12 Days of Dermatology – Day One: Skin Rash


If on the first day of Christmas you ended up with a rash from the wool sweater your grandmother sent you, here is some information on rashes just for you!

 Rashes are formally called dermatitis (literally translating to inflammation of the skin). They are caused by things such as allergic reactions, friction, prolonged exposure to heat and moisture, and contact with irritants (such as harsh chemicals). Two common types of rash are allergic contact dermatitis and eczema (atopic dermatitis).

Allergic contact dermatitis is the itching and blistering resulting from contact with an allergen. Some common allergens are nickel, rubber, dyes, preservatives, fragrances, and poison ivy and related plants. Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac are the most common plant allergens.

Eczema, or “the itch that rashes,” causes patches of dry, red skin that may have scale and/or crust and intense itchiness. Resultant scratching can lead to infection. Eczema usually occurs on the face, neck, ankles, and inside elbows and knees. There is no cure for eczema; however, with proper treatment, it can be controlled. 

Published on 12/14/2009 | Last updated on 10/18/2018