How to Get Rid of a Rash: The Best Home Remedies (Research Based)
A rash can appear on any area of the body and because it can be due to many different factors, getting rid of a skin rash involves knowing its cause. Some common causes of rashes are eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, allergic reactions to some substances, bacterial or fungal infections, and taking certain medications. Sometimes, factors like stress, using harsh soaps, changes in temperature or other underlying medical conditions can aggravate a skin rash.
There are many effective ways to get rid of a rash quickly using natural treatments. Some of the best home remedies for a rash include ingredients to soothe the inflammation, relieve the itchiness, and get rid of any germs that irritate the skin. For example, coconut oil, tea tree oil, oatmeal, aloe vera, and chamomile all have antimicrobial and calming properties that are beneficial for healthy skin.
Natural treatments also help to relieve the discomfort and irritation that skin rashes cause. For example, along with the inflammation, you may experience itchy skin, blistering, scaling, and bumps on the skin. There are many effective natural cures to help treat these rash symptoms.
Before looking at the best home remedies to get rid of a rash, let’s look as some of the common causes why rashes on the skin can appear.
Common Causes of a Rash
According to dermatologist Dr. Gary Cole, a rash refers to any kind of skin inflammation or discoloration that changes the normal appearance of the skin.1 Some common causes of a rash can include:
Eczema. Dr. Cole explains that atopic dermatitis (eczema) causes red, weeping rashes on the back of the elbows and knees, on the cheeks, wrists, and ankles.2
Rosacea. Rosacea causes rash-like symptoms on the face that include flushing, sensitive and dry skin, and spider veins.3
Psoriasis. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic say that psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition. It causes skin cells to form thick, red, itchy patches with scaling.4
Heat. Dr. Benjamin Wedro on MedicineNet.com says that a heat rash occurs when sweat gets blocked in the skin’s pores. The result is inflamed skin that causes a rash. You may also have bumps on the skin and experience blistering.5
Contact dermatitis. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, contact dermatitis can affect most people. Allergic skin reactions or substances that irritate the skin cause a rash to appear. Depending on the severity, contact dermatitis can also cause dry skin, itching, stinging, and blistering.6
Fungal or bacterial infections. Skin infections caused by yeast or bacteria can cause outbreaks of red skin rashes. For example, bacteria that accumulates in the folds of skin can cause impetigo which causes discolored skin rashes.7 Ringworm is caused by a fungal infection and causes a circular red rash on the skin.8
Drug rash. A skin rash can be a side effect of some medications. Dr. Wingfield Rehumus from the University of British Columbia says that drug rashes cause redness, bumpy skin, hives, and itching. Usually, the rash will disappear when a person stops taking the medication.9
Hives. Another cause of a rash is hives. The itchy, sore red patches of skin are usually as a result of an allergic reaction. However, stress, extreme temperatures, and exercising can all be one of the causes of hives.
There can be many other reasons why you develop a rash on the skin. If a new rash appears or you can’t get rid of it using natural home remedies, you should visit your doctor or dermatologist.
Best Home Remedies to Get Rid of Rash
There are many effective home remedies that can help treat the underlying cause of a rash. If you suffer from a chronic condition that causes patches of red, inflamed skin, then these natural treatments can help to provide symptomatic relief.
Coconut oil and tea tree oil
The antibacterial properties of coconut oil and tea tree oil combine to make a great natural remedy to reduce redness and itching associated with a rash. Virgin coconut oil also contains fatty acids which help to nourish and heal the skin. Tea tree oil is a natural antimicrobial essential oil that helps to reduce skin inflammation and rash.
The journal Dermatitis found that coconut oil is an effective treatment for dermatitis. Researchers found that coconut oil moisturizes dry skin and the antibacterial properties help to kills off infection-causing bacteria.10
Studies into the skin-healing effects of tea tree oil found that it is a powerful antifungal and antibacterial agent. Tea tree oil is also effective in reducing inflammation on the skin.11
Combine virgin coconut oil and tea tree oil to make a topical treatment for healing skin rashes.
How to use
- Mix 2-3 drops of tea tree oil with 1 tbsp. virgin coconut oil
- Gently apply the remedy to the skin rash to reduce irritation, itching, and redness.
- Apply the coconut oil mixture 2-3 times a day to speed up the healing process and get rid of the rash.
For more information on the benefits of coconut oil for your skin, please read my article on the 10 best ways to use coconut oil for your face. You may also be interested to find out how coconut oil and tea tree oil can combat acne naturally.
