Itchy Rash

What is a Rash?

A rash is the abnormal change in the skin and this change affects the texture, color and appearance of the skin. The rash might affect an individual’s entire body or may be just localized at one part. Rashes can be painful and might cause the skin to become cracked, dry, sore or itch. Thus the treatment for rashes varies depending on different factors.

What is an Itch?

Itching is an unpleasant feeling in the human body that causes the reflex or desire to scratch.  Research has proved that itching has a number of similarities to pain but their behavioral response patterns are different. While itch leads to scratch reflex, pain leads to withdrawal reflex.

Itchy Rash Vs Non Itchy Rash

Rashes can be of two types, they could either induce an itching sensation or they might be non itchy rashes. While conditions such as goose bumps, roseola, skin tags and warts are non itchy, conditions such as bumpy hives, folliculitis and acne are itchy in nature. The severity of the itching sensation varies from disorder to disorder. For example, a person suffering from severe psoriasis will suffer from itchy rash condition where as an individual suffering from mild psoriasis may not feel the urge to itch. At times, severe sun poisoning condition also might lead to itchy rash condition.

Itchy Rash

Source : flickr

Itchy Rash

Itchy Rash in Infants

Infants often suffer from itchy rash due to infection, dry skin or as a result of overactive glands in the infant.  Itchy rashes in infants can be petechial rash which are serious and require immediate medical attention or they can be erythematous rash which are usually not as serious as the petechial rashes. Petechial itchy rashes may be caused by meningococcal infection, enterovirus infection, or due to tight clothing or even due to forceful coughing or vomiting. It could also be an indication of leukemia. Erythematous itchy rashes could be caused due to eczema, viral skin rash, diaper rash, thrush, measles and  heat rash.

Childhood Diseases with Red Itchy Spots

Certain childhood diseases cause red itchy spots in children and this condition is known as Exanthem. Exanthem is often coupled with headaches, high fever and malaise and is caused by bacteria or virus infection or as reaction to the toxin of these viruses or bacteria or as an immune reaction. Some of the diseases that cause red itchy spots are chicken pox, which causes rashes over the face and the trunk, Measles, which casus itchy rashes on the trunk, face, limbs and mouth accompanied with cough. Some of the other diseases that cause this red itchy spots condition are Fifth disease, hand foot and mouth disease, Hepatitis B, Roseola infantum, scarlet fever and more.

Childhood Diseases with Red Scaly Patches

Certain childhood diseases cause red scaly patches on the infants body. Irritation caused due to alkaline saliva is one of the most common causes for itchy rashes around the mouth. Scalp ringworm infection is also responsible for itchy rashes coupled with scaly skin and hair loss.

Itchy Rashes During Pregnancy

Itchy rashes are a common cause of worry during the last five weeks of pregnancy when the stretching of the skin is the greatest; however this condition clears with delivery. During the last three months of pregnancy, pregnant women will notice itchy bumpy reddish rashes on the stretch marks on the abdomen and this condition is known as Polymorphic eruption or Polymorphous Eruption of Pregnancy. This condition is also known as PUPPP (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy) and is often noticed during the first pregnancy as the abdomen is the tightest at this stage.

Itchy Red Bumps

Many a times itchy rashes also appears s itchy red bumps and this could be due to various causes such as insect bites, acne, razor bumps, presence of a foreign object in the skin, side effects of various drugs, infection, immune deficiency or as a reaction to external stimuli. These itchy red bumps may or may not be painful depending on the conditions and each condition has to be treated separately depending on the cause of the itchy rashes. Some of these itchy red bumps are even gender specific such as Perioral dermatitis, which causes scaly rashes around the eyes and mouth in women and Grover’s disease which almost always appears only in men who are unwell and over 50 and is characterized by the pimple like red bumps appearing on the back and chest.

Itchy Boils, Nodules and Lumps

At times itchy rashes also appear as lumps, boils or nodules. Some of these conditions are Nodular prurigo where in a number of itchy red nodules that has a warty surface appears on the limbs, Erythema nodosum which affects the lower legs, forearms or thighs and is characterized by raised red patches on the skin caused due to Tuberculosis or as a side effect to certain drugs.

Itchy Nevuses – Birthmarks

Itchy nevuses is another type of itchy rash that is a chronic condition where in the delimited rash appears on the mole or macule of the affected individual.

Itchy Red Patches without Blisters or Scaling

At times itchy rashes occurs as red patches without blisters or scaling. Some of these conditions are mild sunburn, hives, Angioedema, Scombroid fish poisoning, Pityriasis rosea, Amyloidosis, Granuloma annulare and Dermatomyositis. These conditions could be a reaction to external stimuli or an infection or disease.

Itchy Scaling Patches

Itchy rashes also appear as itchy scaling patches in case of fungal infections and genetic disorder. Fungal infections are associated with scaly areas and they can infect the feet, groin, body or scalp and are mostly caused due to ringworm infection. Psoriasis causes itchy rashes due to genetic disorder and it affects the knees, elbows, genital area, scalp and other parts of the body. Usually itching is associated with severe cases of psoriasis.

Itchy Red Patches with Scaling, Blisters and/or Crusts

In severe cases itchy rashes are characterized by itchy red patches that have blisters, crusts or are scaling.  Some of these conditions are severe sunburn, photosensitivity, sever cellulitis, shingles, cold sore, eczema, impetigo, paronychia, scabies, paget disease, pompholys and more. At times contact with certain plants such as chrysanthemum or even nettle can sure itchy rashes with blisters. Contact with certain jellyfish is also likely to cause itchy rashes with a red patch. While most of these conditions are associated with certain infections, allergic reaction or other internal diseases, the casues of some of these conditions remains unknown.

Itchy Rash with Ulcers

Skin cancers and Gravitational eczema often cause itchy rashes with ulcers. In the case of skin cancers which could be squamous or basal cell carcinoma and melanoma tend to appear as ulcers on the skin. Gravitational eczema often appears on the lower legs of a person suffering from thrombosis or venous diseases.

Itchy Rash on Armpits, Scalp, Beard or Groin

Itchy rashes on scalp, beard, armpits and groin can be quite painful and embarrassing too. These conditions are mostly caused due to fungal infections, sexually transmitted diseases, clogging of sweat glands, cyst, lice and more. While dandruff and scalp ringworm are the main culprits for itchy rashes on the scalp, ringworm infection of the beard and fungal infection of the groin and inner thighs causes itchy rashes on beard and groin. Fox-Fordyce disease is another disease that causes itchy rashes in the armpits or groins due to the clogging of sweat glands in young women between the age of 13 to 35 years.

Itchy Rash Around Nails

Fungal infection around or of the nails causes itchy rashes around the nails. This condition is called as Onychomycosis which causes the ends of the nail to turn white or yellow and causes the nail to become fragile.


Source : wikipedia


Source : wikipedia

Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy

Source :.wikipedia

Pityriasis rosea

Source :.wikipedia

Fifth Disease

Source : wikipedia


Source : wikipedia

Itchy Rash Due to Internal Diseases

Other than the above mentioned conditions, itchy rashes could also be an indicator of other internal diseases. Some of the diseases that have itchy rashes as one of their symptoms are liver diseases, Chron’s disease, kidney disease, Celicac disease, Chemochromatosis, Schistosomiasis, Lymphomatoid granulomatosis, drug induced jaundice and more. In such cases, itchy rashes often disappear, when the treatment for the internal diseases are successful.


Posted by in Diseases and Conditions, Skin Care

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