Rash (cont.)

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Widely distributed rashes affecting large portions of the skin

Outbreaks of this sort are usually either viral or allergic.

Viral rash: While viral infections of the skin itself, like herpes or shingles (a cousin of chickenpox), are mostly localized to one part of the body, viral rashes are more often symmetrical and everywhere. Patients with such rashes may or may not have other viral symptoms like coughing, sneezing, or stomach upset (nausea). Viral rashes usually last a few days to a week and go way on their own. Treatment is directed at relief of itch, if there is any.

Other rashes

Hives or "welts" (urticaria) are itchy, red bumps that come and go rapidly over six to eight hours on various parts of the body. Most hives run their course and disappear as mysteriously as they came. Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather. It can occur at any age but is most common in young children. Heat rash looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters. It is more likely to occur on the neck and upper chest, in the groin, under the breasts, and in elbow creases.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/7/2013

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