Red, itchy bumps are a pretty common symptom. We’ve done the detective work to help you find a possible cause — and potential cure — for your rash.
Red, itchy rashes are a common complaint. But it can be difficult to pinpoint the source of those itchy bumps — making it hard to come up with the right treatment plan. Here’s a look at some of the most common rashes out there, and the best treatments for them.
Skin Conditions That Cause Red, Itchy Bumps Itchy rashes can be a sign of numerous conditions, from allergic reactions to viruses, and determining a plan of attack requires that you discover which one is causing your rash.
- These sizable bumps appear rapidly; they are quite common and can be caused by exposure to an allergen or something unknown.
- These red, itchy bumps, which can look like pimples, are caused by infections of your hair follicles.
- Chicken pox.Brought on by a virus, this red, itchy rash is notable for causing intensely itchy blisters that then scab and crust over. A fever and body aches are also symptoms of this disease.
- Contact dermatitis. This red, itchy rash appears in a localized spot after you come in contact with a trigger — such as poison oak, poison ivy, or an allergen.
- Eczema .Also known as atopic dermatitis, this chronic condition creates red, itchy patches of skin that can be hard to keep under control. It’s most often found in children under the age of 12, but it can strike at any age.
Home Remedies for Rashes At-home treatments can usually clear up most red, itchy rashes. Here are a few strategies for stopping the itch and helping your skin heal.
- Stop scratching. Scratching injures your skin and can make the area more irritated and prone to infection. If you can’t will yourself to stop scratching, try over-the-counter anti-itch gels or hydrocortisone cream to give you some relief from the itchy bumps.
- Avoid triggers. If you can figure out what’s causing your rash — a new laundry detergent or beauty product, or exposure to an irritant like poison ivy — you can avoid it and let your skin heal.
- Take an antihistamine. Many allergy medications — from Allegra to Zyrtec — can help stop the itch and allow your skin to recover — they can even make hives disappear completely.
- Keep the rash moist. A rich, fragrance-free moisturizer like Eucerin, Aquaphor, or Vanicream can help keep the red, itchy area soft.
- Give the rash time. Time does heal all wounds — and many rashes clear up on their own within a week or two.
When to See a Doctor If home remedies don’t get rid of your red, itchy bumps, it may be time to visit your doctor for a more potent treatment for your rash. Here are some of the common strategies your doctor may use to combat your bumps.
- Your doctor can prescribe steroid creams, like hydrocortisone, that are more potent than over-the-counter creams to help stop the itch and heal your skin. For serious cases of chronic hives (called urticaria) or eczema, an oral steroid like prednisone may be prescribed to help calm your skin.
- Antibiotics or an antifungal. For infections like folliculitis, your doctor may prescribe an oral or topical antibiotic or antifungal medication that can help clear up the rash.
- Other medications. For chicken pox, a doctor may prescribe an antiviral such as Zovirax; for severe hives, immune suppressants like cyclosporine may be prescribed.