Rash on Elbows

Rash on Elbows Itchy, Red, Causes, Symptoms, Pictures and Treatment

Rash on elbows is a common skin disorder and in most instances, it disappears with the use of home care remedies. Why do I have a rash on my elbow? There are numerous causes that can result in elbow rashes.

Common causes of rashes on elbows are due to simple allergy from the clothing fabric, insect bites, eczema, psoriasis and many others. Fortunately, most causes of rash symptoms can be treated by the use of simple home remedies as well as medical rash treatment.

The article provides inner elbow rash causes and treatment. You can also get medical help from a dermatologist in case you have kind of rashes that comes and goes.

I Have A Rash On My Elbow-What Does It Mean?

What does it mean to have a rash on the elbow? Rash on the elbows reveals the underlying medical condition in the body. The reasons for rashes could be mild to a more complicated health condition that would require medical help.

The rash can result in spots that are itchy, bumpy, scaly, flaky, or filled with pus. The rashes not only occur on the elbows but also on the elbow crease, elbow pit, knees, scalp, stomach, back, and buttocks.

These rashes usually imply gluten intolerance to a certain group of people while to others it indicates celiac disease. Sometimes rash in elbow crease is usually linked to skin related conditions like psoriasis, contact dermatitis, atopic eczema, allergies, impetigo or hives.

Itchy rash treatment usually ranges from the use of topical ointments, anti-itching creams to anti-inflammatory tablets or creams. You can also opt to use natural remedies such as the application of Aloe Vera gel to help ease the pain and speed up the healing process.

Rash on Elbows Causes

What causes rashes? It is advisable to understand the underlying cause of the rashes and then identify the appropriate treatment to follow. Some of the possible causes of rash inside elbow crease or itchy rash inside elbow crease include:

Contact dermatitis

These types of rashes usually develop when the elbows come into contact with certain substances that causes skin irritation or result in an allergic reaction. The affected part of the elbow skin changes the appearance and turn into red, inflamed, blistering, dry, thickened or cracked.

Some of the common substances that trigger skin irritation and inflammation include:

  • Cosmetics, dyes or detergents
  • Poison ivy or oak
  • Soaps
  • Essentials Oils
  • Chemicals found in latex, rubber
  • Metallic substances such as copper

Sometimes, the rash in elbow pit could burn, sting, irritate as well as itch. In rare instances, you will notice blistering on the affected part of the elbow skin. Fortunately, contact dermatitis can be managed effectively with treatment to ease the pain and other symptoms.

Atopic dermatitis (eczema)

Usually rash on elbows and knees are linked to skin-related condition known as atopic dermatitis. The medical term for atopic dermatitis is eczema. This a chronic skin condition that makes the elbow skin to appear red, itchy, dry, scaly or cracked.

According to medical research by WebMD, the exact cause of eczema is still unknown. However, medical science links the condition to irritants, allergens, immune system dysfunction.

In most instance eczema usually, affect the crease of the elbows knees ankles and around your eyes or neck. Some of the common symptoms of eczema include the following:

  • Small, raised bumpy rashes which may leak fluid
  • Swollen skin from scratching
  • Thickened, cracked or dry skin

Infection with bacteria on the affected elbow can make atopic dermatitis to be worse. This is because the bacteria make the skin to break resulting in a worse condition.

Treatment and drugs for eczema

Rash on the elbows caused by eczema is usually chronic and recurrent. It is recommended to try different treatments in order to control and combat the symptoms completely. Here are some of the common medications you can try:

  • Creams to reduce itching and inflammation: You can visit your dermatologist who will prescribe a corticosteroid cream or ointment. It is advisable to note that excessive use of these creams can result in severe skin irritation or discolouration, infections and thinning of the skin.
  • Oral anti-itch drugs: Severe itchy and bumpy rash on elbows can be relieved by the use of oral antihistamines such diphenhydramine. This help a lot especially at night when itching becomes intense.
  • Oral or injectable drugs to control inflammation: The use of oral corticosteroid drugs such as prednisone can help to get rid of severe inflammation.
  • Antibiotic drugs to fight infection: You can also use antibiotics to help get rid of Atopic eczema that is caused by a bacterial infection.

Itchy bumps on elbows can also be treated by use of both natural remedies and home care techniques. Most of these remedies help to get rid of itching and inflammation. These home remedies include:

  • Bleach bath: This remedy helps to reduce the number of bacteria on the skin thus reducing the chance of spreading the infection. Take a diluted bleach bath. Add about ½ cup of bleach (less concentrated) to a 40- gallon of a bathtub of warm water. Soak the affected ankle skin for about 5 minutes. Do this twice or thrice weekly.
  • Moisturize your skin: This should be done at least three times a day. You can use oil or lubricating cream on the affected skin including the elbow, neck, arms or legs.
  • Avoid scratching: it is recommended to avoid the urge to scratch your affected elbows. This is to reduce further irritation and invasion of the infection.


