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Rashes

Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a common and potentially serious infection caused by bacteria. The bacteria infect the deep layers of skin and tissue beneath the skin. The first sign of cellulitis is usually red and swollen skin. When you touch the infected area, it often feels warm and tender. This infection can show up anywhere on the skin. Adults often get it in a lower leg. In children, cellulitis tends to appear on the face or neck. While cellulitis often develops in a leg, redness and swelling in both legs usually means you have another condition.

How to treat
  • Antibiotics
  • Wound care
  • Rest - This can help prevent cellulitis from becoming serious and help your body heal.
  • Elevation - If you have cellulitis in your leg, keeping your leg elevated can help reduce the swelling and help you heal.

Granuloma annulare

Granuloma (gran-you-low-ma) annulare (ann-you-lar-ē) is a skin condition that usually causes a rash. It isn’t a type of cancer. It isn’t contagious. It rarely causes symptoms, such as pain or itch, but it can show up on your skin in different ways. What appears on your skin depends on the type of granuloma annulare you have. The most common type causes a slightly raised patch that is ringed by a noticeable border. This patch tends to form on a hand, arm, foot, or leg, but it can appear anywhere on the skin.

How to treat
  • Corticosteroids you apply to your skin
  • Injections of corticosteroid
  • Cryotherapy
  • Medication used to treat malaria
  • Light therapy

Lichen planus

Many people get lichen (LY-kin) planus (PLAN-us). This disease can develop on one or several parts of the body. It can appear on the skin or inside the mouth. Sometimes, it appears in both places. Lichen planus can even change the way a person’s fingernails or toenails look. It also can appear on the genitals or a person’s scalp. Lichen planus is not contagious. You cannot get this disease from someone else, and you cannot give it to anyone. Lichen planus is not a type of cancer.

How to treat
  • Antihistamines
  • Topical (applied to skin) corticosteroid
  • Corticosteroid
  • PUVA therapy
  • Retinoic acid
  • Tacrolimus ointment or pimecrolimus cream

Lupus and your skin

Lupus is a disease that can affect the skin in many ways. It may cause a:

  • Widespread rash on the back
  • Thick scaly patch on the face
  • Sore(s) in the mouth or nose
  • Flare-up that looks like sunburn

Lupus can show up on the skin in other ways, too. When lupus affects the skin, it is called cutaneous (medical term for skin) lupus. There are different types of cutaneous (cue-tane-e-ous) lupus. For many people who have cutaneous lupus, the lupus affects only their skin. Some types of cutaneous lupus are more common in people who have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). SLE is a type of lupus that can affect different parts of the body, including the skin, joints, and lungs.

How to treat
  • Corticosteroid that you apply to your skin or take as a pill
  • Corticosteroid that your dermatologist injects
  • Antimalarial medicine
  • Steroid-spring medicine that you apply to your skin
  • Medicine that works on the immune system

Red rash

If you have a rash around your mouth, you may have perioral (pair-ē or-əl) dermatitis (der-mah-tie-tis). This rash often looks like small, red, acne-like breakouts in people with light-colored skin and skin-colored breakouts in people who have skin of color. Whether red or skin colored, this rash can itch. Sometimes, the rash causes a burning sensation. It’s also possible that you won’t have any itching or burning. You’ll likely have dry and flaky skin where you have the rash, though. While this rash often develops around the mouth, it can also appear around your eyes or nose. You may have the rash around your mouth and nose or your nose and eyes. Some people get it around their genitals. If you have the rash around any of these areas, your dermatologist may say you have peri-orificial (pair-ē or-əh-fish-ul) dermatitis. Peri-orifical dermatitis is actually a more accurate name for this rash. “Peri” means “around” and “orifical” refers to “an opening.” No matter where this rash appears though, people often refer to it as perioral dermatitis. That literally means peri (around) oral (the mouth).

How to treat
  • Stop applying all corticosteroids, including hydrocortisone cream, to your skin
  • Take an antibiotic, such as tetracycline or erythromycin
  • Change your skin care routine

Skin care can play an important role in treating this rash. You may need to switch to a mild, fragrance-free cleanser and be very gentle when you wash your face. You may need to use fragrance-free skin care products.

Pityriasis rosea

Pityriasis rosea: This common skin disease causes patches on the skin. Your dermatologist may call the large patch a mother patch. The smaller patches are daughter patches. Pityriasis rosea (pit-uh-rahy-uh-sis row-zee-ah) is a common skin disease that causes a rash. This rash usually disappears on its own without treatment. You can expect to see the rash for about 6 to 8 weeks. Sometimes the rash lasts much longer. Some people who develop this rash see a dermatologist to get treatment for the itch. If this rash appears during pregnancy, a woman should tell her doctor.

How to treat

Pityriasis rosea usually goes away without treatment. You can expect to have the rash about 6 to 8 weeks before it disappears. Some people have it for 2 weeks. Occasionally, it lasts longer than 8 weeks. If a patient has unbearable itching, a dermatologist may prescribe a medicine to help relieve the itch. Sometimes a dermatologist prescribes light treatments for the itch.