What causes stomach rash?

A stomach rash can affect both men and women for a large range of reasons. The MediFind Medical Team has summarized 10 potential causes for stomach rash below in order from most to least likely based on our data. Learn more about how MediFind works here. You can also enter your symptoms into MediFind’s Symptom Checker to receive more customized results.

Lyme Disease

Transmitted via the blacklegged tick, also known as the deer tick, Lyme disease is an infection by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and commonly infects people that spend time outdoors. It is known to cause a red skin rash and may spread into the joints and progress into arthritis. In rare cases, it can spread to the heart and brain and cause a more serious condition. Other symptoms include weakness of the limbs, fatigue, fever, or headache. An infectious disease doctor will prescribe antibiotic treatment, which works with most patients. Some patients, however, will need additional medications for symptomatic relief. Find an infectious disease doctor near you here.

Herpes Zoster

An infection by the varicella zoster virus, it presents as a red skin rash called chickenpox in children. When it passes in children, it then hides in nerve cells waiting to reactivate in adults as shingles. Shingles is a much more severe form of infection that may also include flu-like symptoms. In those patients that were vaccinated for the virus as children, it is much less likely for it to develop into shingles as an adult. An infectious disease doctor will prescribe antiviral medications like acyclovir but may also recommend anti-itch creams and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for the pain. Find an infectious disease doctor near you here.


Caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, mononucleosis generally occurs in teenagers and presents as fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and a measles-like rash. The rash only develops when patients are incorrectly prescribe antibiotics to treat their strep infection-like symptoms. In rare cases, patients may also experience jaundice, shortness of breath, neck stiffness, and chest pain. An infectious disease doctor will recommend patients rest until the illness passes as antiviral medicine has little benefit. In patients with serious symptoms, they may also prescribe prednisone steroidal medicine. Find an infectious disease doctor near you here.

Contact Dermatitis

Contact with irritants or an allergic reaction can cause a skin rash called contact dermatitis, which is distinct from a skin rash caused by an infection. Common irritants are cement, hair dyes, wet diapers, pesticides, rubber gloves, or shampoos. Common allergens are largely specific to the person and can range from a wide variety of normal products. Besides the red skin rash, contact dermatitis may also cause burning or pain and the rash can develop into moist blisters. A dermatologist will recommend lifestyle changes to distance the patient from the product but can also prescribe topical corticosteroid drugs or tacrolimus creams or ointments. Find a dermatologist near you here.


Also called atopic dermatitis, eczema is a non-infectious rash or inflammation of the skin that appears in multiple forms. Contact dermatitis, as described previously, refers to a rash where a product is the instigator. Dyshidrotic eczema involves a weakened skin barrier that results in blisters and skin cracking. Hand eczema is specific to the hands and may originate from an allergic reaction to chemicals or gloves. Neurodermatitis originates from the body’s nerves firing to prompt intense itching. Nummular dermatitis appears as coin-like lesions due to chemicals, allergens, or reaction to medicine. Stasis dermatitis presents as lower limb swelling. As there is no cure for all the forms of eczema, a dermatologist will focus on reducing the irritation. Find a dermatologist near you here.


In psoriasis, the growth rate of skin cells increases significantly and results in a red rash. This is caused by an autoimmune disorder and can flare-up seasonally. In many patients, it is also associated with arthritis and many believe there is some sort of genetic component that causes it. There is no known cure for psoriasis as it involves the body’s own processes. However, a dermatologist or rheumatologist will focus on slowing down the skin growth. This depends on the type psoriasis as they have different outcomes. There is topical therapy using vitamin D analogues, light therapy, or biologics. Light therapy itself has many different strategies and many doctors switch up their methods as they lose efficacy. Find a dermatologist near you here.


Transmitted by a mite that lays eggs in the skin, scabies is a very contagious skin condition that can spread by skin-to-skin contact. This burrowing often results in severe itching and rashes. Norwegian scabies, in particular, is a serious form that results in weakened immune systems. As the eggs hatch, the mites spread into clothing and furniture, causing massive outbreaks. A dermatologist will focus on stringent removal of the mite infestation to avoid further contact so they recommend lifestyle changes that eliminate the mite. They will also prescribe calamine lotion to ease itching and antihistamine for severe cases. Treatment of scabies involves 5% permethrin cream. Find a dermatologist near you here.

Scarlet Fever

Streptococcal bacterium belongs to a large group that is further subdivided by their ability to cause harm. In Group A, infections like strep throat and scarlet fever exist. Scarlet fever is caused by a Group A streptococcal strain that targets children, it is characterized by the intense fever it produces but also results in a rash throughout the body. Other symptoms include muscle aches, chills, fever, headache, sore throat, and a swollen red tongue. An infectious disease doctor will prescribe antibiotics that are specific to streptococcal strains. This is a serious condition if not treated early, as it can progress into the rheumatic fever that ravaged parts of Europe in the past. Find an infectious disease doctor near you here.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

In the Rocky Mountains, a 3,000-mile region encompassing Canada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico, there is a tick that carries the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsia. Infection results in Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever that presents as a fever, a red skin rash, headache, muscle pain, chills, or confusion. In rare cases, it may also cause light sensitivity, hallucinations, and excessive thirst. An infectious disease doctor will prescribe antibiotics, particularly doxycycline as other antibiotics may result in a fatal outcome in children. Find an infectious disease doctor here.


One of the most contagious viral infections in the world, measles spreads to 90% of the people it comes in contact through sneezing and coughing. For this reason, children are vaccinated against it at an early age and achieve complete protection through the vaccine. However, unvaccinated people from other countries or those that refuse to be vaccinated can transmit the disease to the immunocompromised that cannot develop a viable immune response. It has a delayed response, only showing symptoms up to 14 days after exposure. After those two weeks, it presents with an itchy, red skin rash but can also lead to cough, fever, light sensitivity, muscle pain, and sore throat. There is no known treatment for measles beyond vaccination so an infectious disease doctor will emphasize treatment of symptoms along with proper quarantine to protect friends and family. Find an infectious disease doctor near you here.

Understanding the Results

These results are based on the most likely conditions for a 20 to 40 year-old patient that is living in the United States. Our data shows that 96% of the time, this symptom is related to one of the 10 most likely causes. Location and age can also contribute to different results. Use our Symptom Checker to add your information and get your custom results.

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Differences in Age Groups

There is no major difference in age groups with regard to stomach rashes. However, as many of these infections involve outdoor exposure, children in certain regions of the USA have a greater chance of infection.

Differences among Men and Women

Men or women do not have a higher incidence of stomach rash among them. However, rashes due to pregnancy are also common.

Last Updated: December 08, 2022

Published By: MediFind Medical Staff