Psoriasis is usually marked by the appearance of the rash on both the inner and outer part of the elbows. The changes of lifestyle cycle of the skin cells due to psoriasis can result in a buildup of cells rapidly on the affected skin surface.

What does the rash look like for meningitis? The elbow skin surface can appear as silvery scales due to the buildup of extra-thick skin formation. Some of the other common symptoms of itchy rash elbows are itchiness, dry, red patches, and pain. You should seek medical help since it looks like blood poisoning.

This is a chronic skin condition that not only appears on the elbows but also on the knees, scalp and lower back. These skin rashes that itch can appear in any other part of the body.

Rash on inside of elbow not itchy due to psoriasis is usually caused by stress, obesity, smoking or infections. It is recommended to halt skin cell rapid formation in order to treat the condition. You can also remove the silvery scales on the skin in order to smoothen it.

Topical corticosteroids: It has an anti-inflammatory property that helps in the treatment of mild psoriasis. You can use the combination of creams and drugs in case you have a severe type of psoriasis on the elbow skin.

Hives or urticaria

Why do I have red bumps on my elbows? This could be due to hives or urticaria. This is an allergic reaction that results in the appearance of rashes on the skin. You may experience itchiness and at times swellings on the skin.

You can develop hives mostly from bug bites or stings, fish, nuts, eggs or food additives. There are also certain drugs that can trigger an allergic reaction that is marked by the formation of rashes with a burning effect. Some of the common drugs include ibuprofen or anti-inflammatory medications.

Here are some of the signs and symptoms of hives on the skin:

  • Red Bumps
  • Swollen Skin
  • Itchy Rash, Burning or Prickly Sensation
  • Autoimmune disorders

You can develop rashes on the elbows as well as the back of the knees due to the following autoimmune skin disorders. They include:

  • Dermatitis herpetiformis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Vitiligo
  • Kawasaki disease

It is advisable to check with your doctor in order to identify the underlying autoimmune disease that results in the appearance of rashes on the elbows and knees.

Lichen planus

This type of skin condition is marked by the appearance of shiny, flat-topped bumps that are either reddish or purple in colour. The skin condition can occur anywhere on the skin surface but mostly occur on the wrists and legs, the back, the neck and the lower back.

Scabies Rash

This is a form of skin condition that is caused by certain minute mites. The rashes are usually contagious and can spread easily from one person to another through contact.  These mites usually burrow the skin and result in the following symptoms:

  • Intense itching which is worse at night
  • Blistering or appearance of rashes in a line
  • Sore elbows due to the constant urge to scratch


This is a type of fungal infection on the skin. The fungal infection usually affects the top layer of the skin, scalp, and around the nails. Depending on the place of the appearance, ringworms have the following symptoms:

  • Itchy red rash on the ring
  • Small patches of scaly skin
  • Hair near patches breaking away

Symptoms of Rash on Elbows

Depending on the underlying causes, disorder or condition, rash on the elbows is accompanied by many symptoms and signs. Some of these symptoms can be common, mild and serious. Here are the common symptoms associated with a rash on the elbows:

  • Bruising
  • Itchiness
  • Pus or discharge
  • Redness, warmth or swelling
  • Scale formation
  • Tenderness or pain

Other symptoms that usually accompanied elbow rash include the following:

  • A cough
  • Fever and chills
  • A headache
  • Joint stiffness and pain
  • A runny nose
  • A sore throat
  • Sweating

Under rare circumstances, elbow rash could be a symptom of a life-threatening condition. This may require immediate health attention from a specialist. Some of the common serious symptoms include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Purple rash
  • Sudden swelling of the face lips or tongue
  • Tightness or constriction in the throat
  • Respiratory or breathing problems

Rash on Elbow Pictures

According to medical research by a dermatologist from WebMD, most the causes of elbow rash is due to skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and impetigo. These skin conditions trigger the appearance of red itchy bumps on elbows that are inflamed and scaly.

What does the rash look like for meningitis? The article provides some of the pictures in order to help you understand how elbow rash looks like. What does a rash from gluten look like? For an understanding of the symptoms, get insight from the pictures or images in the entire article.

