Rashes

Skin Rashes, Redness and Blisters -- and Their Causes

1
Candidiasis

Candidiasis caused by the fungus Candida sp.
When the Yeast Goes Everywhere. Image courtesy CDC

Doctors often have a hard time identifying rashes when they examine them in person. There is no way a rash can be accurately identified by a picture on the Internet.

However, if you have a rash and want to know which possible disorders look like that, this gallery is for you. These pictures all depict some sort of skin lesions, rashes, blisters, redness or peeling. In most cases, the rash is just a symptom of something much bigger. In some cases, it is indeed just a rash.

You may recognize pictures -- spider bites, for instance -- from other galleries on this site. Many people consider spider bites unidentified rashes until their doctors tell them otherwise. On the other hand, maybe that "spider bite" is really something else.

Some rashes indicate very dangerous conditions that warrant seeing the doctor as soon as possible. Some go away all by themselves and some can be treated effectively with over the counter remedies.

This infant shows a candida infection of the skin. Candida is a type of yeast, so this is a yeast infection that is spreading.

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

2
Canine Scabies

Pimple-like irritations on the abdomen and chest due to canine scabies
When Fido Gives the Gift that Keeps on Giving. Image courtesy CDC

Dogs and cats are prone to scabies (also called mange). Their mites are not exactly the same as the mites that humans spread to one another. Canine scabies can still be spread to humans, but they usually don't live and reproduce on human hosts. As long as the dog has the scabies, human companions risk infestation and the pimply rash that goes with it.

Since the mites can't reproduce on humans, the rash should go away after the pet has been treated.

More on Scabies

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

3
Chickenpox on the Face

Chickenpox on face
Varicella Lesions are Itchy and Painful. Image courtesy CDC/Dr. John Noble, Jr.

Chickenpox (varicella) is a disease common in kids. It usually looks like a cluster of blisters covering the whole body and concentrated mostly on the face, back, chest and belly. It might also cause a fever before the blisters. Symptoms are worse in adolescents and adults.

Chickenpox can lead to brain swelling and pneumonia. The blisters can get infected with bacteria.

There is a vaccine for varicella available. People who've had the vaccine can still get sick if exposed, but the disease will be much more mild.

More about chickenpox

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

4
Dermatitis Herpetiformis

dermatitis herpetiformis (DH)
"Gluten Rash" or "Celiac Disease Rash". Image courtesy CDC

Dermatitis herpetiformis is an extremely itchy and sometimes painful rash that looks like a cluster of tiny blisters. Sometimes, people get this rash in response to eating gluten. This rash will clear if the patient sticks to a gluten-free diet, which can be very challenging.

More about dermatitis herpetiformis

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

5
Pityriasis Rosea Herald Patch

pityriasis rosea with an oval herald patch on the abdomen, as well as a more generalized rash
The First Sign of Pityriasis Rosea is Often Mistaken for Ringworm. Image courtesy CDC

Pityriasis rosea, which can be a scary-looking rash, usually occurs in healthy teens and twenty-somethings. It looks bad, but it typically goes away on its own.

This "herald patch" is an example of the first sign of pityriasis rosea. These patches are often mistaken for ringworm.

More about pityriasis rosea

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

6
Poison Ivy Blisters

arm with a blistering poison ivy rash
Watch Where You Step. Image courtesy CDC

Poison ivy has a chemical irritant on its leaves that causes blisters when it comes into contact with bare skin.

More about poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac

Pictures of poison ivy

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

7
Poison Oak Blisters

arm with a blistering poison oak rash
Whether It's Poison Ivy, Poison Oak or Poison Sumac, the Blisters Still Hurt. Image courtesy CDC

Poison oak is a relative of poison ivy and causes very similar blisters. Treatment is the same for both, but the plants look completely different.

More about poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

8
Reiter's Syndrome

Reiter's syndrome
This Rare Form of Arthritis Follows Infections. Image courtesy CDC/Dr. M. F. Rein

Reiter's Syndrome -- also known as reactive arthritis -- is a complication of some sexually transmitted diseases and of some forms of food poisoning. These lesions on the bottom of the feet are one sign of Reiter's Syndrome that may come and go over several months.

It's worth noting that Reiter's Syndrome is extremely rare.

More about Reiter's Syndrome

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

9
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

rash of Rocky Mountain spotted fever on a child’s eye and face.
A Little Tick Bite Can Lead to a Fatal Illness. Image courtesy CDC

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a potentially fatal infection that comes from tick bites. It's not well understood, and there's no test to diagnose it. Rocky Mountain spotted fever generally comes on about a week after the tick bite.

