Pruritic ("Itchy") Rashes
An outbreak of many red bumps or patches on the body is often called a rash. There are many different causes of a rash, and many of these rashes involve severe pruritus (itch). In adults, several types of skin inflammation, various allergic reactions (eg, contact dermatitis), and sometimes infection with a mite or virus can be the cause of a new itchy rash. To diagnose the cause, accurately describing the rash by size, shape, and color of the skin lesions is critical. Body location can also help point to the diagnosis. Determining that the skin change is acute (generally happening for the first time and lasting less than 1-2 weeks) or chronic (generally lasting more than 2 weeks) also helps to narrow the possible causes for the rash. Other diagnostic clues include exposures to plants or chemicals, exposure to others with a rash, medication use, and medical history.
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