ZocdocAnswers"Why do I have a rash all over my body after I shower?"

Question

"Why do I have a rash all over my body after I shower?"

I'm 22 years old and about 1/3 of the time when I get out of the shower, my body is covered with a red rash that is not itchy. I have unidentified skin allergies, but I have not changed any of the products that I use in the shower and this has only started happening recently.

Answer

Showering removes the skin's natural protective oils, through a combination of mechanical (hot water, scrubbing) and chemical (soaps) mechanisms. When the skin's oils are stripped away, the result is inflammation and dryness, which may manifest as rash, itching, or scaling of the skin. This is especially common in people with a history sensitive skin or skin allergies, such as you have. The best solution to this problem is to modify your showering routine, especially in cold and dry winter months when the skin is more susceptible to this problem. You should definitely not shower every day, and you should avoid using very hot water, showering for long periods of time, harsh soaps, and extensive scrubbing. Upon exiting the shower, you should immediately towel dry very well and liberally apply a good skin moisturizing lotion or cream to trap in the skin's oils and prevent further drying. The best skin treatments are the "greasy" ones (such as petroleum jelly) as these have the most protective effect and stay in place the longest. If these strategies do not work, then you may want to consider talking to your primary care doctor, who may decide to prescribe stronger protective creams or anti-inflammatory creams.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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