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Itchy Rash on Back

Updated on October 22, 2013

An itchy rash on back may or may not indicate the presence of some underlying disease or disorder. It can also be nothing more than skin inflammation. An itchy rash is characterized by formation of abnormal patches on skin that vary in color, size, and texture from the surrounding area. It can either be localized or affect the entire body. The rash may also be accompanied by intense scratchiness and burning sensations that can affect the easy conduct of the daily activities.

Some of the medical disorders that are associated with an itchy rash on back are listed below:

  • Dermatitis: It is a type of skin inflammation that is characterized by excessive development of reddish itchy rashes. The rash may be caused due to contact with certain plants like poison ivy or poison oak, which induced the resultant allergic reaction on the skin. The rash may also form due to poor blood circulation, wherein the veins in the lower limbs do not pump sufficient blood back to the heart. It causes retention of fluid leading to rashes all over the body, including itchy rash on back.Treatment involves removal of all allergens from the patient’s environment. The itching and irritation can be alleviated with topical corticosteroids. Doctors may occasionally prescribe antibiotics to ease the itchiness.
  • Prickly heat rash/heat rash: It is a particular type of skin rash that is caused due to excessive exposure to hot and humid conditions. Increased perspiration can cause the sweat ducts to get blocked, leading to trapping of sweat beneath the skin surface. This eventually results in formation of heat rash, including itchy rash on back. The condition generally tends to affect babies and younger children. The heat rashes occur as reddish blisters or pimples and initially affect the upper chest and the neck, and later migrate to the back. Treatment involves staying indoors in air-conditioned environments so as to cool down the body. The itchy rash on back will fade away on its own. Avoid the use of creams or ointments.
  • Chickenpox: It is a viral condition caused by the varicella zoster virus. Affected individuals will initially experience the formation of pinkish rashes across the body. Later, in just around twelve hours, the rashes become fluid-filled, itchy blisters. Chickenpox does not only result in itchy rash on back, but often tends to affect the complete body. The rash may be localized to certain parts of the body in only some individuals.The disease does not usually require any medical treatment and in most cases the condition is allowed to run its course and disappear on its own. Patients at the risk of developing complications may be given antivirals. Secondary infections of the rashes may be treated with antibiotics. Anti-itch creams may be used to relive the itchiness.
  • Mononucleosis:It is a viral condition usually spread via contact with infected saliva. The disorder is also referred to as the ‘kissing disease.’ In addition to itchy rash on back, patients may also experience sore throat, muscle aches, headache, fever, appetite loss, and drowsiness. The condition generally occurs due to the intake of amoxicillin or ampicillin as treatment for sore throat. All affected individuals must seek medical attention to treat the condition, especially if the rash occurs as tiny reddish dots.
  • Measles:This type of itchy rash on back is an infection caused by viruses. The virus spreads from an affected individual to a healthy person via infected droplets that get released into the air during coughing or sneezing. The inflamed parts of the skin consist of discolored, flattened, itchy, and reddish patches. They usually occur four to five days after exposure to the virus. The rash commences from the head and then transfers to the rest of the body. The oral cavity may also develop tiny red spots with a white center. Itchiness may or may not be present. Treatment includes the use of loose apparels to avoid friction with the rashes, thereby preventing aggravation of the rashes. Itchiness can be alleviated via an oatmeal bath. Anti-itch creams are also helpful.
  • Ichthyosis vulgaris:It is also referred to as the Fish Skin Disease. It is a hereditary condition identified by the presence of scaly and dry skin. The skin may experience hardening as well as develop mild itchy rash on back. The condition can also be acquired and this type is quite dreadful. The scaly skin makes an appearance during childhood and disappears during teens or adulthood. The condition however reoccurs during old age. Consult a doctor for treatment.
  • Excess dryness of skin: Increased dryness of the skin can also result in itchy rash on back. The skin may dry up due to excessive contact with heat, sunlight, or it can be a skin condition. Patients need to keep hydrated and use moisturizing creams to treat dry skin.


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