Mold skin rash: causes, diagnosis and treatment

mold skin rash
Medically reviewed by Dr. Mandy Liedeman

Overview

Mold is a type of fungi that thrives in moist parts of houses. Its favourite harbouring places include pipes, windows, and roofs. Moreover, it can grow in areas with poor ventilation, such as basements.

Mold is a prevalent cause of allergy. If you have been exposed to fungus, mold skin rash is a common manifestation. Mold spores can induce an allergic reaction when you inhale them.

This article will help answer questions such as whether mold can cause rashes and will explore treatment options.

What is mold skin rash?

Since mold allergy rash is similar to other rashes caused by allergies, it cannot be very clear to diagnose. Some symptoms of mold rash on the skin caused by an allergic reaction include:

A rash from mold can affect several regions of your body. Although, besides allergies, skin irritation can be caused by many other conditions, including eczema or psoriasis. Hence, discussing the type of rash and associated symptoms with a doctor is essential.

Have you developed rashes from mold? Contact our online doctor for more information.

What is mold allergy?

Molds are a type of fungus that exists everywhere, mainly thriving in dark and damp places. Some individuals are allergic to mold and develop immune responses against it, which is detrimental to their health.

People with mold allergies may develop a mold skin rash that presents as itchy and bumpy skin. It can be accompanied by watery/ itchy eyes and a runny/itchy nose. Severe cases lead to breathing problems. There are countless species of molds. It’s possible to be allergic to some kinds.

What does mold skin rash look like?

A skin rash from mold is an allergic reaction brought on by spores released by mold into the air. Everyone reacts differently to mold. Some people do not exhibit any signs of a rash after breathing in spores of mold transmitted in the air. Rash from mold exposure can appear like any other allergic rash and can present with symptoms such as itching, redness, skin sensitivity, discoloration, bumpy skin, and patches of dry and scaly skin.

What causes mold on the skin?

The immune system can produce an overactive allergic response to certain foreign substances present in the environment. Mold spores trigger the immune system and cause an allergic reaction. An individual’s body produces antibodies against the mold spores. When exposed to mold repeatedly, the immune system produces bigger reactions to protect you.

Fungi in foods such as mushrooms or fermented foods can induce an allergic reaction. This usually causes local symptoms in the mouth or rashes but can affect breathing.

How do doctors diagnose mold exposure?

It is difficult to differentiate one allergic reaction from the other. In order to pinpoint whether you have a mold-associated skin rash, checking for mold exposure and testing accordingly is essential. Allergy testing is fairly easy and accessible and can be ordered by any doctor. Some tests ordered include:

Blood tests: An allergen-specific immunoglobin E test can help a doctor determine if you’re allergic to mold or something else.

Immunoglobin E is elevated in case of an allergic response such as to that of mold.

Skin prick test: A skin prick test enables you to check for multiple allergic reactions at the same time. It can help identify a mold allergy as well. The test is performed on your forearm. During the test, the area is cleaned with an alcohol swab, and a lancet is used to apply a drop of each allergen being tested to the arm. After that, histamine, glycerin, or saline is applied to your skin. When 15 minutes have passed, the region is examined for any signs of an allergic reaction.

How do doctors treat mold skin rash?

If you have developed a mold exposure rash, removing yourself from the source of the mold is essential to prevent further reactions.

Home Remedies

Some home remedies that help manage mold toxicity rash include:

  • The application of Aloe vera helps soothe itchy rashes.
  • Applying a damp cloth on the rash may help alleviate itchiness and swelling.
  • Soaking in an oatmeal bath may help soothe your rash.

Medications

Some medications used to treat your rash from mold include:

Antihistamines: Over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines can help relieve symptoms of allergic reactions, such as black mold rash.
Cortisone creams: Cortisone creams help alleviate swelling, redness, and itching.
Antibiotics: Itchy rashes have the risk of becoming infected from scratching. In such cases, antibiotics are required.
Moisturizers: Moisturizers help soothe dry and itchy skin.

How long does it take to get rid of mold in your body?

After removing the source of mold toxins, recovery can occur within weeks for most individuals. Shifting to a clean environment and avoiding re-exposure can help expedite recovery. In other cases, it may take over a year to recover fully.

Have you developed rashes from mold? Contact our online doctor for treatment.

Consult a doctor

Avoiding an allergen such as mold, dust or pollen is the only way to ensure you don’t develop an allergic reaction. Some OTC medications can help treat a rash caused by mold, but some require prescription treatment. Some reactions to mold are more dangerous, especially when they trigger asthma. It is essential to consult a doctor for mold allergy. If you are experiencing a mold skin rash, consult our doctor at Your Doctors Online immediately!

FAQs

What happens if you leave a fungal rash untreated?

Fungal infections can spread and worsen if left untreated. Although a mold-associated skin rash may not be a serious concern on its own, it can indicate a more significant underlying health concern.

How long does mold irritation last?

Mold allergy can’t be cured, but avoiding exposure to mold and taking medications if prescribed, can help prevent allergic reactions. Certain types of molds are more dangerous to your health, and hence caution should be practised.

How do I know if my rash is fungal?

Fungal infections can cause the skin to appear red, swollen, bumpy, or patchy, like a rash. Moreover, fungal infections in your nails can make them discolored, thick/hardened, or cracked.

Can mold cause rashes on the face?

Mold rash on the face can present as itchy skin or cause watery or itchy eyes and runny/ itchy noses. In more severe cases, breathing problems can occur.

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