Skin rashes can occur for a wide range of reasons, many of which may require medical help to diagnose. When accompanied by other symptoms, such as dry skin and chills, the possible causes can be narrowed down, although multiple options remain. This combination of symptoms can be caused by diseases, allergic reactions, heat rash or contact dermatitis, for example.
Symptoms of Skin Problems
A rash is often a reaction by the skin to contact with a chemical or environmental substance. The rash, along with itching and chills, may occur in response to irritants such as perfume or skin-care products. This cluster of symptoms also can be signs of heat rash, which is generally caused by prolonged exposure to extremely hot weather conditions. Topical treatments may help reduce the discomfort of the symptoms in such cases; antihistamines and acetominophen also may be helpful. Patients usually are advised to avoid the substances that caused the reactions.
These combined symptoms also can be signs of an allergic reaction to medication. If these symptoms show up soon after taking a new medication, talk to your doctor. She may be able to recommend another medication that can be effective for your initial condition without causing the allergic reaction. According to the site Chemocare.com, dry skin and rashes are common in cancer patients, who may suffer reactions to the strong substances used in chemotherapy. In some cases an alternative anti-cancer drug may be an option, but generally only palliative measures are used for the allergy symptoms so that the patient can continue the chemotherapy.
Symptoms of Disease
A skin rash can be a symptom of infection or disease. When combined with dry skin and chills, physicians may narrow the diagnosis to a viral or bacterial infection; the latter may respond to treatment with antibiotics. The cause may be a disease such as shingles, which regularly manifests with this combination of symptoms. A case of shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox; it can be painful and persistent, and medical intervention is recommended. Other, more serious conditions, such as HIV, can cause the same group of symptoms. Seek immediate medical attention if symptoms are accompanied by sores that do not heal, fever, weakness in the limbs, or dizziness.
Diagnosing Your Symptoms
The combination of skin rash, itchy skin and chills is not always serious and may sometimes resolve on its own. However, since this symptom cluster may signal more serious conditions, it is a good idea to seek medical advice if this group of symptoms recurs or persists. If the symptoms themselves do not respond to simple remedies, such as ointments or pain relief medications, your doctor may perform some tests to determine whether you have a more serious underlying condition.