roseola and chickenpox, according to HowStuffWorks. Common causes of rashes include ringworm, intertrigo, pityriasis rosea and swimmer’s itch. If the rash is recurrent, it may be due to atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, granuloma annulare or lichen planus. Many other types of rashes exist that are less common. Consult a doctor if it is impossible to identify the rash type or cause, the rash is painful, the rash does not improve, and a fever develops.

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