Symptoms come on suddenly and include:

The rash starts smooth and blotchy around the wrists and ankles a few days after the other symptoms. It can become raised later. One out of ten patients never get a rash.

More about Rocky Mountain spotted fever

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

10
Scabies Rash on a Hand

Tiny Critters with Bad Table Manners. Image courtesy CDC/Reed and Carnrich Pharmaceuticals

Scabies is an itchy rash caused by tiny mites burrowing around under and in the skin. Scabies can affect anyone, anywhere, but is relatively easy to treat with a prescription cream from your doctor.

More About Scabies

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

11
Shingles

probably shingles
When Chickenpox Strikes Again Shingles follows nerve bundles on one side of the body, usually starting from the midline, either chest or spine. Anonymous About.com Reader

Chickenpox is an itchy, sometimes painful rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus. When I was a kid, almost everybody got chickenpox, dealt with the itching and the pain, then it typically scabbed over in a week or two and was gone. It was like a rite of passage for school children everywhere. The good news was, once you got it you were done forever, or so we thought.

Unfortunately, that's not entirely true. As it turns out, the varicella virus can survive dormant in your system for many years, rearing its ugly head when you least expect it in a more painful version of the rash. Only this time, the virus appears as shingles rather than chickenpox.

Shingles is a painful condition that can range from very minor, with little or no rash, to quite severe. It will only appear on one side of the body and will cluster over a nerve bundle -- usually starting from the spine and working its way around the body.

Shingles Might Seem Like Something Else

This image was submitted by an About.com reader who believed he'd been bitten by a spider. He thought he was having a reaction to the bite. He indicated in his spider bite picture submission that he wasn't planning on seeing a doctor because this rash wasn't bothering him too badly.

There's no way to know for sure what's causing this rash, at least not from a photo on the internet. However, it resembles a shingles outbreak enough that a trip to the doctor would be a very good idea.

Even if a shingles outbreak doesn't seem too painful at first, it can result in severe long term pain -- what's known as post-herpetic neuralgia -- particularly in the elderly. Go to the doctor when you develop a rash on one side of the body or face, especially if it starts at the spine and spreads in a line. Generally, the earlier treatment starts, the better the results.

The good news is that in today's world, you can take steps to prevent chickenpox and shingles. There are now vaccines for both. Kids can get a shot to protect from chickenpox, and adults can get one for shingles.

Have a rash or think you have a spider bite and want to share? Submit a picture of your rash or your spider bite.

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

12
A Red Neck

Hives on the Back of the Neck. (c) Mark Skipper

This example of hives (urticaria), an itchy rash associated with allergic reactions, was caused by contact with a caterpillar -- or so the patient said.

You don't have to touch something to develop hives. For instance, allergic reactions to food can result in hives. People prone to anaphylaxis -- severe allergies to things like bee stings and certain foods -- should take any itchy rash seriously. Any person who develops hives and is having trouble swallowing or breathing needs to call 911 immediately.

More about anaphylaxis

13
Hives on Baby's Arm

Raised, Red and Itchy Hives. (c) Paul Cutler

The itchy, red, raised rash that comes with allergic reactions is called hives -- or in fancy medical terminology, urticaria. Anything that causes an allergic reaction can cause hives. Some of the most common causes are bee stings, mosquito bites, soaps, detergents, foods, medications and plants.

You don't have to touch something to develop hives. For instance, allergic reactions to food can result in hives. People prone to anaphylaxis -- severe allergies to things like bee stings and certain foods -- should take any itchy rash seriously. Any person who develops hives and is having trouble swallowing or breathing needs to call 911 immediately.

More about anaphylaxis

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

14
Rubella Rash Covering the Back

Rash of rubella on skin of child's back.
Rubella is Commonly Known as the German Measles and Typically Has an Itchy Rash. Image courtesy CDC

Rubella is the medical term for the German measles. Rubella has a rash that often covers a large area of the body and a fever. It doesn't usually last more than 3 or 4 days. It's a very mild disease in kids and young adults.

Rubella is especially dangerous for fetal development in pregnant women. According to the CDC, there is a 20% chance of birth defects if the mother gets rubella during pregnancy.

Rubella can be prevented with MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccinations.

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

Source:

"CDC Vaccines & Immunizations." 12 Jun 2009. Rubella (German Measles) Vaccination. CDC. 13 Sep 2009

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