Oatmeal contains anti-inflammatory properties which quickly reduce skin inflammation caused by dermatitis, insect bites, or reactions to poison ivy. Oatmeal forms a protective barrier on the skin and acts as a skin emollient to treat skin conditions including rashes and soothe irritated and itchy skin.
The Journal of Drugs in Dermatology reported that colloidal oatmeal (ground oatmeal) reduces inflammation, repairs skin, stops itching and is a natural moisturizer. It is also well tolerated as a topical skin healing treatment in persons of all ages, including babies. They concluded that oatmeal is a safe and effective treatment for dermatitis.12
Another study showed that oatmeal can help to reduce drug rashes in all of the patients who used it to soothe their skin.13
Use oatmeal to soothe any kind of itchy rash. You can make an oatmeal mask to apply directly to the skin rash, or you can add 2 cups of oatmeal to your bath water to stop body itching.
How to use
To make an oatmeal bath to ease the discomfort of a large rash on your body:
- Fill a bathtub with warm water and add 2 cups of ground oats.
- Swish the water around to mix the oatmeal in the water.
- Soak in the bath for 20 minutes. Rub some of the oatmeal water over your skin to help soothe the skin, relieve itching and reduce redness.
- Rinse off in the shower and pat your skin dry.
Here is how to make an oatmeal topical treatment to reduce skin irritation and inflammation:
- Mix enough water with ground oatmeal to form a thick paste.
- Apply the oatmeal remedy to your skin rash and leave for 20 minutes. This gives enough time for the anti-inflammatory properties to soothe your skin.
- Rinse off with warm water and pat your skin dry.
- Repeat 2-3 times a day until you no longer have a rash or other rash-like symptoms.
Aloe vera helps to soothe inflamed rashes due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Aloe vera is a great natural treatment for many skin complaints and it helps to keep skin well moisturized. Aloe vera will help your skin to heal faster and at the same time reduce itchiness, redness, and scaling.
Studies have shown that aloe vera can help to relieve skin rashes caused by dermatitis, sunburn, and other inflammatory skin conditions. For example, a study of using aloe vera for chronic dermatitis found that it can help relieve symptoms of itchy red skin. Aloe vera was also just as effective as antihistamines and topical corticosteroids in treating dermatitis.14
The journal Current Oncology showed that aloe vera also helps to reduce inflammation on burned skin and has a moisturizing effect on damaged skin.15
How to use
To use aloe vera to help rashes heal faster, you should use pure aloe vera gel (make sure that there are a few as possible added ingredients).
- Apply aloe vera gel directly to your rash to relieve itchiness, swelling, and redness.
- Repeat 2-3 times a day and use as needed to help get rid of the rash for good.
Calendula can help to reduce rashes caused by fungal infections. The soothing properties of calendula cream can also help to take the itch out of a rash and relieve any discomfort. Calendula is a great natural remedy to cure a rash under your breast, a rash between your legs, or ringworm.
Studies into the extracts of calendula (pot marigold) have revealed that they contain powerful antifungal activities. Calendula oil or cream containing calendula can kill off many strains of fungi including Candida albicans.16
The easiest way to use calendula for treating yeast infections on the skin is to buy a cream containing at least 10% plant extract. Apply the calendula cream 2-3 times a day to your skin rash until the infection clears and you no longer have a rash.
Witch hazel is an effective home remedy for rashes because it is a natural astringent. Astringents help to reduce inflammation and lock moisture into the skin which forms a protective barrier.
A study from 2002 found that extracts of witch hazel also contain antimicrobial properties that can kill off germs from the skin. The researchers found that witch hazel helps to treat inflammatory skin conditions like atopic dermatitis and intertrigo.17
How to use
Use witch hazel to help speed up the healing process of an itchy rash in your armpit, under your breast, or anywhere else on your body.
- Soak a cotton ball in 100% witch hazel.
- Gently apply to the skin rash to help reduce inflammation and itching.
- Apply 2-3 times a day until the rash has gone completely.
Apple cider vinegar
Raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a great natural way to get relief from itching and inflammation caused by a skin rash. The acidic content of ACV works like a gentle natural antiseptic to clear away skin infections and prevent any rash from getting worse.
The acetic acid content of apple cider vinegar helps to lower the skin’s pH level, which is often higher than normal in rashes.18 A report in the Annals of Dermatology found that applying acidic water to the skin can help to reduce inflammation and reduce itching.19
How to use
To reduce the inflammation and irritation of a skin rash, you can use apple cider vinegar this way:
ACV as a topical treatment for rashes:
- Dilute equal parts of water and raw apple cider vinegar
- Use a cotton ball and apply the ACV remedy directly to the skin rash.
