A rash is simply a reaction on the surface of the skin. It occurs in response to an environmental allergen, a drug, plants or even foods. Bacteria, viruses and other parasites can cause diseases that lead to rashes on the surface of the skin. Most people are vulnerable to rashes especially in the earlier parts of their lives.
Identifying the rashes and knowing the treatments to overcome them will help you as a caregiver. Here are some of the typical infections and diseases that lead to rashes in children and adults.
Common Skin Rashes
This is a disease, which can cause an uncomfortable and painful rash on your loved one’s skin. It is caused by the varicella- zoster virus. The symptoms generally last for about two weeks. The symptoms of chicken pox include fever, sore throat and a rash that begins on the torso and soon spreads to the other parts of the body.
Blisters are formed, filled with pus. They form superficial lesions, which then develop a scab and fall off. The disease runs its course and the person may have to be quarantined as the rash is very contagious. There is no cure for chicken pox but there is vaccine that can prevent it.
Measles is another viral disease that tends to hit people in their younger years. The disease begins with cough, nasal congestion, red eyes and fever. There is general paleness on the person’s face and decrease in physical activities. The fever becomes very high and the individual may start to develop a rash on the face along the hairline and behind the ears.
The rash then spreads slowly to other parts of the body. The rash dissipates a week into the disease. Like chicken pox, there is no cure for measles and the disease runs its course. However, the disease is quite severe and can leave the patient in misery. A vaccine is now being introduced and given to all children to prevent an attack of measles.
Scarlet fever is also called as strep throat with a rash. It is caused by the streptococcus bacteria. The rash that occurs from scarlet fever or strep throat is not serious or contagious but if left untreated, it can lead to a more serious condition called as rheumatic fever, which can permanently damage the heart valves and vessels.
The person develops a high fever, sore throat, headache and an upset stomach. Soon after this, he/she develops a rash that feels like sandpaper. It is like sunburn with goose bumps. The rash may also spread to the pereneal and vaginal areas. The affected individual should be shown to the doctor immediately and administered antibiotics.
Fifth disease is another common childhood infection that can cause a rash. The rash takes the appearance of a ‘slapped cheek’. It typically starts as a cold and the rash appears much later after the initial symptoms are over.
The rash is usually found on the arms and shoulders and then spreads to the rest of the body. There is no cure except for comforting the child and soothing his/her rash.