How To Treat Rashes

Everyday Illnesses Common Remedies
What Is A Rash?

A rash is a general term used to describe an area of inflamed, red skin. It is usually only temporary and not a sign of any underlying serious disease. Rashes are categorized according to whether they are general (all over the body) or local (in one small area of skin), and also by the types of spots present. Mascular rash consist of spots that are level with the surrounding skin, and can only be seen because of the difference in color or texture. Heat rash, measles and scarlet fever produce this sort of rash. Nodular rashes produce raised bumps and a bullous rash has blisters. If your rash was not caused by an underlying sickness, it was likely to be caused by contact with something that irritated it. Perfumes, sunscreens, cosmetics, nickel (leaking out of jewellery or metal studs in jeans) and plants (poison ivy) can all bother the skin. Remove the irritant, and the rash should clear up.

Note: A reaction usually takes about 48 hours after to contact to occur. However, the time-lag can be much faster (12 hours) if the reaction is severe or recurrent. If it does not improve after a few days with home treatments, consult a dermatologist (skin doctor).

8 Home Remedies For Rashes

1. Leave It Alone
Where possible, leave the rash alone. Try not to scratch or rub it or you could cause scarring or infections.

2. Anti-Itch Cream
If the itching is too much, buy an anti-itch cream in your local drug store. Good options include Sarna Sensitive, Itch-X and Benadryl.

3. Ice Pack
Apply an ice pack to itchy skin, this offers instant relief. To protect your skin wrap the ice pack in a thin towel. You can create an ice pack by placing ice cubes or crushed ice into a Ziploc bag. Alternatively use a bag of frozen corn or peas.

4. Antihistamine
Take an antihistamine like Zyrtec, Chlor-Trimeton, Alavert, Claritin, Claritin or RediTabs. Antihistamines are the most popular treatment for skin rashes caused by an allergic reaction - be that an allergy to pollen (hay fever), food or contact dermatitis (touching something).

5. Reduce Inflammation
If the rash is characterized by inflammation (red and sore), rub aloe vera gel or olive oil into it. This will help reduce soreness and speed up healing. Aloe vera also has natural antifungal and antibacterial properties.

6. Moisturize
Rub a soothing lotion such as calamine into the affected skin.

7. Oatmeal Baths
Try colloidal oatmeal baths, such as Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment. This product helps soothe itchy, dry and irritated skin. It comes in powder form and is added to bath water to produce a milky bath. It also acts as a natural cleanser.

8. Pine Tar Soap
Wash with pine tar soap, and rub into the itchy area. This soap has been used for over a century for itchy, inflamed skin. It can be therapeutic for rashes caused by eczema, psoriasis, sunburn, hives, insect bites and poison ivy.

Related First-Aid Articles

How to treat insect bites: All types of insects.
How to stop itching: Generalized itching for no obvious reason.
How to treat sunburn: Quick treatments for scorched skin.
How to stop hiccups: Cures for annoying hiccups.
How to treat blisters: First aid for blisters.
How to stop nosebleeds: How to deal with a nosebleed.
How to treat wasp stings: Treatments for stings.
How to treat heatstroke: Too much time in the sun?
What ingredients are in skin creams? Understanding the active ingredients in your moisturizer.
Skin structure and function: How the skin works.

• Other health issues? See: How to treat common illnesses.

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