A rash, also called dermatitis, can cause small red bumps to develop on the chest. Some rashes may just be an embarrassing annoyance, while others, especially when combined with additional symptoms such as a fever, can be the sign of a serious condition. Therefore, it is important to understand what conditions cause rashes on the chest and how they can be treated.
Symptoms of a rash can include small red bumps, blisters, pimples or lumps on the chest. The KidsHealth website explains that these bumps can be itchy, dry and even scaly. They may also puff up from the skin out of irritation and can sometimes be accompanied by a fever. Although some rashes may develop immediately, such as when the victim comes in contact with an allergic substance, others may take multiple days before any outward signs are noticed.
According to the MedlinePlus website, rashes on the chest can be caused by a variety of objects and conditions. Rashes can occur as the result of contact dermatitis, where objects such as poison oak, soaps, dyes found in clothing and detergents inflame and irritate the skin. Rashes can also develop due to stress, excess oil on the skin and with the use of lotions that are alcohol-based. In addition, medical conditions such as psoriasis, shingles and impetigo can be responsible for chest rashes.
To treat a bothersome rash, it is important that the sufferer refrain from scratching the bumps. Although this may provide temporarily relief for any itching associated with the condition, it can also cause a scar or infection. For rashes caused by eczema or an allergen, a doctor may suggest a strong emollient moisturizer, calamine lotion or oatmeal bath. In addition, 1-percent hydrocortisone cream can be beneficial. For severe itches, he may recommend an antihistamine.
To prevent the formation of rashes, the KidsHealth website recommends that the sufferer avoid products and substances that can cause allergic rashes such as nickel jewelry, poison ivy and perfumed bath or body products. If allergic to a particular bug bites, he should apply insect repellent before heading outside. For chest rashes related to eczema, he should avoid long, hot showers and harsh soaps that can dry out the skin and provoke symptoms.
Emergency personnel should be called immediately if a chest rash victim experiences shortness of breath, swelling in the facial area or a rash that turns purple in color. In addition, medical attention must be sought if the victim has joint pain, swelling or tenderness in the rash area, streaks of red, fever or a tick bite. If a new medication is causing the rash, it is important that the medication is continued unless a doctor advises otherwise.