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Rashes – Tests and Diagnosis

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The attributes of the skin rash is observed. Whether the rash has ulcers or is scaly, bullous, vesicular, pustular, papular or macular will help ascertain the source of the rash.

  • Papular or macular rash – can be the result of a reaction to a drug, pityriasis rosea, exoliative dermatitis, contact dermatitis or eczema.
  • Pustular rash – Fungal skin infection, scabies or staphylococcus.
  • Bullous or vesicular rash – nummular eczema, impetigo, pemphigus, contact dermatitis, dermatitis herpetiformis or chicken pox.
  • Scaly rash – Drug side effect, exfoliative dermatitis, fungal skin infection, lichen planus, psoriasis or ichthyosis.
  • Ulcerative rash – Indication of basal cell carcinoma.

Distribution of the Rash in the Body

  • Focal rash – This may indicate impetigo, nummular eczema, skin tumor, contact dermatitis, scabies or fungal skin infection
  • Diffuse rash – Possible indication of tinea versicolor, pityriasis rosea, pemphigus, dermatitis herpetiformis, drug side effect, eczema, lichen planus or psoriasis.

The type of rash can also be diagnosed depending on the area of the body affected.

  • Rashes in the extremities – Can suggest insect bites, psoriasis or atopic dermatitis.
  • Lower leg rashes – Dermatitis herpetiformis, necrobiosis lipoidica, stress dermatitis, nummular dermatitis, erythema nodosum or keratitis pilaris.
  • Rashes on the knees (front) – Psoriasis.

Meningococcal Rash

This type of rash does not change the skin’s color, at least in its later stages.  This rash needs to be observed regularly to avoid getting a wrong diagnosis especially during its early stages. A pressure test is performed which entail putting pressure on the rash to see if it dissipates or not. One pragmatic way to do this is to press a crystal clear drinking on the rash to observe how the rash reacts.

Blood tests can also be performed on the patient. These tests involve:

  • Viral serology tests, if requested
  • IgE level count if atopic dermatitis is suspected
  • RAST test – A radioallergosorbent testing is performed for testing of certain allergens that may be causing eczema.
  • Blood cultures – This is performed if the patient has a fever or feels sick
  • Full blood count

Skin tests

  • Viral culture testing – If the patient is suspected of having a viral infection, this test will determine if chicken pox (varicella zoster), shingles (herpes zoster) or herpes simplex is positive for skin rashes.
  • Swab of discharge – This is a test to determine the presence of fungi or bacteria that may have caused the rash.
  • Skin scraping sampling – The scraped skin is microscopically examined to see if skin burrows exist that might indicate the presence of scabies mite or skin rash that may dismiss any fungal infections.
  • Skin biopsy
  • Patch testing – To detect any allergy of the skin

Christina Prieto is an Orlando acupuncturist, a certified Yoga instructor and the founder of Harmony Wellness center in central Florida.

Written by Valerie

January 25th, 2014 at 11:36 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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