Wrist Rash: 9+ Causes and Treatment

A rash is characterized by an abnormal change in the texture or color of the skin. Skin inflammation is the usual cause of rashes and it can be caused due to various factors. A rash can appear on any area of skin of your body. What if a rash appears on your wrist? What is indicated by this?

Rash on Wrist: Cause and Treatment

Rash on your wrists can be caused by many things. Perfumes and other fragrance containing products can very commonly irritate the skin on your wrists and lead to a rash. Jewelry, especiallyif it is made of cobalt or nickel, may also lead to a rash on your wrist. Certain diseases of the skin are also the possible culprit. Some common causes and their treatment are described below:

1. Lichen Planus

Lichen planus is a condition of the skin that is characterized by presence of small, reddish, shiny bumps. Sometimes, white streaks are present in between them. They can cause severe itching and can lead to blister formation. It is believed to be an autoimmune condition. The rash of lichen planus commonly erupts on the inner side of your wrist.


It is treated by using antihistamines and steroid creams. PUVA or psoralen ultraviolet A, light therapy or corticosteroid drugs may be used in severe cases of lichen planus. The condition usually disappears on its own within around two years.

2. Eczema

Eczema, also referred to as contact dermatitis is a commonly occurring skin condition and another cause of wrist rash.

Eczema is initially seen as flaky, dry, elevated patches of skin. On scratching the patches become inflamed and raw. Oozing blisters may also form on these patches. The cause of contact dermatitis remains unknown. People who have a family history of eczema are more prone to have the condition. It is often accompanied by asthma and allergies of other types.


Your physician may prescribe creams that contain coal tar, anthralin or a steroidal cream to treat eczema. Topical immunomodulators including Elidel and Protopic are new medicines that are used to treat eczema without using steroids. If you suffer from eczema, it is important that you use a moisturizer regularly to moisturize your skin.

3. Scabies

Scabies is a common condition of the skin that is caused by itch mites, which affect humans. The itch mite burrows into the skin and lives there and lay eggs. The rash on your wrist occurs due to an allergic reaction caused to the mite and its feces. Scabies produce a rash that is extremely itchy and looks like smallblisters or pimples filled with fluid. Scabies is a very contagious disease and it spreads by direct contact with the infested skin, including contact during sex.


Scabies is treated by using scabicide creamswhich kill the mites. Apart from the person infested with scabies mite, the other persons in the family along with the sexual partners should also be treated. Apart from the treatment, the below mentioned sanitation steps should be followed to prevent their spread:

  • Wash all bedding, towels and clothing in hot water.
  • Vacuum rugs, mattresses, upholstered furnishings and carpets.
  • Seal itemswhich cannot be washed including pillows and stuffed toys in a plastic bag for at least 1 week.

4. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

RMSF or Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a contagious illness caused by bacteria Rickettsia rickettsii. A tick bite transmits the bacteria. The symptoms are a rash on wrist and ankles that spreads gradually to other parts of the body, high fever, headache, muscle pain, chills, vomiting and nausea.


Immediate medical treatment is required to combat RMSF. It responds well to doxycycline antibiotic if treatment is started within 5 days of appearance of signs and symptoms. Best protection from RMSF is prevention. Wear long-sleeve t-shirts and shirts, socks and long pants and use insect repellants if you are visiting a field or the woods.

5. Irritant Contact Dermatitis

When your skin is exposed to an irritant, a non-itchy, dry eruption can occur. Certain chemicals such as industrial and cleaning products (detergents) can cause contact dermatitis. Though contact dermatitis can occur in all people, still some individuals are more prone to develop a reaction than others. The severity of the rash also varies depending upon the duration, type and amount of the irritant.


Thoroughly wash the area exposed to the irritant. Avoid the irritant and also use medicines to heal the rash on wrist.

6. Drug Rash

Exposure to certain drugs such as antibiotics, diuretics and anti-seizure drugs can cause rash either as an allergic reaction or direct side effect. This kind of rash is not itchy, erupts within a couple of days of ingesting a drug and begins as red spots that spread gradually to other parts of the body.


If you develop such rash after starting any new drug, it is recommended to stop it with the consent of your physician. The rash will disappear in a couple of days. However, sometimes there could be an allergic reaction affecting the respiratory system which may require medical care.

7. Heat Fever

The common form of heat fever rash on the wrist is miliaria crystalline. The rash appears as small, sweat bubbles that are small bumps filled with white fluid. They may burst open and don’t itch.

Another form of eruption due to heat is miliaria profunda. It is rare but can occur in adults after an episode of excessive physical exercise. The rash appears as bumps that are skin colored and large, and the dermis (the deeper layer of the skin) may also be involved. In some cases, nausea and dizziness may occur due to lack of sweating because of the inflammation.


It is advised to wear lose clothes and avoid exposure to sun. Also avoid using skin lotions that are very thick as they may clog your pores. However, if you have nausea, fever and chills along with rash, then immediately see a physician.

8. Pityriasis Rosea

It is also referred to as a Christmas tree rash. It begins as a large spot, and then the rash on your wrist spreads to adjoining parts of the body. The patches appear in a pattern of the drooping branches of a Christmas tree.


The rash disappears on its own within 10 weeks. However, if there is itching in the bumps present on wrist, then you may be prescribed medicated antihistamines by your physician.

9. Other Causes of Rash

There exist several other causes of rash on wrist that do not cause itching. These are:

  • Viral infections, including roseola virus, or chicken pox
  • High fever above 103 degrees F can cause mild inflammation of the whole body and the wrist may appear pink.
  • Infections in babies due to drools, diapers, erythema toxicum, etc.
  • Skin boils or certain acne can appear like rash.
  • Even impetigo infection or ringworm can cause rash on your wrist.