3 Chronic Conditions That Cause Rashes

girl itchy arm

Chances are, you’ll experience the itchy irritation of a rash at some point. While some rashes occur only once, others recur or linger on as part of a chronic condition. 

In a study involving over 12,000 people with itchy rash symptoms, nearly 70% of participants  also had a history of a confirmed skin disease. In other words, itchy, inflamed skin and chronic conditions often go hand-in-hand.

At Northstar Dermatology in Fort Worth, Texas, our board-certified dermatologists determine the source of your rash to prevent future flare-ups and work to reduce your current symptoms with treatment that suits your specific needs. 

Here’s what you need to know about three common chronic conditions that frequently underlie rashes, and ways we can help.


A rash is a primary symptom of all types of rosacea, an inflammatory condition that can spur symptoms in response to sunlight, wind, certain foods, stress, and more. The four types of rosacea include:

  • Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, which causes flushing, visible blood vessels, and redness in your nose and cheeks
  • Papulopustular rosacea, which triggers facial swelling and acne-like bumps
  • Phymatous rosacea, which leads to thick, bumpy skin on the face and ears
  • Ocular rosacea, which causes red, burning eyes, light sensitivity, and swollen eyelids


If your rash involves red, scaly patches, you may have psoriasis. This chronic inflammatory condition most often appears in early adulthood or your late 50s. 

Plaque psoriasis, the most common type, typically shows up on your elbows, knees, lower back, or scalp. The patches, or plaques, are often painful and itchy, leading to cracks and bleeding. 

Other types include guttate psoriasis, which can follow a strep infection; inverse psoriasis, which can cause a rash in your groin area or armpits; and pustular psoriasis, which is more blister-like. The rarest type, erythrodermic psoriasis, causes severe symptoms over most of your body.


Eczema involves chronic rashes that make your skin scaly, itchy, dry, or red. Atopic dermatitis is the most common form, affecting more than 9.5 million children and some 16.5 million adults in the United States. 

The often allergy-linked symptoms usually appear on your face, forehead, and scalp, particularly during infancy or childhood.

A few other types of eczema include asteatotic dermatitis, which also causes fissures; contact dermatitis, which results from direct contact with an allergen; and dyshidrotic eczema, which appears as small blisters on your hands and feet.

Getting care for your rash

Skin rashes, whether part of a chronic condition or not, can be deeply bothersome and make going about your daily life difficult. If your rash is painful, seems infected, covers large portions of your body, or carries on, seek medical care. Call us if you have a fever at the same time. 

At Northstar Dermatology, we conduct an exam, during which you discuss your medical history and symptoms. We may also perform lab tests to confirm or rule out allergies.

Once we determine the underlying cause of your rash, we create a personalized treatment plan. Your plan may include antibiotics, topical medications, moisturizing creams, oral medications, or allergy shots. You may also learn about avoiding personal triggers in the future.

To learn more about rashes or get the care you need, call our Fort Worth, Texas, office or request an appointment through our website.

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