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Heather Hanks
Written by Heather Hanks

Reviewed by Dr Andre Budihardjo, MM and Physician Lim Sock Ling on July 14, 2022

Treatment Options For Different Types Of Rashes

No two rashes are alike, meaning that you can't assume all rashes have the same treatment options. Learn the different types of rashes here and how to best treat them using natural remedies.

Skin rash min scaled

Not all types of rashes are treated the same. That’s why it’s important to identify what kind of rash you’re dealing with first.

The best way to do this is by having a doctor or registered Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) physician look at it.

He or she can give proper recommendations based on the cause or symptoms.

In this article, we’ll identify the most common types of rashes and treatment options you can do right at home.

What Are The Different Types Of Rashes?

According to TCM, skin appearance is a reflection of Lung health. If your organ system or the Spleen is compromised, it’ll make your skin vulnerable to pathogens such as Wind-Heat and Damp-Heat that cause rashes.

Based on these principles, here are five types of rashes that may form:

Heat rash

Heat rash is common in babies and should be looked at by a doctor.

A heat rash stems from an obstruction of the major sweat glands or ducts during hot and humid weather. It can happen at any age but is most common among infants in an excessively warm environment.

Notable signs of a heat rash are a red cluster of acne or small blisters. These can appear on several areas of the body, including the neck, upper chest, elbow creases, the groin, or under the breasts.

Seborrheic dermatitis

Despite being a chronic yet common skin condition, there are no known reasons why seborrheic dermatitis, a type of eczema, occurs.

Also known as dandruff when it is found on the scalp, one possible risk factor of this condition is oily skin. Unusual growth of skin yeast is also characteristic of the condition.

The symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis are a red, scaly, or oozing rash, and skin flakes on the scalp.

In some cases, itching and white or yellow flaky, scales can also be seen. These may also be located on the chest, armpits, under the breasts, groin area, back, face, ears, or eyebrows.

Rashes related to COVID-19

A person who tests positive for COVID-19 may also develop a rash that can manifest in multiple ways, including:  

  • A patchy rash 
  • Toe rash, also known as “COVID toes” 
  • An itchy bump 
  • Chickenpox-like blisters  
  • Lace-like skin patterns 
  • Rounded and pinpoint skin spots 
  • Small and large patches 
  • A bunch-up of flat skin spots and raised bumps 

Contact dermatitis

Exposing sensitive skin to irritants like hand sanitizer, soaps, household chemicals, or poisonous plants (such as poison ivy) may trigger contact dermatitis within hours or days.

Skin injuries or sensations after wearing jewelry made from gold or nickel can also indicate the condition. It’s advisable to seek treatment if you notice symptoms like: 

  • Itching 
  • Irritated, red, and swollen skin 
  • Empty or liquid-filled blisters or bumps 
  • Skin that feels hot or tender to touch 

Hives

Hives may occur if you eat something you are allergic to.

Urticaria, popularly known as hives, is a rash that induces a burning or stinging skin sensation. It can affect any part of your body, move locations, take another shape, or even disappear and reappear. 

Hives tend to appear as weals and swelling deep in the skin. Meanwhile, heat rash may include small red spots that cover the skin.

In addition, hives have two categories: acute and chronic hives. Acute hives usually last for a few days, while chronic hives can appear every few days and prolong over a few months.

Medication or food allergies can bring about this skin disorder. Stress and infections, too, may increase your risk of hives. 

How Are Different Types Of Rashes Diagnosed?

Dermatologists, pediatricians, and infectious diseases specialists are just a few clinical healthcare providers capable of diagnosing a skin rash.

Firstly, they’ll attempt to identify the most prominent feature of your rash. Is it ring-shaped? Linear? Snake-like?

Secondly, they may observe other traits, including the color, density, consistency, shape, and tenderness of affected skin.

Locating the distribution of rashes across the body is also necessary for providing you with a proper diagnosis. 

Treatment And Prevention Tips For Different Types Of Rashes

You can incorporate a few key tips to prevent a rash flare-up. These will invigorate the Lung and Spleen and will boost your body’s defense against the pathogens that trigger a skin rash.

Keep your environment clean. Get sufficient sleep, eat a nutritionally balanced diet and engage in regular physical activity. Quit smoking to lower your risk of skin conditions that relate to inflammation.

Over-the-counter medication

Usually, most types of skin rashes can clear up on their own or be calmed with over-the-counter (OTC) solutions. These include: 

  • Moisturizing lotion 
  • Antifungal medications 
  • Oral antihistamines 
  • Anti-itch cream that contains 1% of hydrocortisone 

However, if a rash persists or becomes widespread, it’s advisable to seek consultation with a clinical healthcare provider.

Herbal formulas for various types of rashes

A selection of edible bird nest inside a wooden tray with other TCM ingredients
Edible bird’s nest can help support a healthy skin complexion in adults and children.

Herbal formulas or ingredients can help manage the symptoms of multiple types of rashes. A licensed practitioner will prescribe suitable treatment options after diagnosing your individual syndrome. 

Si Jun Zi soup invigorates Lung Qi (vital life force) and strengthens Spleen function, boosting your immunity. Honeysuckle flowers (Jin Yin Hua) and dandelions (Pu Gong Ying) can remove Wind-Heat,” stated TCM Physician Lim Sock Ling,

“If you have Wind-Heat, your symptoms may include sudden onset of rashes or rashes that are red and itchy. The individual may experience these accompanied by Cold aversion, an increase in temperature, perspiration, thirst, constipation, red tongue, and rapid floating pulse,” she continued.

Barley (Yi Yi Ren), Poria (Fu Ling), and formulas like Shen Ling Bai Zhu powder and Chu Shi Wei Ling soup alleviate Dampness and fluid retention,” says Physician Lim.

“Dampness symptoms may include rashes that are pale. They may appear as blister-like rashes that are less itchy. The individual may feel heavy, lethargic, have loose or sticky stools, pale and fat tongue with a layer of white coating on the tongue, and pulse that feels like rolling pearls,” explained Physician Lim.

“A Blood or Yin (passive energy) Deficiency that results in internal Heat can be corrected with red sage (Dan Shen) or peonies (Chi Shao). These do so by cooling blood and clearing Heat. Liu Wei Di Huang pills nourish Yin to reduce internal Fire. Dang Gui Yin Zi and Xiao Feng powder relieve an itch by nourishing blood,” she continued.

Edible Bird’s nest is another great remedy for skin rashes. It helps to improve complexion and manage skin irritations in adults.

Do note that these recommendations are unable to treat rashes that are caused by an allergic reaction, bacterial infection, or autoimmune or genetic disorders.

Precautions When Treating Different Types Of Rashes

A proper diagnosis can help healthcare providers differentiate your specific onset from other types of rashes. Traditional remedies are safe when used to treat a diagnosed syndrome.

Meanwhile, formulas or ingredients that nourish Blood and remove Stasis need to be taken with caution if you’re on blood-thinning medications like aspirin and warfarin to avoid possible contraindications.

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