Rash on the back


A single or extensive skin irritation is known as a rash. Depending on the location, one speaks of abdominal, torso or back rash.

Skin abnormalities in the area of ​​the back are relatively common. The duration of the symptoms can range from a few hours to even days or weeks. The skin is the body's largest organ. It represents the natural barrier and serves as protection against pathogens and toxic substances. There are numerous toxic particles in the outside air that hit the skin. It prevents the pathogens from penetrating the inside of the body. The skin reacts quite quickly to toxic substances.

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One differentiates a rash on the one hand after the Cause - that is, whether it was toxic, allergic or due to illness.

On the other hand, one differentiates skin rashes based on their Appearance and des Extent. The skin irritations can appear in individual spots or over a large area on the whole back. The reddened areas can be sharply demarcated or merge into one another. Last but not least, the exanthema can be flat or stand out from the skin. They are also described Consistency of the skin, determines whether it is dry or damp and whether it is flaking or not.

  • Rash with pustules (filled with pus)
  • Rash with blisters (papules)
  • Hives
  • Wheals on the skin


Here you come to the main article: Causes of a rash

Toxic cause

Toxic causes of a rash on the back are primarily comprised chemical substances together that do not get on the skin in the form of lotions, gels and creams.
What should be mentioned here above all nickel and other Metals, as well as chemical processing in textiles that come into close contact with the skin.

It is often the case that the first contact does not lead to a rash on the back. The toxic substances enter the upper skin area and cause the immune system to antibody to build. If there is renewed contact with the substance, the antibodies release one Immune response and there is an increased influx of blood into the skin capillaries, which leads to the classic Redness the skin leads. Through poured out histamine it comes to the described itching.

A skin irritation after a Insect bite designated. Here it comes to one Penetration of poison into the skin, causing an allergic reaction with redness, swelling and itching.


Allergies can be triggered by any substance that hits the skin.Often you don't know later what the actual triggering substance was. Sometimes a connection can still be shown.

All shower gels, detergents, lotions or skin cosmetics can in principle trigger a rash. Newly used preparations in particular can cause the skin on the back to become red and itchy. Sometimes a cosmetic preparation is used for a long time without any problems and then suddenly triggers an allergic reaction on the back.

In addition to substances applied directly to the skin, substances that enter the body through food or air can also trigger an allergy. Very often, after eating nuts or apples, skin irritation occurs in the area of ​​the upper body and also the back. Sometimes pollen inhaled through the air (see: Pollen rash) can also contribute to an allergic reaction of the skin on the back.

Read more about this under: Allergy rash such as Detergent allergy

Rash on back from sun

If a rash develops after exposure to the sun, the cause may be sunburn, sun allergy, or photodermatosis.

Unfortunately, exposure to the sun can also cause skin rashes. In addition to the well-known sunburn (acute photodermatosis), which is noticeable by severe redness, pain and itching, there are also other dermatoses caused by exposure to the sun. This includes e.g. polymorphic photodermatosiswhich are often mistakenly identified as Sun allergy referred to as. Itchy skin symptoms usually appear after the first intensive sun contact in spring or summer. These can be blisters, redness, oozing skin defects and the like.

In addition to these relatively well-known clinical pictures, there are also somewhat lesser-known skin rashes that are caused by exposure to the sun. This includes the phototoxic and photoallergic dermatoses. Substances such as medicines, but also textiles or cosmetics, can be the cause of a sensitization of the skin to sunlight. Exposure to sunlight, or to be more precise UV exposure, then causes unpleasant rashes.

Disease-related causes

Numerous pathogens can also lead to skin rashes. Above all, the classic ones should be mentioned here Children's diseases, how measles and Scarlet feverwhich, after a corresponding start-up phase all over the body, can also lead to an itchy rash on the back.

If there is a sharp delineation of a flat skin rash on the back, which is either very itchy but also painful and can and is clear Vesicles visible, it can also be a Shingles act. Patients who develop shingles have it in childhood or adolescence chickenpox gone through. The virus penetrated the body, triggered the disease and then settled, usually right next to nerves. If the immune system is weakened, e.g. through stress, shingles (Herpes zoster) are triggered again. This then results in sharp demarcations in the area of ​​the back or any other part of the body, as if drawn with a ruler.

