How to Identify a Skin Rash

Recurring Skin Rashes

It's bad enough to have to deal with a rash when it's a short-term condition like, say a reaction to poison ivy. But some rashes are even more irritating because either they never go away or, if they do, they keep coming back to annoy you.

Some common culprits in this category are:

  • Atopic dermatitis: Eczema is kind of a catchall term for inflammation of the skin, and there are many different types of it. The most severe and long lasting of these is atopic dermatitis. The causes of eczema -- including atopic dermatitis -- are unknown. Eczema is chronic, marked by periods of flare-ups. Although the itchy, red rash associated with atopic dermatitis can appear anywhere on the body, it is often found on the elbows, knees and face [source: National Eczema Association].
  • Granuloma annulare: Also known as lichen annularis, granuloma annulare is a chronic rash that forms in a ringed pattern of red or yellowish bumps that often appear on the feet, fingers and hands. In some cases, these ringed rashes are itchy [source: WebMD].
  • Lichen planus: Although it is sometimes associated with Hepatitis C, the cause of this skin disorder is generally unknown. Persons suffering from lichen planus will find shiny purple or reddish-purple flat-topped bumps on their skin. The rash can affect any area of skin, but it is most commonly found on the wrists, ankles, back, neck and lower legs [source: Cleveland Clinic].
  • Psoriasis: In general, psoriasis rashes have white or silver scales accompanied by patches of red, dry skin that can be itchy and/or painful. The degree to which this skin disease affects people varies -- some present with only a few rashes, while others have rashes all over their bodies. Like atopic dermatitis, psoriasis is marked by periods of flare-ups and there is no known cure. Persons with psoriasis can also develop psoriatic arthritis [source: Mayo Clinic].

Now that you've investigated some of the more common recurring skin rashes, read on to find out some of the causes of these and other rashes.