Red-colored Skin Changes Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your red-colored skin changes symptoms, including 10 causes and common questions.

Red-Colored Skin Changes Symptom Checker

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Contents

  1. 10 Possible Red-Colored Skin Changes Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics
  4. Related Articles

10 Possible Red-Colored Skin Changes Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced red-colored skin changes. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Non-specific dermatitis (skin inflammation)

Nonspecific dermatitis, or contact dermatitis, simply means inflammation of the skin from many different causes.

Most nonspecific dermatitis is caused by skin contact with a substance that provokes a reaction, which could be anything from plants to soap to jewelry to fabrics. Some may be due to an autoimmune condition, where the body's immune system attacks itself.

Risk factors include a family or personal history of allergies, asthma, or other condition which weakens the immune system; or constant contact with metals, plant life, or chemicals.

Symptoms commonly include red, swollen skin rash with itching, blistering, or oozing, which may become painful and infected.

Dermatitis itself is not contagious but can interfere with quality of life. A medical provider can help with managing the symptoms.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, and sometimes skin biopsy and patch testing.

Treatment involves using protective measures if the substances cannot be avoided; making nutritional improvements to strengthen the immune system; using corticosteroid or other creams; and phototherapy.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: red rash, itchy rash, painful rash

Symptoms that always occur with non-specific dermatitis (skin inflammation): red rash

Urgency: Self-treatment

Non-specific skin rash

Common causes of rash are contact dermatitis, sun damage, or allergic reaction. However, many rashes are a symptom of disease and should not be ignored.

Nonspecific rashes have widely varied symptoms:

  • May be flat and smooth; slightly raised or with swollen welts; clean and dry; or blistered and oozing.

May spread widely over the body, or be confined to one site.

  • May appear after eating certain foods; or after exposure to certain plants or to insect stings or bites.

Other symptoms may be present, including pain anywhere in the body; nausea; vomiting; fever; headache; or abdominal pain and upset.

Diagnosis is made through patient history and physical examination to determine the exact type, location, and history of the rash, along with any other symptoms that may be present.

Those symptoms will be investigated with blood tests or imaging. Skin swabs may be taken and tested. After the process has ruled out as many causes as possible, a course of treatment can be determined.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: rash

Symptoms that always occur with non-specific skin rash: rash

Urgency: Wait and watch

Eczema (atopic dermatitis)

Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a non-contagious chronic skin condition that produces an itchy rash. It is caused by a genetic condition that affects the skin's ability to protect itself from bacteria and allergens. The most susceptible are those with a family hi...

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Pityriasis rosea

Pityriasis rosea is a common skin rash and is thought to be due to a type of herpes virus. It is not contagious and is not sexually transmitted. Most susceptible are teenagers and young adults.

Symptoms include a single large scaly patch somewhere on the body. In the next 7 to 14 days similar oval pink patches on the arms, legs, and trunk appear, sometimes in a pattern of lines.

There may also be itching, fatigue, and body aches along with the rash. Anything that raises body temperature, such as exercising or a hot bath, may worsen the rash.

The condition may last for a few weeks and is normally gone after three to four months. Sometimes flat brown spots are left as the rash fades.

Pityriasis rosea can resemble other conditions, so getting an accurate diagnosis is important. Diagnosis is made through blood tests and skin cultures.

Treatment involves topical medications for itching, as well as antiviral and anti-inflammatory medications by mouth to aid healing. Cool baths and reduced exercise will also help.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: rash, itchy rash, curved rash, rough patch with red spots around it

Symptoms that always occur with pityriasis rosea: rash

Symptoms that never occur with pityriasis rosea: blue-colored skin changes, black-colored skin changes, brown-colored skin changes

Urgency: Self-treatment

Irritant contact dermatitis

Irritant contact dermatitis means a skin reaction that is caused by directly touching an irritating substance, and not by an infectious agent such as a bacteria or virus.

Common causes are soap, bleach, cleaning agents, chemicals, and even water. Almost any substance can cause it with prolonged exposure. Contact dermatitis is not contagious.

Anyone who works with an irritating substance can contract the condition. Mechanics, beauticians, housekeepers, restaurant workers, and health care providers are all susceptible.

Symptoms include skin that feels swollen, stiff, and dry, and becomes cracked and blistered with painful open sores.

A medical provider can give the best advice on how to heal the skin and avoid further irritation. Self-treatment can make the problem worse if the wrong creams or ointments are used.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, to find out what substances the patient comes into contact with, and through physical examination of the damaged skin.