Skin irritations on the back due to are rare but possible Fungal attack. Regions on the body, including the back, that frequently come into contact with sweat, are predestined for a fungal attack (also known as Cutaneous mycosis). Even if the skin in the armpits or in the groin is affected, a fungal disease must be considered.

Rash on the back in the child

If children or babies develop a rash on the back, typical childhood diseases or e.g. cause diaper rash.

Skin rashes are particularly common in children. These can be very different in nature. Next Infectious diseases play too Allergies a major role. The following section aims to outline the main causes of a rash in children. A special focus is placed on skin rashes, which manifest themselves primarily on the back.

Measles is one of the well-known childhood diseases. You will be dated Measles virus caused. Nowadays, babies get one as part of their basic immunization Measles vaccination. Should it come to an illness, a red, maculopapular exanthem appears - the rash is large patches and partially flows together. He starts behind the ears and then quickly spreads to the entire body out. The rash is preceded by a prodromal stage with fever, runny nose and a barking cough. The exanthema fades after about 4 to 5 days, occasionally with flaking.

Chickenpox (also a typical childhood disease) is from Varicella zoster virus causes and is therefore also called varicella. Typically the rash begins with small red spots on the back, chest and abdomen and then later spreads to the extremities. The spots itch typically and then develop into small ones Nodules. These nodules later burst and crust. The diagnosis is quite clear. The colorful picture of the various skin manifestations, blisters, spots and nodules is also known as the “starry sky”.

The rubella usually starts with a kind of light sniff and fever such as Headache and body aches. The rash is bright red and consists of medium-sized spots. These do not flow together and start behind the ears and on the head. The rash then quickly spreads to the trunk.

Ringlet rubella:
The rubella also start with a kind of lighter, flu-like symptoms. Of the skin rash starts in the face under Recess of the mouth and nose. It then spreads to the trunk. It is an initially confluent, maculopapular rash. This shows a central fading in the course and presents itself as a garland. After about 5-8 days, the exanthem will fade completely. In 50% of the falls it comes to one itching.

Three-day fever:
The three-day fever (Exanthema subitum) primarily affects children aged 6 months to 2 years. The name of the disease is also indicative of this. There is a high fever that lasts for 3 days. When the temperature drops, a fine-spotted, maculopapular exanthem appears, which is mainly present on the back and stomach. This rash can often only be seen for a few hours to a maximum of 3 days.

Acne vulgaris:
Acne vulgaris is a skin disease that affects almost 85% of the population at some point. It usually begins in Age from 11 to 12 years and heals up to the age of 30 at the latest. Above all, sebum-rich regions like that are affected face or the Shoulders. There is a V-shaped involvement of the chest and back. A distinction is made between closed and open comedones as the primary skin symptoms of acne. Closed comedones empty white contents on pressure, whereas open comedones are indicated by a central black point. Papules, pustules, lumps or even scars can also develop.

Diaper rash:
The diaper rash develops in the area of ​​the diaper from irritation to the skin, e.g. due to diarrhea or prolonged contact with stool and urine. Blurred, extensive reddening, weeping areas and flaking occur. The diaper rash can also develop on lower back and abdomen as well as the thighs.

Scarlet fever:
The scarlet fever is one bacterial infectionwho are mostly children between 4 and 10 years concerns. He starts abruptly with high Fever, sore throat and difficulty swallowing and a reduced general condition. After about 2 days, the exanthema stage begins, in which a rash develops. This can be found on the face and on the trunk. However, it is particularly strong in the groin and in others Flexor joints pronounced. The cheeks are red and there is a fine-spotted, maculopapular exanthem. After about a week, the rash will fade. In the second week of the disease, scaling can occur, which mainly affects the face, trunk, palms and soles.

Concomitant symptoms

Rashes on the back are not uncommon. The back can be affected by a rash as part of many diseases, which can be of very different nature. Typical symptoms of a rash are Redness or one Scaling of the skin. Depending on the cause, this can look very different.

An extremely prominent accompanying symptom of such skin symptoms is Itching of the skin. Itching does not occur with every rash. However, it is typical for some clinical pictures.
Typically an itch is found parasitic infections or Lice diseases. This includes, for example scabies (Scabies), which is caused by scratch mites. Other rashes like that too Neurodermatitis, the Ringlet rubella, chickenpox and the seborrheic dermatitis show more or less severe itching.

