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Rash
Symptoms & Signs Index

The word "rash" means a change in the color and texture of skin that usually causes an outbreak of red patches or bumps on the skin. In common usage of the term, a "rash" can refer to many different skin conditions. A rash can be caused, directly or indirectly, by a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. Alternatively, a rash may be unrelated to an infectious organism, such as from an underlying medical illness. Medications, chronic medical conditions, and allergic reactions (hives) are among the multiple different causes of rash.

Doctors use specific terms to describe rashes. A macular rash refers to flat, small red patches on the skin, while a papular rash refers to small raised red bumps. If both are present, a rash is called maculopapular. Scaling, blister formation, or ulceration of the skin may be present with a rash. A rash with accompanying blisters is termed a vesicular rash. Itching (pruritus) may or may not accompany a rash.
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