10 common skin rashes, pictures, causes, diagnosis, and treatments

A rash is an abnormal skin condition that makes you uncomfortable and may affect your skin colour and texture. As a result of the irritation caused by skin rash, you find yourself scratching the affected parts of your body, which may, in turn, aggravate your condition.

Disclaimer: This article is not for self-help purposes; rather, it is for creating awareness. Always consult with your physician anytime you have skin-related issues for professional guidance.

Let’s quickly look at the 10 common skin rashes.

1. Eczema

Eczema is a non-contagious skin rash without a cure, but by taking medication or avoiding irritants, symptoms can be managed. Kids who suffer from eczema may outgrow it on or before their 10th birthday. However, others may continue to experience symptoms at different points in their lives.

Causes of eczema

You stand a higher chance of suffering from eczema if your family has a history of allergies or asthma. Medical experts aren’t clear on what exactly is responsible for eczema. Some believe it is your immune system’s response to something irritating.

Take a look at a few reasons which may be responsible for eczema

• Soaps or detergents

• Rough or coarse cloth material

• Respiratory infections

• Stress

• Heat


Finding eczema isn’t restricted to one procedure. Some doctors may diagnose you by only looking at your skin and probing you with a few questions. Other doctors may order you to take some allergy tests. This is because many people with eczema also suffer from allergies. Therefore, the allergy test will check for irritants.


Since eczema comes with many itchy sensations, the recommended treatment may focus more on preventing itching. Your doctor may also recommend body lotions and creams to keep your dry and itchy skin moist. Hydrocortisone cream and antihistamine have been known to be helpful.

2. Diaper rash

This is a type of contact dermatitis in which there is an inflammation of the skin in the area of the body covered by a diaper. The irritants responsible for this skin disorder are urine, faeces… leading to the breakdown of the skin.

Diaper rash is most common in the first 2 years of life. However, a person of any age who routinely wears diapers can also be affected.

Causes of diaper rash

• A wet or messy diaper is left for too long.

• Your baby’s skin rubs against the diaper.

• The diaper fits too tight or doesn’t fit properly.

• Bacterial infection

Diagnosis of diaper rash

When it comes to your baby’s health, don’t hesitate to seek advice from a medical practitioner. Your doctor may need details on the brand of diaper, baby lotion and other household items with which your baby comes in contact. Note that diaper rashes caused by yeast infection may occur when your baby takes antibiotics.

Treatment of diaper rash

Your medical doctor may prescribe topical creams and ointments to treat diaper rash. These creams and ointment include:

• Hydrocortisone to reduce swelling.

• Zinc oxide

• Antifungal creams

3. Chickenpox

Chickenpox is an itchy rash with small fluid-filled blisters caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). People who haven’t suffered from chickenpox or who haven’t been vaccinated against the disease are more susceptible to contracting it.

Causes of chickenpox

• When you come in direct contact with an infected person.

• When you inhale infected droplets in the air.

• Mother can infect her baby in the womb.

Diagnosis of chickenpox

Since chickenpox causes a rash to appear on your body, doctors find enough evidence to diagnose. In the situation whereby doubts arise, laboratory tests can be done to figure out the rash’s cause.

Treatment of chickenpox

• For mild cases, your doctor may advise you to stay home and rest to feel better.

• To reduce the duration and severity of chickenpox, your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs.

4. Scabies

Scabies occurs when tiny eight-legged mites called Sarcoptes scabiei invade and make your skin their new home. While making themselves comfortable, they dig into your skin to lay their eggs after mating on your skin surface. The digging into your skin causes the formation of rash with an itchy sensation.

Causes of scabies

• Due to the activity of Sarcoptes scabiei on your skin, your body will react by developing a red, itchy rash.

• When you have direct contact with furniture, clothing and bedding of an infected person, there is a high chance for the infestation to spread over to you.

Diagnosis of scabies

A thorough examination of your skin diagnoses scabies. The physician will look for signs of mites and their burrows. Samples may also be taken from your skin to examine under a microscope.

Treatment of scabies

There are several creams and lotions to eliminate the infestation of mites. Your doctor may advise you to apply the medication all over your body. Your doctor may also advise that your close contacts receive scabies treatment even if there are no visible signs of infestation.

5. Measles

Measles is a highly infectious disease that still claims the lives of many globally.