Another accompanying symptom that can occur as part of a rash is fever. Fever is especially characteristic of infectious disease. It is particularly common among the typical Teething problems. These include, for example Chickenpox, rubella, rubella, measles, scarlet fever. Also an acute one Lyme disease can cause some kind of flu symptoms, but without a cough or runny nose.

The symptoms that accompany skin rashes are very diverse, as the causes also represent a very broad field. Another prominent accompanying symptom are Headache and body acheswhich in the frame infectious diseases occur. Here too they dominate Teething problems.

A clinical picture that impresses with its very own accompanying symptoms is that Herpes zoster. This is also called Shingles known. In addition to the typical rashes, this can lead to fatigue, exhaustion and a slight fever. In addition to the rash it comes to severe pain and burning sensations in the affected skin area, which can be very distressing for the patient. These pain and abnormal sensations are caused by nerve irritation that causes the Varicella zoster virus triggers. Even after the rash has subsided, the said pain and burning sensation may persist.

Rash on the back with itching

Itchy rashes can be felt for those affected very agonizing be. There are some diseases that cause itchy rashes. Often the back is also affected.

One possible cause of such an itchy rash is that Ringlet rubella. A ring-shaped rash is typical.
The chickenpox are another example of an itchy rash on the back. Chickenpox is easy to recognize by the “colorful” appearance of the rash: you can see nodules, red spots, vesicles and flakes all at the same time. This is also known as the "starry sky".

Another cause of an itchy rash on your back is that allergic contact eczema, which is an allergic reaction of the skin to a certain substance.
Also one Neurodermatitis is characterized by excruciating itching. The back can be affected, but this is rarely the case.

More itchy skin conditions represent the Lice diseases and the scabies (scabies). Here, too, the back is less often affected.

Severe itching causes the so-called Hives (Urticaria). This is an over-sensitive reaction of the skin to food, medication, heat, cold, pressure, water, immunological phenomena or stress. It show up Wheals and rednessthat itch violently.

Medication rash can arise as a side effect or sign of allergy to the drug and is often accompanied by itching. If you can associate a new rash with medication, don't hesitate to ask your doctor about it.

Rash on the back without itching

Many rashes on the back are not itchy. This includes the measles, rubella of the Scarlet fever or also the Acne vulgaris.
Also the Ringlet rubella present themselves in half of those affected without itching.

Additional locations

Rash on the back and stomach

Rashes that affect the back and stomach are not that rare. Often the whole trunk - i.e. back, chest and stomach - is affected. The following section is intended to provide a brief overview of the most important causes of a rash on the back and stomach and to work out the important characteristics of the individual clinical pictures.

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral disease caused by the varicella zoster virus. It mostly affects adults. Herpes zoster manifests itself as segmental skin involvement, which often affects the back, chest and stomach. It is characterized by a rash with red spots and blisters that can be very painful. It is nerve irritation pain caused by the virus. Burning sensations in the affected skin area are also typical.

Allergic contact eczema:
Allergic contact eczema is a skin rash caused by an allergic reaction of the skin to a specific allergen. Such allergens can be anything, such as certain textiles. The skin reacts in the affected areas with reddening, swelling, blistering and flaking. Since textiles are often the cause, simultaneous infection of the stomach and back is not exactly uncommon.

Read more on the topic: Rash on the upper body

Less common causes:
Other diseases such as lice diseases, scabies or atopic dermatitis (neurodermatitis) can in rare cases also appear on the abdomen and back. However, they occur preferentially on other parts of the body.

Read more on this topic at: Rash on the abdomen

Rash on the back and chest

The chest is also affected with many rashes affecting the back. Such rashes then manifest themselves in most cases all over the trunk or trunk. There is a short list of the possible and common causes (for more information on the clinical pictures see section "Rash on the back and stomach"):

1. Teething problems: Measles, rubella, ringlet rubella, chickenpox, scarlet fever, three-day fever, diaper rash
2. Herpes zoster
3. Allergic contact eczema
4. Neurodermatitis
5. Lice diseases
6. Scabies

Rash on the back and arm

Some rashes that manifest on the back can also spread to the extremities. This includes the Atopic dermatitis (Neurodermatitis). It then preferably occurs in the Elbow on.

Other diseases like that too Teething problems Measles, rubella, ringlet rubella, chickenpox and scarlet fever spread to the extremities after the trunk is infected. Arms and legs are then equally affected. Lice diseases and parasitic diseases like scabies (scabies) can also affect the arms and legs.

