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09.10.2013, admin
A rash is a temporary eruption or discoloration of the skin and is often inflamed or swollen. Local irritants — This category includes diaper rash (caused by prolonged skin contact with urine and stool) and rashes caused by contact with harsh chemicals, such as laundry soaps and fabric softeners. Poisonous plants — Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac share a highly allergenic sap resin that can cause allergic rashes in 70% of people exposed to it. Autoimmune disorders — This category includes systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus), dermatomyositis and scleroderma, disorders in which the body’s immune defenses mistakenly attack healthy areas of the body, including the skin. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, including your history of allergies and your work history, to check for possible exposure to chemical irritants or to people with infections. When it began — Did the rash appear after you ate a new food, tried a new skin care product or took a new medication?
Location and pattern — Does the rash affect only sun-exposed areas or only areas in direct contact with gloves, shoes, goggles or face masks (as would be expected with allergic reactions to a chemical in the item)? Duration — Did the rash appear and disappear within a day or two (as in roseola), or has it lasted for a week (as in fifth disease) or longer (as in SLE)? Occupational exposures — Are you a day care worker who may be exposed to children with rash-producing illnesses (measles, rubella, roseola, fifth disease)?
Your doctor may suspect a specific cause based on your medical history and the history of your rash. Blood tests — Although most viral rashes do not require specific identification of the virus, blood tests are available to identify some viruses and bacteria that cause rash-producing infections. Patch tests — If your doctor suspects a local allergic reaction, he or she may conduct skin tests called patch tests. Tzanck test — In this test, a blister is opened and scraped to obtain a sample that is checked in a laboratory for signs of herpes virus infection.
KOH preparation — In this test, a skin area that is suspected of having a fungal infection is scraped gently. Skin biopsy — In this procedure, the skin is numbed and a sample of affected skin is removed and examined in a laboratory. Infections — Check that you and your children are up-to-date in your routine immunizations. Allergic reactions — Avoid the specific food, medicine, skin care products or cosmetics that you had a reaction to.
Local irritants — Diaper rash is treated by changing diapers frequently and using nonprescription creams or ointments that contain zinc oxide and mineral oil. Poisonous plants — The skin should be flushed thoroughly with warm water to remove the allergenic substance. Autoimmune disorders — These illnesses are treated with corticosteroid and immunosuppressive drugs, medications that suppress the patient’s overactive immune system.


Seek immediate medical attention if you begin to have difficulty breathing or develop hives, a fever, a fast pulse, confusion or nausea. The outlook for most rashes is excellent, especially after the cause has been identified accurately.
In severe allergic reactions, a patient can die within minutes without immediate medical treatment.
Nasal allergies, which are sometimes called allergic rhinitis , occur when you breathe in airborne allergens. The sinuses are air-filled spaces above, between, and beneath your eyes, flanking your nose.
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Rashes come in many forms and levels of severity, and they last for different amounts of time. Your doctor will try to confirm this suspicion by examining the rash’s appearance, location, pattern and any associated symptoms.
In these tests, tiny amounts of various chemicals are placed on your skin for two days to see if an allergic rash develops.
Depending on the specific reason for the rash, the light may cause the affected area of skin to glow red, pale blue, yellow or white. Scraped material is placed on a slide, treated with KOH (potassium hydroxide) and examined under the microscope for signs of fungi. Wash your hands frequently, bathe regularly and avoid sharing clothing or personal grooming items with other people. Make sure that your baby’s bottom is completely clean and dry before closing up the fresh diaper.
When you hike in the woods or do yard work, cover exposed arms and legs with long-sleeved shirts and long pants.


It must be treated immediately with epinephrine, a medication that opens narrowed airways and raises dangerously low blood pressure. If you are a hiker, does it form linear streaks along the lower legs (a sign of poison ivy)? In many cases, the results of your physical examination will clarify the diagnosis, and no further tests will be needed.
For example, the rash of a roseola viral infection usually lasts 1 to 2 days, whereas the rash of measles disappears within 6 to 7 days. To prevent Lyme disease, wear light-colored clothing that contrasts with the dark tick and covers most of your skin when you go into the woods. You also may need a bee-sting kit, which contains emergency medication to prevent potentially life-threatening reactions.
For sensitivity to chemicals in cleaning products, switch to laundry soaps and fabric softeners that are free of dyes and perfumes. Many viral infections that cause rash will go away within several days and require no medication.
High doses of corticosteroids and antihistamines also are used to suppress the immune system’s reaction. If you use soap immediately before flushing the skin with water, you are apt to spread the allergenic plant oil over your skin. However, the patient remains at risk of future severe reactions if he or she is exposed to the same allergy-producing agent. Rashes caused by an antibiotic allergy may last 3 to 14 days, whereas diaper rash almost always clears up within 1 week (if diapers are changed frequently). Make sure you know where the kit is at home and consider getting an extra one if you participate often in an outdoor sport. For irritation due to cosmetics, use hypoallergenic products that contain fewer skin-irritating preservatives and fragrances. Localized allergic reactions can be treated with topical or oral corticosteroids, antihistamines and ice to relieve the itching and swelling.
For this reason, a prescription for a self-injection pen containing epinephrine for emergencies usually is recommended for people with severe allergies. Be aware that you are more likely to be exposed to ticks in areas of the country where Lyme disease is common.



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