Identifying Itchy Skin Rashes

What Itchy Skin Rashes Look Like

What Eczema Looks Like

Pictures of Eczema Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is an itch that when scratched, turns into a rash. Eczema appears as dry, red, flaky patches on the skin, often seen on the inside of the elbows and behind the knees. Photo © A.D.A.M.

Eczema, or dermatitis, can have different appearances depending on how long you've had it for. For example, acute eczema can include blisters and vesicles containing fluid. Subacute eczema that has been present for days to weeks may appear dry and flaky. Chronic eczema that has been present for months to years can cause the skin to become thickened or leathery in appearance, also known as lichenification. Eczema is usually found on the flexural areas of the body, especially in the elbow folds and behind the knees.

What Poison Oak and Poison Ivy Rashes Look Like

Pictures of What Poison Oak and Poison Ivy Rashes Look Like This is contact dermatitis caused by poison ivy, located on the leg. These early lesions consist of multiple small blisters, often in a line, where the skin has brushed against the poison ivy plant. As the rash heals, the blisters will peel and flake. Photo © A.D.A.M.

Poison oak is a form of acute eczema, which most often appears as fluid-filled blisters and vesicles on the skin. Rashes from poison oak and poison ivy occur after coming in contact with the poisonous oak and ivy plants. Both rashes typically appear in a linear pattern, the result of the plant rubbing against your skin, which can happen while hiking through the woods. 

What Psoriasis Looks Like

Pictures of What Psoriasis Looks Like Psoriasis appears as thick, silvery, scaly patches over joint surfaces. It is also commonly found in the scalp. Inverse psoriasis can appear in the armpits and groin, and is often confused with ringworm ("jock itch"). Photo © A.D.A.M.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin condition where the skin builds up and appears as thick, silvery scales or thick, dry, red patches. Psoriasis is most commonly found on the skin covering your joints and on your scalp.  Psoriasis is a long-term condition that can improve and then come back, or flare, later in time. Medications can help remove scales and stop skin cells from growing.

What Dermatitis Herpetiformis Looks Like

Pictures of What Dermatitis Herpetiformis Looks Like Dermatitis herpetiformis is an extremely itchy skin rash found over bony joints, hands, the lower back and the scalp. It is caused by a non-allergic immune reaction to gluten, a protein in found in wheat. Photo © A.D.A.M.

Dermatitis herpetiformis, or Duhring disease, is a rare condition which usually presents as small fluid-filled blisters and bumps over the joint surfaces, but can also be present on the back of the scalp and lower back region. Scientists aren't sure what causes dermatitis herpetiformis, but genetics, immune issues, and celiac disease may influence the condition. If you have dermatitis herpetiformis, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or recommend a gluten-free diet as approximately 75 percent of people with Duhring disease have a gluten sensitivity.  

What Ringworm (Tinea Corporis) Looks Like

Pictures of What Ringworm (Tinea) Looks Like Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin and appears as a red ring-shaped lesion with clearing in the center. The edges of the lesion are raised and flaky. Ringworm is most common in the groin and armpits, but can occur anywhere on the body. Photo © A.D.A.M.

Ringworm, also known as tinea corporis, appears as a flat rash that is usually red around the outer border with a whitish appearance in the center. The borders may have flaking or scaly. Ringworm is caused by a fungus, not a worm – like its name suggests. Ringworm is contagious and can be transferred through direct skin-to-skin contact or interacting with an item touched by an infected person. If you have ringworm you will need an antifungal medication to clear it up. 

What Folliculitis Looks Like

Pictures of What Folliculitis Looks Like Folliculitis causes an itchy, red rash and pus-filled blisters, forming around hair follicles. It commonly starts after shaving (face in men, legs in women), but can be spread anywhere on the body as a result of scratching. It is treated with antibiotics. Photo © A.D.A.M.

Folliculitis is an infection of the hair follicles that appears as small white-headed pimples, especially over areas of the body where the hair is shaved. Since people are covered in hair follicles, the rash can occur in most places where hair grows. Most cases resolve on their own, but antibiotics or steroid creams may help clear up or prevent further infections.

Pictures of Hives

What Hives Look Like Urticaria (hives) is a common itchy rash that appears as raised, red bumps in various shapes and sizes. The bumps often group together to form geographic shapes. The rash changes quickly over minutes to hours, and leaves normal skin behind. Photo © A.D.A.M.

Urticaria, or hives, are raised, red, itchy bumps of various sizes and shapes. They are usually red around the edges and white in the center. Hives occur when histamine is released into the skin, which typically lasts between a few minutes to several hours. Hives are one of the few rashes that come and go relatively quickly. If you have hives, an over-the-counter antihistamine can help calm a reaction.

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