Rash on the back and legs

The legs are often affected by a rash as part of the same diseases that also affect the arms, since the infection usually affects all extremities equally (see "Rash on the back and arms"). This includes the Neurodermatitis, which on the legs especially in the Back of the knees occurs, as well as the Teething problems Measles, rubella, rubella, chickenpox, and scarlet fever.
Differentiating the skin rashes cannot be achieved without expertise. It is therefore advisable to consult a dermatologist or, in the case of children, a pediatrician.

Other diseases like allergic rashes or that allergic contact eczema can also affect the legs.
With children it is Diaper rash another cause of a rash that affects the back as well as the legs. Typically, the rash is most pronounced in the diaper area.


The diagnosis of a rash on the back requires an accurate one anamnese of the patient, who asks above all since when the rash on the back has been present, whether it is more likely itches or hurtswhether similar complaints have already existed, whether it Concomitant symptoms, how fever or others Signs of infection there or whether shower gel, skin lotions or washing powder have been changed recently.

Eye diagnosis also plays a central role in diagnostics. An experienced dermatologist can at least narrow down the causes of the symptoms based on the form, distribution and complaints.

If one is suspected Fungal disease the dermatologist becomes one smear from the affected skin area and let it grow in the laboratory. Here skin fungi can be made visible and a corresponding antibiogram can be made. With the dermatoscope (a kind of magnifying glass provided with light) the dermatologist can get an enlarged overview of the affected skin area.


The therapy depends on the suspected cause of the skin reaction. In the event of uncertainty and thus also to be seen as a general measure, the omission of potentially triggering substances is to be seen. Regardless of whether a shower gel, washing lotion or washing powder has been changed or has been used for a long time - the same should definitely be changed to ensure that it is not an intolerance. If there is a suspicion of a sun allergy, the sun should be avoided. Calcium or magnesium supplements can possibly improve the symptoms or, in the best case, make them disappear completely.

Here is more information on what to do if you have a rash: What to do if you have a rash

In the case of allergic skin reactions, a treatment attempt with Fenistil® Gel can be tried. This is an antiallergic substance that is supposed to symptomatically relieve the symptoms in the area of ​​the affected skin area on the back. At first it doesn't matter what caused the allergy. The gel can mainly be used when the skin area is limited, i.e. only occasionally reddish skin areas are visible.
As soon as larger areas are affected, systemic antiallergic treatment with a tablet should be considered. Antihistamines such as cetirizine or loratadine would be the drug of choice. However, it should be noted that cetirizine can lead to severe fatigue. The symptoms should have improved after 7 days at the latest. Eczema on the back can also be treated with cortisone supplements. Above all, attention should be paid to an initially low dosage, which could then also be increased if necessary.

If a fungal disease of the skin is suspected, antimycotics in the form of creams or ointments are used. If shingles is suspected, treatment with the antiviral acyclovir should be started as soon as possible.

Many herbal ingredients are also good for treating skin rashes by relieving possible itching and anti-inflammatory effects. They also strengthen the skin barrier and make it more resistant.

You can read more information on this topic here:

  • Home remedies for a rash
  • Treat rash with ointments and creams


Rashes on the back are relatively common. There are numerous causes of rashes in this area. The cause is not always easy to find.
In principle one tries to combine the possible causes, consisting of allergic reaction, toxic reaction or infectiological cause, with the appearance of the skin and to bring them into harmony.

A classic combination would be an eczematous skin change on the back after using a new shower gel or detergent. An experienced dermatologist will often, and sometimes with the help of his magnifying dermatoscope, make the diagnosis based on visual diagnosis. Dermatologists describe the skin findings according to dry or wet, sharply demarcated or tapering, sporadic or extensive, scaly or not, itchy or painful.

Numerous infectious diseases, especially childhood diseases, can also lead to rashes on the back. Here, the skin reactions must be related to the accompanying symptoms, such as fever, cough, runny nose and the age of the patient.
There are numerous attempts at treating back rashes. First of all, possibly causing skin creams, lotions and detergents should be changed. Allergic reactions can especially occur with Fenistil® Gel (with local findings) or with Cetirizine treated as a tablet (in the case of larger findings). Sometimes the use of cortisone creams or in tablet form has to be considered.