- Repeat twice a day to relieve itching and redness of the rash.
ACV in bath water:
- Fill a bathtub with warm water and add 2 cups of raw apple cider vinegar.
- Soak in the tub for 20-30 minutes.
- Bathe in apple cider vinegar 3 times a week to get relief from itchy skin caused by a rash.
Apple cider vinegar makes a great tonic to wash your face with. For more information on how apple cider vinegar can boost your health, please read my article on the 10 ways apple cider vinegar can help you get great health.
Baking soda can also be used as a natural remedy to dry out weeping rashes. Baking soda is also a natural antibacterial agent that can help to kill off germs that cause skin inflammation.
The Journal of Dermatological Treatments found that bathing in baking soda is an effective natural cure to relieve psoriasis symptoms. In the study, all patients who bathed in baking soda reported improvements of their condition.20 The National Eczema Association also recommends soaking in baking soda water to get relief from dermatitis.21
How to use
- Fill a bathtub with warm water and add half a cup of baking soda.
- Soak for 20 minutes to relieve the itchy rash and reduce inflamed skin.
- Rinse yourself off and pat yourself dry.
- Apply a mild moisturizer.
- Repeat once or twice a week to help prevent flare-ups of a skin rash if you are prone to eczema or psoriasis.
Alternatively, you can use baking soda as a topical application for great skin health and to quickly relieve the symptoms of a rash. Use a little water in some baking soda to make a thick paste. Gently pat the baking soda remedy onto your rash and leave for a few minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
Relieving the itchy symptoms of skin inflammation is just one of the medicinal uses of baking soda.
Baking soda can dry out your skin, so if your rash is caused by dry skin, it is better to use one of the other natural remedies for rashes on this article.
A cold compress can provide you with fast relief from the pain and itchiness caused by skin rashes. Most people use cold compresses to reduce swelling and bruising after an injury. But, an ice pack on inflamed skin can work in a similar way to alleviate inflammation from a painful rash.
One study found that by applying a cold compress to inflamed skin, you can get quick relief from symptoms of rosacea.22 The University of Rochester found that ice reduces nerve activity, pain, and swelling.23
How to use
- Put some ice cubes into a plastic bag and wrap in a towel.
- Place the ice pack on the skin rash to reduce inflammation, itchiness, and pain.
- Hold for a few minutes and then remove for a few minutes.
- Repeat this a few times until the redness has gone.
Remember, never apply ice directly onto your skin because it can damage the skin.
Use soothing chamomile to get rid of an allergic rash symptoms quickly. Chamomile contains many anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that are extremely beneficial for getting and maintaining healthy skin.
The International Journal of Molecular Medicine reported that in Germany, chamomile is approved by the government for the topical application of various inflammatory skin conditions. Studies have shown that compounds in chamomile extracts help to reduce inflammation.24
How to use
To use chamomile to quickly heal an irritating rash, all you have to do is make some chamomile tea.
- Place one or two chamomile tea bags in a cup of boiling water and cover the cup.
- Let the tea bags cool down and squeeze out some of the excess water and place on the rash for 10 minutes to reduce the irritation and inflammation.
- Alternatively, you can place the infused chamomile tea bags in the refrigerator to cool them down before applying to your itchy rash.
Neem oil can help you get relief from heat rashes and reduce inflammation on your skin. Neem oil contains antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory compounds that are useful in treating skin rashes.
In the book Neem: A Tree for Solving Global Problems, evidence was presented showing the beneficial effect of using neem to treat various skin conditions. It helped to treat ringworm, Candida infections, and some bacterial infections.25 In fact, one company in India have used neem extracts to develop clothing that prevents heat rashes in hot climates.26
How to use
- Mix a few drops of neem oil with one teaspoon of coconut oil or olive oil.
- Use a cotton ball to apply the neem anti-rash ointment to the skin rash.
- Leave until it dries and then rinse off with warm water.
- Repeat 2 times a day for best results and to get rid of your rash.
For more information on neem oil and its many benefits, please read my article on the health benefits and uses of neem oil.
To soothe a rash and get relief from irritated skin, use licorice cream as an effective home remedy. Licorice contains many properties which can help to cure a rash.
