Itchy rash – causes, treatment

Itchy rash

An itchy rash is not only in the summer months a frequent and very annoying companion on the body. But with the right treatment, it is easy to get rid of him and effectively prevent his return.

What is itchy rash?

Itchy rash is by definition a rash on the skin that itches, scratches and disturbs. Experts refer to a rash as dermatitis or eczema, whereby both terms describe the same severity.

Nevertheless, there are many forms and in the case of a chronic occurrence of a rash, a specialist should therefore be consulted. The impact is characterized by a mostly reddened area on the skin. The skin usually looks dry or slightly waterlogged when palpated and every touch leaves an itchy feeling. A distinction is made in the course between primary efflorescences and secondary efflorescences.

The former can be blisterswhealspustules, etc. and are part of the normal course. Secondary efflorescences, on the other hand, occur in the final stage of the course and are either a sign of scarring of the skin, or a sign of penetration of the skin by the patient and subsequent delayed healing.


An itchy rash can have many causes and is usually not so tragic. Only rarely is a more serious illness behind the obvious symptoms, but it is advisable to consult a doctor immediately in the event of a rash in order to minimize the risks.

Serious diseases behind a rash can include: shinglessyphilismeaslesrubella and chickenpox. But many other moderate to severe diseases can also lead to a rash on the skin. In most cases, however, an allergy or intolerance to certain substances can be considered. Here, too, a doctor’s visit is recommended, because in this way, for example, a drug intolerance can be detected at an early stage and taken into account accordingly in later treatments.

Less common is a disease called neurodermatitis. Anyone who suffers from consistently dry skin and can often to very frequently detect rashes in certain places probably suffers from this disease. Here, the damage to the skin should be treated professionally in order to minimize consequential damage.

Diseases with this symptom

Diagnosis & course

The diagnosis of itchy rash should only be carried out superficially on your own. More important is a professional opinion and determination by the specialist.

This can thus determine the clinical picture exactly and recommend a suitable therapy. The course is differently pronounced and can also vary in a usual form. For example, smallpox pustules can come back once or twice, even though the actual disease has long since subsided.

Especially in the case of more complex clinical pictures, a regulated course is often difficult to determine, but basically the healing and scarring phase begins directly after the inflammatory phase. Both can vary in length, depending on the type of treatment and your own handling of the rash.


An itchy rash can provoke various complications depending on the underlying disease. Typical disease that causes an itchy rash is, for example, chickenpox. Occurring in childhood, the disease heals relatively quickly without complications. However, the resulting bubbles can be scratched open and infected with bacteria.

Other dreaded complications include inflammation of the cerebrum (encephalitis). This can trigger seizures that lead to unconsciousness and, in the worst case, death. Also for a fetus can be infected by the mother sick with chickenpox and lead to corresponding complications. It can lead to malformations and [[growth disorders in children| Growth disorders] are coming.

Chickenpox can recur at any time in adults as shingles (varicella zoster) and also cause complications such as meningitis or cranial nerve paralysis. Likewise, rubella causes an itchy rash. However, complications rarely occur in adults. Mainly, these affect pregnant women who can transmit the virus to the fetus.

This leads to rubella embryopathy, which is mainly characterized by heart defects , deafness and a cataract . Scarlet fever also has a variety of complications, but they are fairly rare. The bacterium can release dangerous toxins into the bloodstream, causing shock symptoms (streptococcal toxic shock syndrome).

Further complications can arise when antibodies produced by the immune system against the scarlet fever pathogens attack tissues of one’s own body. Despite the cure of the disease, it can lead to rheumatic fever and kidney inflammation.

When to go to the doctor?

A doctor should be consulted if permanent and violent skin reactions occur, the skin is very itchy, swollen or painful, or if the itchy rash is accompanied by shortness of breath, fever, pain, dizziness, nausea or vomiting.

In addition, sufferers should go to the doctor if the rash symptoms occur very suddenly and violently, the symptoms develop slowly over a longer period of time and spread further and further or sufferers do not know the cause of the itchy rash.

If the rash does not disappear on its own within a few days or if the symptoms do not disappear despite a started therapy, a doctor should also be consulted. A visit to the doctor is also recommended if the symptoms of the itchy rash change greatly or if the rash occurs in spurts.

Reddened patches of skin may indicate bleeding. Pus may form and ulcers may appear. Even with these symptoms, a doctor is the right contact person. If there is a suspicion of a contagious infectious disease, venereal diseases, fungal or parasite infestation of the skin, a doctor’s visit should take place.

Especially if infants or young children suffer from itchy rash, a pediatrician should be consulted. If the itchy rash occurs during or after a trip to the tropics, a doctor’s visit is recommended.

Treatment & Therapy

Like the diagnosis, treatment should only be carried out on the advice of a specialist. It is absolutely necessary to adhere to the treatment plan, otherwise no successful treatment can be guaranteed.

Depending on the type of disease, treatment with ointments and antibiotics is common. Both have an anti-inflammatory effect and in many cases the ointments provide the affected areas with much-needed moisture. Diseases such as neurodermatitis or fungal infestation often require a lengthy and long-term therapy plan to be successfully cured.

Also, allergic reactions can lead to a significant and necessary change in lifestyle as part of the treatment plan. For example, certain medications or foods can no longer be used and consumed and must be taken into account in future treatments. Also, rashes are often a consequence of incorrect hygiene. For example, certain substances in soap or detergent can cause allergic reactions.

Outlook & Forecast

With an itchy rash, the prognosis depends on how severe the rash is and which areas of the body are affected. As a rule, a rash does not need to be treated directly by a doctor and disappears on its own, as it occurs only temporarily.

If there is no treatment for a rash, it can worsen, spread over a larger region of the body or disappear on its own. Whether the rash retracts on its own depends on what caused it.

An allergy to a particular food or ingredient is often the cause of the rash. If the supply of this ingredient is stopped, the rash disappears again.

In some cases, the rash has other causes and will not go away on its own. A doctor should be consulted to treat the symptom. The treatment takes place either with creams or with tablets. An itchy rash on the skin often causes the affected person to scratch their skin. This can cause wounds that remain after the illness.

In most cases, the disease has a positive course, so the rash can be eliminated either with or without treatment.


In order to prevent the itchy rash as effectively as possible in the future, there are always a number of possible measures. Depending on the cause, it is of course advisable to complete your own hygiene and to use non-toxic soaps, fat-donating creams and non-irritating detergents for cleaning the clothes.

Biological detergents are particularly recommended here, because they are mostly produced and sold without dangerous substances. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can also help ensure that the rash does not come back and remains an annoying memory.

Smoking and the excessive consumption of alcohol, coffee and drugs is also a common cause of recurring and itchy skin rashes and should therefore ideally not be started in the first place.

↳ Further information: Home remedies for skin rashe

You can do that yourself

Self-care methods for an itchy rash vary greatly depending on its cause. In many cases, the rash is caused by intolerance to a food or an allergic reaction to a specific ingredient. In these cases no treatment is necessary. The rash will go away on its own after the body has completely broken down the ingredient. This can last for several days.

If the rash occurs after using a cream or ointment, these care products should no longer be used. To soothe the rash, gentle moisturizers can be used to help hydrate the rash and help it heal faster. In no case should the patient scratch the rash. This can cause unpleasant injuries and wounds. As a rule, the itching only gets worse if the area is scratched.

If the rash appears after being bitten by an insect , a doctor should be consulted. This is often just a harmless rash, but information should be obtained here. In the case of dangerous insect bites, the rash can also be treated with antibiotics. If the itchy rash is caused by poor hygiene , the patient needs to wash more often and maintain general cleanliness.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.