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Red Patches on Skin; Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Updated on January 25, 2013

Red patches on skin usually means a bacterial, viral or fungal infection that results in redness of the skin. Red patches or rashes may also occur due to medical illness, medication, chronic medical condition or allergic reaction. Red patches may further lead to scaling, blister or ulceration on the skin including itching. Patches of redness and scaling around eyes, nose, mouth and ears may cause rashes which is called Seborrhea Dermatitis.

Causes and symptoms of red patches on skin

A simple red patch is usually caused by the use of synthetic clothing like elastic, latex, rubber wear. Dyes and chemical in the clothing are also responsible for rashes. Allergic components present in form of chemicals in the cosmetics, soap and detergents may produce redness and rashes too. Some skin diseases also produces red patch on skin. Eczema, known as Atopic Dermatitis in medical dictionary, produces rashes along with red itchy and scaly skin.

Sometimes, in cold weather, if you shower with warm water, it can make your skin dry and red spots might surface on your skin.

Psoriasis is responsible for patches around the joints (for example, fingernails) and scalp. Impetigo is bacterial infection over the epidermis layer of the skin, primarily creates redness and the further effect may lead to blisters, ooze, and then crust over. Other diseases which produce red patches include Shingles, Chicken pox, Measles, and Rosella, Rubella, Fifth diseases, scarlet fever etc.

How to take care of red patches

Most of the red patches are curable on the early stages with simple home care. First rule to follow, when red patches appears on the skin, is to avoid scratching or scrubbing. Avoid application of soap on the infected area if not necessary, instead you can use cleanser that contains organic ingredients. Use of chemical cosmetics and ointments directly over the rashes can make the scenario worse. Wash out the infected area at least twice a day with warm water. Do not use extremely hot water. Don’t cover or warp the infected area, instead make sure that it is exposed to the air most of the time.

Treatment of red patches on skin

First, you should find out the reason behind red patches on your skin and treat accordingly. Otherwise, you can use some skin creams that work to reduce the effects like swelling, redness, itching. You can use it for a few days to see if the redness and other symptoms goes away if not then look for advanced treatment.

For instant soothing from rashes you may use Hydrocortisone cream. If you are suffering from eczema then you should apply moisturizer over the affected area every time you wash it. Moisturizer improves the hydration of the affected skin and reduces further infection. Oatmeal bath products are good for preventing skin problems that may result from red patches. A good anti bacterial cream or an oral antibiotic is good for any type of skin infection but sometimes those show some side effects too. Red patches on dry skin with other severe symptoms may require you to consult with a certified dermatologist and take proper medication.

Primarily red patches or rashes may not seem too serious but it may lead to many serious skin problems in future. Regular skin care can easily avoid red patches on skin. So whenever you found patches on your skin, take proper care to get rid of that immediately.


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Good to know

      Thank you

    • Michelle Keiper profile image

      Michelle Keiper 

      6 years ago

      I have a friend that just got spots that look just like that.


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