Elbow Rash Gluten

What does a gluten rash look like? These are kind of rashes that look like dermatitis herpetiformis sometimes known as blistering rashes. These rashes occur to people who react with gluten. Gluten is a type of protein that is found in rye, barley, wheat, and grains.

The medical research by Cleveland doctors shows that the immune system gets damaged due to the reaction and result in a disease known as celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy.

The disease is therefore marked by the following symptoms:

  • Digestive problems such as abdominal bloating and pain, vomiting and Pale, foul-smelling stool
  • Weight loss
  • Skin rashes on various parts of the body like rash on hands, knees, back, and elbows
  • Changes in mood and memory loss

Itchy Rash on Elbows

Itchy rash on elbows and knees could be a sign of underlying health condition or disorder which is considered to be more serious. It results in the constant urge to scratch the skin with formation of rashes that are itchy and have a burning effect.

According to the Cleveland clinic report, most patients with itchy rashes on the elbows or hands are diagnosed with eczema, contact dermatitis, psoriasis, scabies rash and among others. Identify the correct underlying cause and then seek medical help for this itchy bumpy rash on elbows.

Red Rash on Elbow

Some of the factors mentioned above can result in the appearance of red itchy bumps on elbows and knees.   In most cases, the red itchy bumps on inner elbows are due to scabies rash or mite burrowing the skin.

Also, the rashes may be due to breakouts of hives on the skin of the inner elbows. The hives begin with a cluster of spots that are usually red bumps. Some of the common causes of red bumps on elbows are atopic eczema, dermatitis, autoimmune disorders, and gluten intolerance among others.

Rash on Elbows Treatment

The treatment of elbow rash depends on what causes rashes on the body. It is advisable to avoid the urge of scratching the skin in order to avoid infection and healing faster of the wounds.

Also, you can go for over the counter medicines and creams or ointments that contain steroids hydrocortisone. This component helps to relieve itching, swelling, and redness.

You can also visit your healthcare provider to get antibiotics that can be used to treat infected skin. Also, antihistamines will be prescribed to help control itching or burning sensation.

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Effective Home Remedies for Elbow Rash

They include the following:

Virgin Olive Oil and Honey

Olive oil contains strong antioxidants properties and vitamin E while honey has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. The combination is effective in getting rid of elbow rashes.

How to use

  • Take 1 tbsp each of extra virgin olive oil and honey.
  • Combine both these ingredients together.
  • Mix them well.
  • Now gently rub this mixture on the rash for about 10 minutes.
  • Repeat this 4-5 times every day until the rash disappears completely.

Olive oil and Turmeric Powder

Turmeric powder has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial that help to get rid of the rash on the elbows and back of knees fast.

How to use

  • Take 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of turmeric powder.
  • Blend both of them together and mix thoroughly.
  • Then spread the mixture on the affected site.
  • Allow it to be undisturbed for around half-hour.
  • Now rinse the elbow/s with cool water.
  • Repeat it 3 times daily and you will soon experience relief from elbow rash.

Chamomile Tea

It has ingredients that contain both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that are highly effective in getting rid of elbow rash.

How to use

  • Take 1 cup of chamomile flowers and 1glass of water.
  • Put the chamomile flowers in this water.
  • Boil this water fully.
  • Now allow it to cool down a little.
  • Strain the solution.
  • Then spread this chamomile tea on the elbow/s.
  • Follow the process every day to get the result you want.

Cold Compress

This is a simple remedy that helps to ease the skin irritation that may result in elbow rash. It is also responsible for reducing the inflammation effect of the red bumps on the elbows.

How to use

  • Take 4 ice cubes and 1 towel.
  • Enclose the ice cubes in the towel.
  • Then put the towel on the affected elbow for around 5 minutes.
  • Repeat this at least 2 times every day until you notice total relief.

Aloe Vera Juice

It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help to get rid of elbow rash that is creating discomfort.

How to use

  • Take 1 cup of Aloe Vera leaves.
  • Process these leaves in your juicer to extract the juice.
  • Then put the juice on the impacted site.
  • Massage gently for roughly 5 minutes.
  • Leave the site undisturbed for around 40 minutes.
  • Wash the elbow/s using cold water.
  • Follow that regularly and you will be redeemed from the condition.


  1. Dermatitis Herpetiformis and Gluten Intolerance: https://www.healthline.com/health/dermatitis-herpetiformis
  2. Common Skin Rashes: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/common-rashes#1
  3. What is causing my rash? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317999.php
  4. Skin conditions: https://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Documents/skin_problems_a_visual_guide.html
  5. Small Red Bumps on My Elbows: https://www.livestrong.com/article/303871-small-red-bumps-on-my-elbows/