Treatment involves avoiding the irritating substance if possible. Otherwise, the person can use petroleum jelly on the hands underneath cotton and then rubber gloves.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: rash with well-defined border, itchy rash, red or pink, rough patch of skin, painful rash, red rash

Symptoms that always occur with irritant contact dermatitis: rash with well-defined border

Symptoms that never occur with irritant contact dermatitis: fever, black-colored skin changes, brown-colored skin changes, blue-colored skin changes

Urgency: Self-treatment

Red-Colored Skin Changes Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your red-colored skin changes

Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis means the growth of tiny granulomas, which are collections of inflammatory cells. They are most common in the lungs, skin, and eyes.

The condition is thought to be an autoimmune response, meaning that the body turns against itself for unknown reasons.

Sarcoidosis can affect anyone. It is most common in women of African descent from age 20 to 40.

Symptoms include fatigue, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and unexplained weight loss. There is often dry cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, and chest pain. The skin may show unusual sores or bumps. Eyes may be reddened and painful, with blurred vision.

These symptoms should be seen by a medical provider, since sarcoidosis can cause organ damage if left untreated.

Diagnosis is made through careful physical examination, blood tests, lung function tests, eye examination, and sometimes biopsy and chest x-ray.

Treatment involves corticosteroid medication; drugs to suppress the immune system; and sometimes surgery. There is no cure for sarcoidosis, but it can be managed. Some cases will clear up on their own.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, headache, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, joint pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Hives

Hives, or urticaria, are flat red welts that can appear anywhere on the skin and usually itch. Hives often occur as an allergic reaction to something eaten or something that has contacted the skin. Foods, medicines, and plants are common causes, but sun exposure, stress, infections, and autoimmune diseases have also been...

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Pyogenic granuloma (a common, benign skin change)

Pyogenic granulomas are small, raised, red bumps on the skin. The bumps have a smooth surface and may be moist. They bleed easily because of the high number of blood vessels at the site. They are always benign.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: constant skin changes, light red or pink bump on skin, red skin bump larger than 1/2 cm in diameter, growing bump or blister, glistening, small (<1/2 cm) skin bump

Symptoms that always occur with pyogenic granuloma (a common, benign skin change): constant skin changes

Urgency: Wait and watch

Ringworm (tinea corporis)

Tinea corporis means "ringworm that affects the body." It is caused by a fungus, not an actual worm, on the surface of the skin. It is also called dermatophytosis.

Ringworm is very contagious through direct contact and through shared clothing, bedding, shower floors, locker rooms, etc. A person showing no symptoms can still spread ringworm. It is also transferred between humans and animals, especially dogs, cats, and horses.

Most susceptible are those with weakened immune systems, though anyone can contract ringworm.

Symptoms include an itchy, circular red rash that spreads outward and grows larger. It may form a pattern of rings on the arms, legs, and/or body.

Treatment is important in order to prevent further spread of the disease, and to ease the discomfort. The rash itself can become infected from constant scratching.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination and skin culture.

Treatment involves anti-fungal medications applied to the skin, and sometimes a course of prescription anti-fungal pills.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: dry skin, rash, red rash, itchy rash, curved rash

Symptoms that never occur with ringworm (tinea corporis): groin skin changes, fever, scrotal itch, groin itch, facial skin changes, hand skin changes, genital skin changes

Urgency: Self-treatment

Allergic reaction (not life-threatening)

When the body encounters a harmful substance, it responds with inflammation and swelling that can be protective. In many individuals, the body responds this way to substances that are not normally harmful, like foods or pollen. This is the basis of allergy, or Type 1 Hypersensitivity.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: swollen face, swollen lips, lip numbness, hives, red swollen bumps or patches with a pale center, lip redness

Symptoms that never occur with allergic reaction (not life-threatening): shortness of breath, throat itching

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Red-Colored Skin Changes

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Is your rash raised or rough when you run your hand over the area of skin?
  • Are there bumps on your rash?
  • Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Please take a quiz to find out what might be causing your red-colored skin changes. These questions are also covered.

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Red-Colored Skin Changes Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced red-colored skin changes have also experienced:

  • 5% Feeling Itchy Or Tingling All Over
  • 5% Rash With Bumps Or Blisters
  • 2% Vaginal Itch Or Burning

People who have experienced red-colored skin changes were most often matched with:

  • 66% Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
  • 33% Non-Specific Dermatitis (Skin Inflammation)

People who have experienced red-colored skin changes had symptoms persist for:

  • 29% Over a month
  • 27% Less than a week
  • 25% Less than a day

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).

Red-Colored Skin Changes Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your red-colored skin changes