Rash on Hands and Feet

Rash is not a disease in itself, but itis usually the outcome of skin inflammation caused by another underlying condition. You may develop rashes on your skin due to bacterial, fungal, viral or parasitic infections. The most common treatment option for rash on hands and feet is to take antibiotics. However, you do not always need to take antibiotics because they may not be that effective when you have a viral infection. Still, over-the-counter products offer some help minimize the discomfort.

Why Do You Develop Rash on Hands and Feet?

As mentioned, you can develop rashes on skin due to many different reasons. Here are some of the most common causes of developing a skin rash.

1. Eczema

This medical condition makes your skin become irritated or inflamed. Atopic eczema is the most common type and it often leads to the development of other allergic conditions, such as hay fever and asthma.

Symptoms: Eczema causes serious itching, and in most cases, you experience itching even before you develop the rash. The rash usually appears on the wrists, knees, feet or hands. These areas will become very dry and scaly, and may turn brown in fair-skinned people.

Treatments: The treatment includes taking steps to relieve and prevent itching. This helps prevent infection. You can find several OTC and prescription lotions and creams to deal with eczema and the rash on hands and feet caused by it. Other treatments include tar treatments, antihistamines to reduce itching, and phototherapy. Your doctor may recommend the drug cyclosporine if other treatments do not work.

2. Contact Dermatitis

You may develop this condition after using certain cosmetics, soaps, jewelry, or fragrances. Any contact to plants such as poison oak or poison ivy may also produce a red, itchy rash on your skin. The rash is not contagious but can make you feel extremely uncomfortable.

Symptoms: The most common symptoms of contact dermatitis are red bumps, dry skin, swelling, fluid-filled blisters, scaly skin and tenderness. The symptoms may become severe depending on how long you have been exposed to the substance as well as the strength of the substance. Your genetic makeup also has a role to play here.

Treatments: To avoid getting contact dermatitis, you need identify what causes the reaction and then have to avoid any exposure to that substance. Your doctor will give you prescription steroid creams to relieve itching. You may also have to use ointments and creams to prevent relapse. In severe cases, you need to take oral corticosteroids, antibiotics or antihistamines.

3. Dyshidrosis

Also known as dyhidrotic eczema, it is a relatively uncommon skin disorder characterized by the development of small, fluid-filled blisters on the sides of your fingers and the palms of your hands.

Symptoms: It usually takes about three weeks to find any relief. You may experience intense itching and your skin may appear scaly. Sometimes, small blisters merge and cause serious pain and itching.

Treatments: Talk to your doctor about your condition who will prescribe ointments and creams that you need to rub on the affect area for relief. In some cases, you need to take corticosteroid pills, such as prednisone to reduce itching and pain. Other treatment options include phototherapy, botulinum toxin injections, and immune suppressing ointments.

4. Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease

As mentioned, you may develop rash on hands and feet due to a viral infection. Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is among those viral infections that are mild but highly contagious. You develop a rash on your hands and feet with sores in your mouth.

Symptoms: The most common symptoms of this viral infection are sore throat, fever, painful blisters on the gums, tongue, and inside of the cheeks, and loss of appetite. Irritability in infants with a red rash on the soles, palms, and the buttocks may also indicate hand-foot-and-mouth disease.

Treatments: As this is a viral infection, there is not specific treatment available for this condition. Your symptoms may take about 7-10 days to clear completely, but you can use topic oral anesthetics to help relieve some pain. OTC pain medications also help.

5. Psoriasis

In this condition, both dead and new skin cells start building up in the outermost layer of your skin. This causes scaly patches on the top layer of your skin.

Symptoms: You may develop a rash on your skin on most parts of the body, including the back, neck, feet and hands. Cracked or dead skin that may bleed is another common symptom of psoriasis.

Treatments: Your doctor will prescribe ointments and creams, such as retinoids and corticosteroids to treat mild to moderate psoriasis. In severe cases, you usually need to take oral medications with light therapy.

6. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS)

The condition affects both men and women, but is twice as common in men as compared to women. This often leads to the development of a rash on hands and feet. In most cases, the rash starts in mucous membranes and affects your eyes and mouth too.

Symptoms: The most common symptoms of SJS are muscle and joint pains, fever, itching on the skin and generalized fatigue. You develop skin lesions, which usually have a bluish or purple center. The rash can start anywhere but it is more common on the hands, feet, and the front of the arms and legs.

Treatments: Treatment involves taking pain medication to reduce discomfort and relieve itching. Antibiotics may help control the infection. Topical steroids also prove beneficial in reducing skin inflammation.

7. Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)

It usually affects young adults between 15 and 34 years of age. It is more common in women; in fact, four out of five victims are females.

Symptoms: The most common symptoms include high fever (greater than 102°F), headache, sore throat, vomiting, nausea, fatigue and diarrhea. You may have irritated eyes and a beefy-red tongue if TSS involves the mucous membranes as well. Other common symptoms are lightheadedness, swelling of the eyelids and joints, and a rash with no raising areas or blisters.

Treatments: You usually need to bear with it for 3-5 days. You will have to take antibiotics to clear the infection. Your doctor may also prescribe medications to help stabilize your blood pressure.

8. Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome

This disease affects children under the age of six and causes a rash to appear out of nowhere. The rash usually appears in areas such as groin, armpits, around the eyes, and neck.

Symptoms: The most common symptoms of this condition are irritability, fever and tenderness on the affected areas of the skin. The affected skin will be red and warm to touch. Large, irregular blisters may start to develop a day after the onset of the rash.

Treatments: You may have to receive antipyretic therapy to treat the condition. Your doctor will also start with intravenous fluid therapy to prevent dehydration. 

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