Possible Causes of Sudden Skin Rashes

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

Read also: Emotional Causes of Skin Rashes & Unexplained Eye Pain

Do you suddenly find that you develop skin rashes for no apparent reason? Probably you find that a certain area of your skin becoming itchy and when you give in to the urge to scratch it, a red patch formed- the rash seemed to have spread. Sometimes, it feels a little painful.

I wrote this article because when I recently participated in Yahoo Answers, I’ve noticed that a number of people suffer from unexplainable skin rashes and can’t figure out why.  I have this condition on and off and have learned to identify the triggers and quickly deal with it. But I could never resist the urge to give it a good scratch when it’s itchy- so it is not uncommon that my colleagues would stare at a spot on my neck, face or arms and ask me, ‘you scratched yourself again?’

It becomes a bit embarrassing if the rash and the red patch forms at your face. It looked awkward and others may wonder if you have a permanent skin condition or a fungal infection. If your doctor also could not figure out what’s wrong with you and only could prescribe some anti histamines, perhaps you may want to explore further:

Possible causes:

1. Food allergies

Try to recall what you have done within the last two to three hours before the rash develops. Was it something that you have eaten? What was it? Do you notice that the rash seemed to form after you take certain food?

Especially if accompanied by sudden sneezing/sinus, and itchy throat,mild headache,  it may indicate that certain food is causing a mild allergic reaction.

Common food that could trigger these reactions (some of these food triggered these reactions for me):

  • processed food- like pickles, preserved food. Certain chemicals used in this food can trigger food sensitivities in your body
  • white coffee and gourmet coffee
  • milk or its derivative products like cheese- a lot of people are lactose intolerant
  • fruits and vegetables that have too much of chemicals on them

2. Environment irritants

Take note of these reactions that may trigger these reaction. For me, it’s:

  • walking along the so called fresh vegetables in supermarkets- if I go to a wet market, I don’t find my face getting painfully itchy but I experience this sometimes when I visit vegetable areas of air-con hypermarkets and supermarkets. Probably because vegetables here have more chemicals
  • certain cleaning products- have you recently switched detergents that you use to wash your clothes or mop the floor?
  • it is common at the gym, especially when people share equipment- sweating palms touches all the equipments and we all know how much of bacteria that contains
  • clothes- if you sweat a lot and have to work outdoors or travel often, wearing materials that is not suitable like polyesther- will be a good breeding ground for bacteria
  • items like your bed sheet or pillow case- when was the last time you’ve changed them? We shed dead skin when we sleep and dust mites or bacteria feeds on this- your skin could be irritated when come into contact with them

3. Digestive and immune system not working at optimal levels

We are exposed to environment pollutants all the time- it is unavoidable for city dwellers. However, our immune system always have a way of warding these pollutants off. It is when the immune system is weakened that these irratants or chemicals have a chance to work their ‘magic’ on us. You may notice that when you are relaxed and happy, you tend to suffer less from health ailments, and even if allergic conditions occur, they’re much milder.

When you feel that you are feeling unwell or weak, you need to take care of your digestive system. You will be surprised, if you digestive system is sluggish, you tend to get more colds, fall sick more easily and allergic reactions become more serious. You can read further on past articles that I’ve written here: Cures for Stomach Ailments that Works.

Also, negative emotions like stress, anger, sadness will bring down your immune system- this factor is often overlooked. Other factors like sedentary lifestyle (lack of movement result in sluggish circulation that makes it harder for our bodies to remove toxins) and taking too much fattening or processed food that makes our system sluggish.

In the next article, I will write on how to deal with skin rashes.

If you suspect that your skin rashes had an emotional cause, read also  Emotional Causes of Skin Rashes & Unexplained Eye Pain

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8 thoughts on “Possible Causes of Sudden Skin Rashes”

  1. Pingback: How to deal with skin rashes - Health Blog by YinTeing

  2. Harriett Truluck

    Hi, I have just stumbled upon your blog hunting on Google as I am seeking some info on yeast infections. Appears like a cool website so I have bookmarked this site and I will return tomorrow to have a more detailed read when i have more time. Great site!.

  3. i itch all the time and when i scratch i get little bumps and then it welts up every where i scratch, do you know what this might me.


  4. Shalabh Gupta


    I have similar symptoms as described by this article. Could you please provide me some home remedies or treatment for this problem.

    I have failed to identified the cause of this allergy.

    Best Regards,

  5. Hi all! Your article is great. First I got rashes in March after starting a Rx Iron so I thought it was that. The creams, Rx anything that I used from the Doctor or Dermatologist did not work. I still itched, broke out will little blister like rashes, they became bigger then more little one and continue to form as one big rash, they look like welts, skin is lifted up where the rash is, forms excessive dry flaky skin on top like psoriasis. I have this on arms, back of one knee, heel, top of hands, neck and spread to the side of the neck, on the back of neck where the hair line is, around both eyes, part of my cheek, chin and the area above top lip and nose. Recently a new one came up on forehead. Dermatologist confirmed rash is eczema but that doesn’t mean the face and neck is. Skin under the eye area is thin so there is no way to test if all the rashes I have is the same. Two months in the summer they went away and don’t know why, unexplained reason why this happened and returned . Stress will cause rashes so you need to relax if possible. My stress was high during the summer and I am trying to calm down. If you think of “what is this rash” your stress will go up and get worse like mine. If I feel like I’m stressed I get up from sitting down and move around to do something, anything at all even do dishes. The more I sit down the more I think about the rashes. Prednisone worked as long as I took it, 2-3 days after I finished it came back worse. My eyes were red, swollen, puffy and flaking skin. Left is worse than the right. Left side of arm is worse than right. I have been trying a cream that is not for eczema at all. It’s actually for another problem that some of us get or has never had before at all. Actually, it’s working pretty good on face, neck and eyes. And eye is not as swollen as it was the beginning of the week. Wash area with mild soap like baby shampoo and use the softest wash cloth. Mine are rough so I am using a cotton diaper. I believe that this rash was for a reason which I don’t know really why it came up but it did. Stress is a big part I think what caused mine or a emotional problem talking about my rashes all the time or something else. To end this, rash could be allot of different things like products that we use, food etc. I hope mine go away soon.

    1. Hi LG,

      Thanks for sharing your experience in the comment. Oh gosh your condition sounds like an allergic reaction which is further being made worse by stress. For those who are susceptible to skin rashes, emotional stress does seemed to make the outbreaks worse. Since you mention summer, could it be allergies due to pollen- especially if you are staying in the countryside? A friend of my mom while in New Zealand during the summer suffered from severe sinusitis and cough which as a former nurse she was able to attribute to hayfever due to pollens that are active during summer. We all react to allergens in different ways and for you it could affect your skin. I do hope you would get better soon.

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