Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What causes rashes on the elbows?"
What could cause your elbows to break out in a rash? I'm a healthy, 28 yr old guy, and I just noticed a really prominent rash on the outside of both elbows. The bumps are pretty large and spread out, and they're not painful unless I press them hard.
Rashes can have many different causes and the specialists involved in diagnosis and treatment of the rashes includes general practitioners, general internists, dermatologists and rheumatologists. A family history of rashes can help the clinician with coming up with a differential diagnosis of the causes of the rash. Rashes, are generally caused by immune mediated reactions that occur in our bodies. Some times these reactions are caused by allergens that we expose our body to, other times they can be caused by autoimmune disorders such as psoriasis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis which may present with symptoms like joint pain. Other common causes of rashes can be caused by infectious processes such as viral and fungal infections as well as bites. Rashes can also be caused by taking medicines. While a general practitioner can often make the diagnosis of a cause of a rash, sometimes it is appropriate to have a dermatologist or rheumatologist make the diagnosis, since sometimes rashes that are associated with systemic symptoms such as joint pain, vision and urinary symptoms can be more serious to treat and diagnose. It is not possible to come to a diagnosis without a physical exam therefore evaluation by a physician is recommended.
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