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Rash And Skin Problems

Types of skin condition and their causes

One of the most common problems we see at the clinic are skin problems, which can range from a single lesion to a widespread rash.

One of the most common problems we see at the clinic are skin problems, which can range from a single lesion to a widespread rash.

The skin is the body’s largest organ and performs essential functions such as body temperature regulation, production of Vitamin D, protection against trauma, toxins, and bacteria, and controls the loss of vital substances. The skin consists of two main layers, the dermis and the epidermis.

Symptoms of skin problems include:

  • Spots.
  • Pruritus (itching).
  • Rash, which may or may not be itchy.
  • Discoloration or white patches.
  • Erythematous (reddened) lesions, with or without pus.
  • Scaly patches.
  • Burning or pain on the skin surface.
  • Papule (a small, raised, solid pimple or swelling).
  • Plaque (a raised patch).

Common skin conditions in adults include acne, cellulitis, vasculitis, vitiligo, folliculitis, warts, psoriasis, skin cancer, and shingles (herpes zoster). In children, things like chicken pox, eczema, measles, impetigo, and nappy rash are most common.

Skin problems occur as the result of a trigger (allergen, temperature, infection, medication, or in some cases, an unknown trigger), which prompts the body to release histamine and other chemical messengers into the skin. The skin’s response is to open up the blood vessels, which is what causes the red or pinkish colouring of a rash, and to release fluid into the tissues, which leads to swelling and itchiness.

The main causes of skin problems are:

  • Allergic reaction, e.g. to a food allergen, or insect bite.
  • Exposure to cold or heat.
  • Infection – such as cold or flu.
  • Medications, e.g. over-the-counter painkillers (NSAIDs) or antibiotics.
  • Unknown trigger.
  • Autoimmune condition.

If you notice any skin changes, or are suffering from any of the symptoms listed above, come and talk to one of our doctors or specialist dermatologists about diagnosis and treatment. Treatment will vary depending on the condition.

Causes

Skin problems occur as the result of a trigger (allergen, temperature, infection, medication, or in some cases, an unknown trigger), which prompts the body to release histamine and other chemical messengers into the skin. The skin’s response is to open up the blood vessels, which is what causes the red or pinkish colouring of a rash, and to release fluid into the tissues, which leads to swelling and itchiness.

The main causes of skin problems are:

  • Allergic reaction, e.g. to a food allergen, or insect bite.
  • Exposure to cold or heat.
  • Infection – such as cold or flu.
  • Medications, e.g. over-the-counter painkillers (NSAIDs) or antibiotics.
  • Unknown trigger.
  • Autoimmune conditions.

What to do next

If you notice any skin changes, or are suffering from any of the symptoms listed above, come and talk to one of our doctors or specialist dermatologists about diagnosis and treatment. Treatment will vary depending on the condition.

FAQ

I am so itchy. Is it okay to scratch?

Ideally, no. Scratching a rash can make it worse or spread the irritant that has caused the rash in the first place.

I have a rash. Should I see a doctor?

Yes. Most rashes are mild but some can lead to more severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, fever, disorientation, and nausea or vomiting. The doctor can help you get to the bottom of what’s causing your rash

Is my skin rash contagious?

If your rash is caused by an environmental irritant, it will not be contagious (unless you have poison oak, which can be spread to others if the plant’s oil is still on your skin or clothes). Many rashes are contagious, however. See a doctor to determine the cause of your rash.

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Please note that Walk In Clinic is a private medical centre and not an NHS service.