Rash is a general term that describes a change in color and texture in the skin. A rash generally causes temporary red patches or bumps in the skin, and may be itchy and/or tender. The affected skin is often swollen.
A rash is a symptom of an underlying medical condition. There hundreds of conditions that are known to cause rashes. Among the most common causes are allergies, autoimmune disorders (like lupus), infections, irritants (like sun exposure), poisonous plants (like poison ivy), and skin disorders (like eczema).
There are many forms of rashes, which differ depending on the cause. Rashes vary in appearance, location, severity, and duration. Some rashes may contain blisters, flat or raised bumps, pimples, or dry or flaky skin. The amount of skin affected may be limited to an isolated area, or it may affect multiple areas of the body.
While the duration of a skin rash varies depending on the cause, most rashes resolve either on their own or with treatment within one to 14 days. Some rashes, including those caused by conditions like lupus and rosacea, are long-term but they can be managed with medications. Once the underlying cause is treated, symptoms will begin to subside.
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