Skin irritation is a general term that can refer to a number of skin problems, including lesions, redness and itchiness. Rashes, a specific type of skin irritation, describe any area of skin that is red, itchy and inflamed. Both general skin irritation and rashes can be caused by a number of factors. Similarly, each can vary in severity and in duration.
For example, while mild forms of skin irritation and rashes can last for a few days, serious cases of both can persist for weeks, causing debilitating pain.
One of the primary functions of skin, the body's largest organ, is to protect us from the sun, pollutants and other potentially harmful substances. Because it is constantly coming into contact with the elements, it is always at risk of encountering substances that will irritate it. Common causes of skin irritation include:
In addition to the above causes, rashes specifically may also be caused by:
Because both of these skin condition have such varied causes, the associated symptoms are also extremely diverse. Like other medical conditions, the symptoms a person will experience when he suffers from skin irritation or rashes will depend on the exact cause of the condition. Some of the most common symptoms associated with skin irritation and rashes include:
Getting the proper diagnosis for your rash relies on identifying the precise cause of the skin irritation. Once you and your doctor are able to identify what is causing your skin irritation, the proper course of treatment will be clear.
Seeing your doctor or dermatologist immediately after you recognize rash symptoms is essential to preventing further health complications and avoiding the spread of your condition to others. While your skin rash may not be contagious, seeing a medical expert is still essential to preventing the rash from spreading over your body and getting your health back on track.
When you go to see your doctor, he will ask you the following questions:
Your answers to these questions, as well as the appearance and location of the skin irritation, will help the doctor make a proper diagnosis.
Although the precise treatment you need for your irritated skin will rely on the exact cause of your condition, doctor generally recommend the following:
LovetoKnow (updated May 22, 2006). Skin Irritation. Retrieved November 1, 2007 from the LovetoKnow Web site http://skincare.lovetoknow.com/Skin_Irritation.
Willow Springs Collection (n.d.). Skin Rashes. Retrieved November 1, 2007 from the Willow Springs Collection Web site http://www.emuoilcanada.com/skin-rashes.html.
information on health-related topics, not medical advice, diagnosis or
treatment recommendations. Please consult your physician if you have questions