Dermatitis is the fancy name for a skin rash and it can manifest as a symptom of many health problems. In short, your skin is not happy, either because the area where the rash manifested was directly put into contact with something irritating or as a side effect of something more indirect. When you consider just how many different things can agitate the largest organ of the human body, it makes sense why just developing a skin rash makes it hard to diagnose a person with any particular condition, disease or allergy.
This article has been written with the express purpose of highlighting several notable ailments, maladies and conditions that feature skin rashes as one of their symptoms. Continue reading to learn not only the technical names for some of those conditions that your parents and grandparents gave you informal terms for but also to know how a rash figures into their mechanisms.
1 - Allergic Reactions
This is arguably one of the most widely known ways that a skin rash can develop. The technical term for breaking out into a rash from exposure to an allergen is "contact dermatitis." Basically, the patient's skin reacts to exposure to an allergen and will flare up into a rash as a biological response. While there are plenty of things that can cause allergic contact dermatitis, some major allergens include latex, pet dander, metals like nickel, leather (by way of the chemicals used to cure it), citrus fruit, certain fragrances in cosmetics and even some topical medications.
2 - Poison Sumac/Oak/Ivy
These are the bane of many amateur outdoorsmen. They are all quite capable of leaving someone plagued with a rash containing hundreds of itchy little bumps. While the body reacts to exposure to these plants in the same manner as an allergic reaction, allergies can be a very hit-and-miss source of contact dermatitis; just about every human reacts to these prickling plants in the same way. Contact with any of these plants triggers the body to release lots of histamine, basically signaling the antibodies in your system to go to town on the perceived threat and resulting in the itchy rash the poor soul is now coping with.
3 - Sun Rash
Spending a prolonged period of time in high temperatures and/or under the rays of the sun can actually cause a physical reaction in the body that goes beyond just sweating a lot. The skin basically becomes stressed from all of the UV radiation and it winds up in a rash that, in its most extreme of permutations, can also signal nausea and vomiting should the sun rash be related to severe sunburn. This ailment tends to manifest anywhere from half an hour to several hours after the initial exposure and usually goes away within two weeks. The best way of dealing with this situation is to avoid it in the first place by covering your skin and using sunscreen.
4 - Secondary Syphilis
Syphilis is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection. Furthermore, it can manifest as a primary, secondary, latent or tertiary form. Secondary syphilis manifests four-ten weeks after primary infection. While there are many ways this ailment can show up, a reddish-pink rash is a common symptom and it may or may not form abscesses. This rash tends to manifest along the trunk and limbs of the body, especially the palms of a patient's hands or the soles of his feet. It should be mentioned that these are not the only symptoms of secondary syphilis; fever, a sore throat, loss of hair or body weight, headaches, inflammation of the liver, kidney disease and even uveitis are all possible.
5 - Lyme Disease
This nasty little condition shows up as a result of being bitten by disease-carrying ticks. The ticks like to hang out in high grass and will use chemoreceptors to sense when a warm body laden with blood is nearby. The rash of Lyme disease manifests roughly a week after the initial exposure but it neither itches nor hurts. Other symptoms include feverishness, headaches and fatigue and can progress to facial paralysis, joint pain, stiffness in the neck and heart palpitations.