Causes of measles

Measles is caused by the rubeola virus, a member of the paramyxovirus family. Once you come in direct contact with an infected person or through infected droplets in the air, you may fall ill.

Diagnosis of measles

Your doctor can confirm measles through physical examination of your skin rash and looking out for other symptoms associated with the disease. Once your doctor suspects you of having measles, you will be required to take a blood test.

Treatment of measles

Measles has no specific treatment. Symptoms usually disappear within 7 to 10 days. Your doctor may recommend the following

• Acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce feverish conditions.

• Vitamin A supplement.

• Staying hydrated.

• Observing adequate rest to boost the immune system.

6. Heat rash

This is the inflammation of the skin that occurs when the sweat glands are blocked, and the sweat produced can’t get to the surface of the skin to evaporate.

Causes of heat rash

• Putting on tight clothing that prevents sweat from evaporating.

• Making use of cream or lotion that can clog your sweat glands.

• During cold days, you put on heavy clothing to keep warm. This may prevent you from sweating.

• Some medications may give you a heat rash.

Diagnosis of heat rash

Your doctor will carry out a physical examination on the skin involved before making a diagnosis.

Treatment of heat rash

Heat rash goes off on its own once the skin cools. But if your sweat gland gets infected, antibiotics may be prescribed. Note that calamine lotion may also help deal with the prickly sensation of the rash.

7. Ringworm

Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin, also known as dermatophytosis.

Causes of ringworm

• When you come in direct contact with soil harbouring Trichophyton, Microsporum and Epidermophyton, you may contract ringworm.

• If you come in direct contact with an infected animal or human, the infection will spread.

Diagnosis of ringworm

Your doctor may request that you get a skin biopsy done or a KOH exam.

Treatment of ringworm

Depending on your ringworm infection’s severity, your doctor may recommend medications and lifestyle changes to treat the infection. Some topical medications like antifungal creams, ointments or gels may be used. You may also be asked to help disinfect your surroundings by washing bedding and clothes daily, putting on loose clothing around affected areas.

8. Scarlet fever

Scarlet fever is an infection that can develop in people who have strep throat. Children between the ages of 5 and 15 years of age are mostly affected by scarlet fever. The most evident sign of scarlet fever is the presence of a rash.

Causes of scarlet fever

The bacteria causing this infection is a streptococcus group that can dwell in your mouth and nasal passages.

Diagnosis of scarlet fever

Your doctor will examine the following

• The condition of your child’s throat, tonsils and tongue.

• If the lymph nodes on your child’s neck are enlarged.

• The appearance and texture of the rashes.

A throat swab will be ordered if your doctor suspects strep to be the cause of your child’s illness.

Treatment of scarlet fever

Antibiotics are used to treat scarlet fever due to the drug’s ability to kill bacteria and boost the body’s immune system in fighting off the bacteria, causing the infection.

9. Roseola

Children under 2 years of age are most susceptible to contracting Roseola.

Causes of roseola

The human herpesvirus 6 or sometimes human herpesvirus 7 causes roseola.

Diagnosis of roseola

Roseola has a tell-tale rash, which doctors use to confirm their diagnosis. Sometimes, a blood test may be ordered.

Treatment of roseola

There isn’t a specific treatment for roseola. However, your doctor may recommend medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce feverish conditions. Antiviral drugs may also be recommended to treat the infection in people with weakened immunity.

10. Candidiasis

Candidiasis is a yeast infection, also referred to as thrush. The organism responsible is the quiet Candida Albicans, which we all carry on our skin, in our mouth, gut and the vagina of women. Although a rare occurrence, Candidiasis may become life-threatening if it reaches the bloodstream or vital organs.

Causes of candidiasis

• The overuse of antibiotics.

• Steroids and cancer treatments weaken the immune system and allow the yeast to flourish.

• Birth control pills may increase your chances of getting vaginal candidiasis.

• Tight clothing and poor hygiene.

Diagnosis of candidiasis

Your doctor will examine the affected area and consider any history of diabetes, cancer, HIV or chronic diseases.

Treatment of candidiasis

Your doctor may prescribe antifungal cream or pills to treat the infection on the skin. For vaginal yeast infection, antifungal medication may be administered directly into the vagina, while others may be administered through the mouth.