A rash is a reaction to something that makes your skin red and often itchy. It is a change in the skin which affects its appearance or texture. A rash may be localized to one part of the body, or affect all the skin.
Generally, the term rash refers to an outbreak of bumps that appears anywhere on your body that changes the way the skin looks and feels. Rashes can be localized to one specific area or widespread. Rashes can refer to many different skin conditions. Common rashes include patchy, scaly skin areas that are not caused by infection, scaly patches of skin caused by bacterial or fungal infections, and itchy red bumps or patches found all over the body.
Rashes may cause the skin to change color, itch, become warm, bumpy, dry, cracked or blistered, swell and may be painful. A rash can develop on a small area of the body, or cover the entire body. Some rashes will go away after a few hours; others resolve in a few days. Diagnosis must take into account such things as the appearance of the rash, other symptoms, what the patient may have been exposed to, occupation, and occurrence in family members.
Treatment of rashes depends on the etiology behind the development. Avoidance of an offending agent, stress management, and topical or oral treatments. Medications may also be given for symptomatic management.