If the idea of getting an itchy, red rash doesn't sound appealing, it would seem that the best-case scenario would be to avoid getting a rash at all. However, that's not as easy as it sounds. Even if you have good personal hygiene, which certainly helps to keep your skin healthy, there are still ways that rash-causing agents can latch onto your skin.
Some known causes of rashes are:
- Bacteria: A rash may be a sign that some bacteria have moved in, either right on your skin or somewhere in your body. Some diseases that are caused by bacteria cause rashes on your skin, like scarlet fever [source: Kids' Health]. Likewise, bacteria growing on the skin can also cause some skin infections, like intertrigo [source: American Academy of Family Physicians].
- Fungus: Typically, fungi love moist, warm areas, so those hot, sweaty places on your skin look like prime real estate to a fungus. Fungal infections can be the guilty party if you're suffering from intertrigo (although bacteria can be a culprit, too) [source: Mayo Clinic]. One of the most common fungal skin infections is ringworm, which is also known as "jock itch" if you get it in the groin area and "athlete's foot" if you get it on your feet [source: Medline].
- Virus: Chicken pox, measles and roseola are all examples of rashes caused by a virus [source: New Zealand Dermatological Society]. In adults, shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, leftover from when you had chicken pox as a kid [source: National Institute on Aging].
With so many causes out there, it seems like everyone should be covered with rashes. Fortunately, that's not the case, but in the event that you do contract a rash, read on to find out some of the treatments available.