Rash All Over Body – Causes, Treatment

Rash all over the body

Rashes all over the body often appear suddenly and unexpectedly on different parts of the body. It shows up as pimples , pustules , wheals or scaly and reddened areas of skin that can also itch, burn and hurt. In addition to an allergic reaction, an infectious disease can also be the cause.

What is full body rash?

Depending on the cause, rash covering the whole body can spread quickly or more slowly on the skin, or it can also migrate from one part of the body to another over time.

Small or large pustules, wheals or blisters can form, which can also be filled with fluid. The affected areas of skin are usually reddened and can (extremely) itch or even burn. Sometimes the skin in these areas feels significantly warmer and may also flake. However, such a rash can also be completely flat and brownish or white in color. So there is no absolutely uniform appearance for skin rash .

Since a rash all over the body can often be a sign of a contagious infectious disease, it is important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. If left untreated, such diseases can lead to serious complications.


The cause of a rash all over the body can be completely different. Rash caused by an infectious disease has different causes than an allergic skin reaction.

In the case of an infectious disease that causes a skin rash, the respective pathogen is responsible for the outbreak. After infection, a typical skin rash usually appears quickly, which spreads quickly. This is the case with chickenpox , for example the herpes zoster virus, or with measles , a virus of the Morbillivirus genus.

But allergic reactions or neurodermatitis can also be responsible for a rash all over the body. The cause can be a contact allergy or an environmental allergy. These reactions often occur in sensitive skin areas such as the crook of the arm or the back of the knee. In rarer cases, an internal disease can also be behind such a widespread rash.

diseases with this symptom

Diagnosis & History

Only a doctor can make an accurate diagnosis of a rash all over the body through a detailed anamnesis in conversation with the person concerned. He asks the patient a series of questions, which he should answer as extensively and detailed as possible.

It is important when the rash appeared and whether a special event preceded it, whether unfamiliar foods were consumed or even a new personal care product was used. Even small things and side effects can give an indication for a clear diagnosis.

The doctor will also examine the rash visually. Many infectious diseases, the symptom of which is a skin rash, among other things, show very specific and clear characteristics that make it possible to diagnose the disease accurately.

A rash can usually be treated without complications and will improve within a few days.


A rash all over the body usually appears suddenly and can affect any part of the body. The body becomes covered with red spots, pimples, pustules, or wheals that can itch or burn.

An infectious disease is usually responsible for this, but allergies to certain substances can also be responsible. Depending on the cause, the rash can spread quickly or slowly all over the body and sometimes migrate from one part of the body to another. The rash can look different again and again, there is no uniform appearance of the pimples or spots. This rash primarily indicates a contagious infectious disease. The doctor should always be contacted, he can make an exact diagnosis.

The cause of the rash all over the body can have different causes, but if you have an infectious disease, the spots will look very different than if you have an allergic reaction, for example. In the case of infections, the rash develops quite quickly, in the case of chickenpox or measles , it spreads at lightning speed.

Eczema can also be responsible for the rash, and in rare cases an internal disease is diagnosed. The doctor will also examine the rash visually, because he recognizes the symptoms of “ teething problems ” immediately. A rash all over the body is relatively easy to treat and the rash will disappear after just a few days.

When should you go to the doctor?

A rash all over the body that appears suddenly and for no apparent reason, or that is extremely itchy or painful, requires rapid clarification by a dermatologist . Those affected should also see a doctor if the rash spreads to other parts of the body or suddenly changes in color and appearance, is accompanied by redness or swelling, or if alarming symptoms such as high fever , nausea and vomiting , dizziness or swelling of the airways with resulting shortness of breath occur .

If a sexually transmitted disease or a fungal or parasitic infestation of the skin is suspected, a urologist , internist (specialist in internal diseases) or dermatologist should be consulted. A rash all over the body that occurs in flares or accompanies an infectious disease can also be problematic and must therefore be examined by a doctor promptly. The same applies if the rash occurs as a result of an allergy or as a side effect of an existing medical condition or a specific medication.

If complications such as pus formation , skin bleeding , ulcers , etc. occur or if the rash occurs as a result of a trip to the tropics, this also requires rapid clarification by a dermatologist. If the rash can be traced back to a specific detergent, skin cream or piece of clothing, a specialist diagnosis is not necessary. A doctor should always be consulted with infants and children who have a rash all over their body.

Treatment & Therapy

The targeted treatment of a rash all over the body was based entirely on the cause of the skin reaction and should start as soon as possible.

Infectious diseases can be treated with antibiotics or antiviral drugs, for example. In the case of allergic skin reactions, preparations containing cortisone in the form of ointments and creams are often used, as are antihistamines in tablet form. For rapid success, it is absolutely necessary to identify and avoid the allergy trigger.

With some diseases, however, there is only a targeted treatment of the symptoms, i.e. a so-called symptomatic treatment. This is the case, for example, with chickenpox or rubella .

Regardless of the cause of the rash, ointments, creams or tinctures can always be applied to the affected areas to support it. These promote healing and/or relieve symptoms such as itching and burning.

While many over-the-counter ointments and creams for rashes are available in pharmacies, they should be used with great caution. Under certain circumstances, such preparations could further irritate the skin and thereby cause the symptoms to worsen. If in doubt, consult a doctor before use.

Basically, a doctor’s visit is always recommended so that the cause of the rash on the whole body can be found. Especially with highly contagious childhood diseases, it is important to know exactly which disease is involved, so that the risk of infection for the immediate environment can be minimized.

Outlook & Forecast

A rash all over the body does not necessarily have to be treated by a doctor. This often occurs as a result of allergic reactions or intolerances and also disappears on its own. Without treatment, the rash on the whole body usually disappears within a few hours to a few days. However, if the rash persists and causes pain or itching, a doctor must be consulted.

Treatment is with creams or tablets that reduce the body’s response. In most cases, medical treatment is effective and the rash disappears within a short period of time.

The rash often occurs at the same time as an itch. This can cause wounds if the affected person scratches the appropriate areas. Normal everyday life and sleeping are then no longer possible because the rash feels very uncomfortable when it comes into contact with textiles.

If the rash on the whole body lasts longer and is associated with severe pain, a doctor must be consulted. The rash can also be treated with antibiotics if the infection is more serious. In most cases, treatment is successful.


There are no absolute protective measures to prevent rashes all over the body. Children’s diseases are usually highly contagious, so that infection often occurs even with careful hygiene measures. Allergy-causing substances should of course also be avoided if the intolerance is known.

↳ Further information: Home remedies for skin rashes

You can do that yourself

In the case of a rash all over the body, a number of personal measures and home remedies promise relief. Depending on the underlying condition, the symptoms can be treated with various ointments, creams and bath additives. Increased personal hygiene helps to remove any pathogens from the skin and relieve itching. It is also advisable to wear loose clothing to reduce friction.

Sunflower oil , lavender oil or coriander leaves, among others, have proven effective as home remedies for rashes all over the body. The general rule for skin rashes is to keep a diary to identify possible causes. The symptoms can then be alleviated by targeted measures such as a long-term change in diet and the avoidance of irritating substances.

If an allergy is the cause, the corresponding irritants should be avoided in a targeted manner. Acute symptoms can often also be alleviated by changing the environment, for example when bed bugs or house dust cause the rash. In everyday life, itching and other side effects can be reduced by a healthy lifestyle, but often also by mere distraction. In the long term, the symptoms and their causes should be clarified by the family doctor or a dermatologist.

Lisa Newlon
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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.