There are many types of skin rashes. A rash is an outbreak of many red bumps or patches on the skin. Many conditions can cause an itchy rash. In children, viral infections and scabies are common, as are several types of skin inflammation (such as diaper rash) and various allergic reactions (contact dermatitis). Determining that the skin change is recent (generally happening for the first time and lasting less than 1-2 weeks) helps to narrow the number of possible causes for the rash. The location of the rash on the body and the extent of the rash can also help determine a cause. Limited areas may indicate a poison ivy rash or other allergic contact dermatitis, while widespread rashes covering the entire body are typical of hives (urticaria), viral infections, and scabies.
Most skin rashes are not dangerous to others unless they are caused by an infectious disease such as chickenpox (varicella) or scabies. Many rashes go away on their own after some time has passed. It is often reasonable to watch a slightly itchy rash for a few days to see whether the condition gets a little better and goes away on its own.
Click any of the skin rash pictures below to help identify a specific health concern.