By Christopher Godwin

A rash is a general term for a variety of skin irritations that result in patches or areas with red skin, raised bumps, scaling or blisters. The most common cause of a rash is atopic dermatitis – a type of irritation usually caused by exposure to irritants such as poison ivy or ingredients in cosmetics, hair care products or soaps that can bother your skin. Most rashes will go away within a few days with home treatment, but if you have severe swelling, itching, burning or stinging -- or if your rash doesn't show any signs of improvement after a week has passed, consult your doctor or dermatologist.

Person scratching arms
credit: Hemera Technologies/ Images
Avoid scratching a skin rash -- scratching can prevent healing.

Replace Your Skin Care Products

Using harsh soaps, detergents and occlusive moisturizers that contain potentially irritating ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate can irritate your skin and make a rash worse, especially if you have dry skin, atopic dermatitis, eczema or psoriasis according to the Mayo Clinic. Look for non-comedogenic, oil-free body and face wash and avoid heavy, occlusive moisturizers that contain mineral oil.


Over-the-counter oatmeal bath powders and homemade oatmeal treatments can help relieve irritation, redness and burning or stinging sensations caused by a rash. You can make your own oatmeal topical treatment by simply preparing oatmeal and allowing it to chill in the refrigerator for three to four hours according to Barbara Close, author of "Pure Skin: Organic Beauty Basics." If your rash is related to heat, Close recommends adding several slices of chopped cucumber to reduce redness. If you choose to use an over-the-counter oatmeal bath solution, avoid very hot water and follow the instructions, as given by the manufacturer.

Chamomile Essential Oil

Chamomile essential oil can help to relieve common skin rashes according to Barbara Close, author of "Pure Skin: Organic Beauty Basics," because of its anti-inflammatory properties, which work to soothe the skin and reduce irritation. To use chamomile essential oil to treat a skin rash, Close recommends combining 1 part chamomile essential oil with 10 parts jojoba oil. Apply the chamomile mixture directly to clean skin in the morning and evening, allowing the oil to be absorbed into your skin.

Leave It Alone

Natural treatments can help a skin rash, but it's likely to go away on its own in a few days. However, touching, scratching or picking at a rash can make it worse and it may take longer to heal. If you have a tendency to absent mindedly touch a skin rash, consider covering it up with an adhesive bandage at night or wearing soft gloves to protect the area.