What Causes Skin Inflammation & How To Treat

What Causes Skin Inflammation & How To Treat

Inflammation can be a great disturbance you can experience with your body. Aside from that, it has a relationship with your immune system. When there is a foreign intruder getting inside of your body like cancer cells and other infectious microbes, you will automatically have an immune system response. This immune response is good as it drives out dangerous pathogens. 

When the healing process begins, inflammation may sometimes occur. When a person has a wound or damaged skin cells or tissues, it will result in an immune response called inflammation.

What Causes Skin Inflammation

There are different things that may result in skin inflammation. However, do you know that there are two types of inflammation that might occur on the skin?

First is acute inflammation. It is a skin inflammation that develops quickly as its responses to triggers such as an allergen, the heat of the sun, and minor infections. This only happens in a short period, which may go away after a few weeks if the cause is treated effectively.

The second one is chronic inflammation. It is described as long-lasting skin inflammation. It usually develops when the immune system responds sustainably within the body. If left untreated, it may cause chronic disease as well as further tissue damage. Rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema or atopic dermatitis are just a few examples of chronic skin conditions.

Now, the following are common causes of skin inflammation.

Skin Infections

There are various causes of skin infections that may affect the body. Bacterial infections, fungal infections, and viral infections are just a few examples. For bacterial infections, cellulitis and staph infections are the most common. Meanwhile, ringworm and athlete’s foot are caused by fungal infections.

For viral infections, inflamed skin can be caused by warts and herpes simplex. There is also another skin condition that may cause inflammation of the skin called seborrheic dermatitis. It is a serious condition, causing red, scaly skin patches. Meanwhile, dandruff may be caused by yeast residing on the oily part of your skin.

Immune System Dysfunction

There are times when the immune system functions so differently than normal. When that happens, it causes the immune cells to attack your healthy cells. For this case, psoriasis is a good example. When you have it, the immune response becomes more overactive, speeding up the skin cell production process. The result would be red, patchy skin lesions.

Allergic Reaction

An allergic reaction happens when your immune system starts overreacting due to foreign substance sensations. This reaction only means that your immune system sends some cells to fight against those invaders. These can be caused by various things. Pollens, medications, and even foods are common examples. It might result in a person experiencing hives, skin redness, and of course, inflammation.

Also, be careful with poison ivy, poison oak, and other strong chemicals. It may result in contact dermatitis. Even skincare products and perfumes sometimes cause the condition.

Gut condition

It has been medically warned that gut health can affect other areas of your health, including the immune system. Also, research also found that an imbalanced gut microbiome increases a person’s risk to develop not only skin inflammation but also chronic inflammatory skin conditions.


Extreme sensitivity to sunlight is what we call photosensitivity or sun allergy. It can result in immune system response. Usually, this happens when you spend time in the sun while you are taking some medications like antibiotics and diuretics. Moreover, photosensitive skin would become red, inflamed, and burned even with minimal exposure to UV radiation.

Injury or Wound

Injury, even said to be minimal at first may cause warmth, redness, and swelling. This may happen with burns, scrapes, cuts, and even surgical wounds. This is due to the reaction of your immune system, sending an inflammatory response, helping your body to heal the damaged tissues.

Genetics and Direct Contact

Having a family history of skin conditions is one of the risk factors for having health conditions like skin cancer. Also, some diseases are communicable, wherein a skin exposed to another's skin affected area will also get it.


There are some people whose skin is so sensitive to the point that when sweat gets trapped within their pores, the skin gets irritated. You will then have some rashes called heat rash.

Symptoms Of Inflamed Skin

When can we say that skin is inflamed skin? Don’t you know that a simple rash is also considered inflammation? According to Health Canal, here are some more specific signs:

  • Smooth or scaly skin
  • Itchy rash or skin
  • Burning sensation or sting
  • Flat or raised
  • Redness
  • Warmth
  • Fluid-filled blisters or pimples
  • thickening of the skin
  • Dry skin (Also accompanied by itchy skin)
  • Raw/cracked areas on an infected part that may bleed

How To Cure Inflammation & Bring Back the Glow 

While there are various causes of inflammation, the treatment for skin inflammation will depend on it as well. For instance, the doctor may prescribe you anti-inflammatory medications. For allergies, antihistamines are common. For other causes, you may be given antibacterial or antifungal treatments.

For severe cases like more serious inflammatory skin disorders, skin experts should give the best treatment. Visit a doctor because you may have an internal disease that needs medical attention. Nevertheless, we have several types of treatments.

Topical Medications

These are applied directly to the infected area. Examples are:

  • corticosteroid creams
  • Immunomodulators
  • antibacterial or antifungal creams
  • over-the-counter anti-itch creams

Oral Medications

These are consumed through your mouth. It may include:

  • Antihistamines
  • dapsone (often given to people with hives or dermatitis herpetiformis)
  • Oral steroids

Home remedies

Home remedies are treatments that you can do at home. This includes:

  • Using wet and cool compresses or wraps
  • Oatmeal bath made with anti-inflammatory components.
  • Taking vitamin D and vitamin C
  • using tea tree oil (common in treating seborrheic dermatitis)
  • wearing clothing with a smooth, soft texture
  • Lessening or managing stress
  • Phototherapy (exposing the infected area to natural or artificial light, also called light therapy)


There are various ways how to treat skin inflammation. It is best to ask your doctor what the best treatment for you is, depending on the cause of inflammation. 


  1. What causes skin inflammation?

Skin inflammation may be caused by immune system dysfunction, infection, allergic reactions, and many more.

  1. How do you treat inflamed skin?

Depending on the cause, you may use topical medications, oral medications, or home remedies. You may also ask your doctor for the best treatment for you.

  1. What does skin inflammation look like?

A common symptom of skin inflammation is redness or red bumps in irritated skin. Other appearances may depend on the cause.