Skin rashes have an exhaustive list of potential causes,
including infections. In a broad sense, rashes are commonly categorized as
infectious or noninfectious.
The following are causes of infectious rashes:
- Trichophyton is a type of skin fungus
that commonly causes rashes of the skin, hair, and nails. This infectious rash
is called Tinea or "ringworm."
- Candida can cause common yeast infections in
moist areas like between the fingers, in the mouth, vaginal area, and also in
the groin folds.
- Other much less common fungal infections include cryptococcosis,
aspergillosis, and histoplasmosis. These are fairly uncommon in healthy people and
are more frequently seen in individuals with a compromised immune system as in
HIV/AIDS and immune suppression due to cancer chemotherapy.
- Herpes simplex (HSV) types I and II may cause infections of the
lips, nose, facial skin, genitals, and buttocks.
- Herpes zoster causes
chickenpox and shingles.
- HIV causes many types of rashes, both nonspecific
viral reactions as well as infection-associated rashes.
- Epstein-Barr virus
(EBV) is associated with many types of rashes and most commonly with
mononucleosis ("mono" or "kissing disease").
- Many other viruses, including
parvovirus and coxsackievirus, cause rashes. Coxsackievirus is associated with
hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD). Young children are particularly prone to many
kinds of viral infections and illnesses.
- Staphylococcus infections are extremely common and may cause
many types of rashes, including folliculitis, abscesses, furuncles, cellulitis,
impetigo, staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome, and surgical wound infections.
- Streptococcus infection may cause strep throat, scarlet fever, cellulitis, necrotizing fasciitis, and other skin
- Pseudomonas may causes all
sorts of skin problems, including green discoloration of the nails, folliculitis, hot tub folliculitis, surgical wound infections, and foot
infections following a penetrating injury through tennis shoes.
- Many other
types of less common bacteria cause skin rashes. These are often diagnosed by
- Scabies is a very itchy, contagious, superficial skin
infestation with a microscopic mite.
- Lice infestations may cause different
types of itchy rashes in the affected areas like scalp and nape of the neck.
The following are causes of noninfectious rashes:
- Drug allergies may arise from exposure to drugs
containing sulfa, penicillin, antiseizure medications like phenytoin and
phenobarbital, and many others.
- Contact allergic dermatitis may develop on
repeat exposure to topical products like nickel, neomycin, cobalt, fragrance,
adhesives, latex, rubber, and dyes. Essentially any product may potentially
induce a skin allergy.
- Eczema or atopic dermatitis includes a wide variety of
skin sensitivity in which areas of skin are dry, red, and itchy.
- Hypersensitivity or allergic dermatitis may develop upon repeat exposure to
poison oak and poison ivy.
- Irritant dermatitis from excessive skin dryness may
develop from repeat exposure to harsh soaps and cleaning chemicals.
conditions, like systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Hashimoto's thyroiditis,
scleroderma, and other disorders in which the immune system may be overactive,
often cause skin rashes.
- Other internal diseases such as amyloidosis and
sarcoidosis may cause skin symptoms and accompanying rashes.
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