The Journal of Dermatological Treatment published a study showing the benefits of applying licorice gel to treat rashes caused by dermatitis, eczema, and pruritus. Licorice contains glycyrrhizic acid which is anti-inflammatory and helps to get rid of rashes. The study concluded that licorice gel is an “effective agent for the treatment of atopic dermatitis.”27
To help treat fungal or bacterial skin infections that cause a rash, try using turmeric. Turmeric can help you keep good health and has many uses in cooking. Research has also shown that applying turmeric to your skin can help to treat various inflammatory skin conditions including rashes.
The journal Phytotherapy Research found that treatments containing curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) can reduce itching, skin rashes, and other symptoms of dermatitis and psoriasis.28 Turmeric oil was also found to be effective in treating various fungal skin infections.29
How to use
- Mix turmeric powder with water to create a paste.
- Apply the remedy to your skin rash to reduce redness and itching.
- Leave the turmeric paste on your skin for 20 minutes and then wash.
- Repeat the process 2 times a day for 2 weeks.
Remember, that turmeric can stain bedding and clothes yellow so you have to be careful.
To find out more about how to incorporate more turmeric into your diet, please read my article on how cooking affects the beneficial properties of turmeric.
Evening primrose oil
Evening primrose oil is an excelling home remedy for skin rashes. The University of Maryland reports that evening primrose oil helps to reduce redness, itchiness, and swelling associated with rashes.30
How to use
It is very easy to use evening primrose oil to cure an irritating skin rash. You can boost its soothing properties by adding some chamomile oil.
- Add a few drops of chamomile oil to a tablespoon of evening primrose oil.
- Apply the healing remedy to your rash 2-3 times a day for relief from itchiness and reduce redness.
Zinc Oxide Cream
Zinc oxide is a mineral used in a variety of creams, sunscreens and make-ups. Its antibacterial properties make it a common ingredient in antiseptic ointments. It is used to treat skin irritations such as diaper rash, minor burns and chapped skin. Zinc oxide can soothe skin and protect it from irritants and it is suitable to relieve rashes too.
Zinc oxide can come in cream form, lotion, ointment, and a variety of other forms. You can also purchase fine zinc oxide powder that easily mixes with other lotions.
When to See a Doctor for a Skin Rash
Rashes are rarely life-threatening, however, in some cases, a rash that doesn’t go away or a new rash that develops suddenly could be an indication of a serious medical condition. The American Academy of Dermatology31 recommends that if you discover a rash with any of the following symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately:
- A rash that covers a large area of your body.
- You have a high fever along with the skin rash.
- The rash appears suddenly and spread quickly.
- You have trouble breathing along with the rash.
- The rash is painful or becomes infected.
Read these related articles:
- How to Get Rid of Redness on Face: The Most Effective Natural Ways
- How to Get Rid Of A Rash Under Breasts: The Best Home Remedies
- How to Get Rid of Armpit Rash: The Best Natural Remedies
- How To Get Rid Of Eczema: 13 Natural Remedies Backed By Research
- MedicineNet. Rash.
- MedicineNet. Rash.
- AAD. Rosacea.
- MayoClinic. Psoriasis.
- MedicineNet. Heat rash.
- AAD. Contact dermatitis.
- DermNetNZ. Impetigo.
- WebMD. Fungal infections of the skin.
- MerckManuals. Drug rashes.
- Dermatitis. 2008 Nov-Dec;19(6):308-15.
- Clin Microbiol Rev. 2006 Jan; 19(1): 50–62.
- J Drugs Dermatol. 2012;11(7):804-807.
- Clin Exp Dermatol. 2007 Jan;32(1):71-4.
- Inflammopharmacology. 2015 Dec;23(6):337-41.
- Curr Oncol. 2013 Aug; 20(4): e345–e348.
- J. Microbiol. vol.39 no.1 São Paulo Jan./Mar. 2008
- Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2002 Jun;9(3):153-9.
- Allergy. 2006 Aug;61(8):1002-8.
- Ann Dermatol. 2016 Feb; 28(1): 126–129.
- J Dermatolog Treat. 2005 Feb;16(1):26-30.
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- Arch Dermatol. 2011 Jan; 147(1): 123–126.
- URMC. Cryotherapy for pain management.
- Int J Mol Med. 2010 Dec; 26(6): 935–940.
- NCBI. Neem: A tree for solving global problems.
- Anc Sci Life. 2013 Jan; 32(Suppl 2): S18.
- J Dermatolog Treat. 2003 Sep;14(3):153-7.
- Phytother Res. 2016 Aug;30(8):1243-64
- ISRN Dermatol. 2013 Aug 26;2013:250597
- UMM. Evening primrose oil.
- AAD. Rash. When to seek treatment.