Rash On Inside Of Elbow

A rash is a symptom that causes the area of the affected skin to become red, blotchy and swollen. A rash on inside of elbow usually has many causes and it indicates that something may be occurring around the elbow or indicates a body-wide condition.


Rashes may cause spots that are scaly, bumpy, flaky or filled with pus. A rash on inside of elbow can mean a number of things. Having a rash on the skin is usually a sign of an underlying medical condition. It may range from mild to complicated health problems that may need immediate medical attention. A rash can be itchy and can indicate the existence of gluten intolerance in some individuals. To other individuals, it may reveal underlying conditions such as celiac disease.

Rash on the inside of your elbows is associated with related skin conditions such as atopic eczema, allergies, contact dermatitis or psoriasis. Finding out the underlying cause can aid in the treatment of the rash.

Rash on elbow symptoms:

Signs and symptoms of rash on elbows usually depend on the underlying cause. Here are the probable symptoms of a rash on the elbow:

  • Pus or discharge
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Scale formation
  • Bumpy rash or spots
  • Red patches on the skin with dry, cracked skin that's likely to bleed
  • Itchiness, burning or stinging feeling

Symptoms that may accompany the rash include:

  • A headache
  • Cough, chills and fever
  • Sweating
  • A sore throat
  • Joint stiffness and pain

Causes of rash on elbows:

Rash inside one or both elbows can be caused by many skin conditions including contact dermatitis and eczema. Here are the possible underlying causes:


If you have a rash that does not heal fast, your healthcare provider may suspect that it's eczema or contact dermatitis. If the symptoms are observed in the elbow, it is more likely to be eczema and not psoriasis. Eczema is usually seen in children and infants. However, it can also affect people of any age.

Eczema usually first appears as flaky, dry, and raised patches of skin. Scratching the patches of the affected skin area may cause them to become raw and inflamed. Oozing blisters may also form here.

The cause of eczema is not known. Nevertheless, it usually runs in families and is associated with asthma and allergies.

Diagnosis and treatment:

Most dermatologists and doctors usually diagnose eczema by physically examining the skin. It’s vital to keep your skin moisturised if you have the condition.

Antihistamines can help in relieving itching. Your healthcare provider will prescribe a steroid cream or any other cream that contains coal tar or anthralin. There are new medications such as tacrolimus and pimecrolimus that promise treatment without using steroids.

Some home remedies include virgin coconut oil, Aloe Vera, colloidal oatmeal, essential oils and turmeric.

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis may cause a rash on the inner elbows. This may be as a result of contact with substances that cause an allergic reaction or an irritation to the skin. The area affected turns red, swollen, dry, blistering and cracked. Some of the common allergens include:

  • Soaps
  • Essential oils
  • Poison ivy
  • Detergents, cosmetic or dyes
  • Metallic substances such as copper
  • Chemicals found in rubber or latex
  • The rash on the inside of the elbow may sting, burn itch or irritate.

Treatment of contact dermatitis:

Contact dermatitis can only be managed by treating the symptoms. You can get over the counter drugs to control burning, irritation or itchiness.


A rash on the inner part of the elbow may be one of the symptoms of psoriasis. Psoriasis is a common skin condition that tends to affect the life cycle of skin cells. This results in the cells building up fast on the affected skin area making it form extra thick skin appearing as silvery scales. Other symptoms include dry, red patches and itchiness which can be very painful.

Inside the elbow, the rash can be caused by obesity, smoking, stress or infections. The treatment of psoriasis involves prevention of the skin cells from growing fast, thus lessening inflammation. Topical corticosteroids are inflammatory drugs that can be used to treat mild psoriasis. Severe psoriasis can be managed by using a combination of creams and oral medications.


This condition is usually caused by tiny mites that burrow the skin and live and lay their eggs in it. The rash inside the elbow is an allergic reaction to the mites and their faeces. Scabies symptoms include a very itchy rash that looks like tiny, fluid-filled blisters or pimples. Female mites may make tunnels inside the skin leaving behind thin paths of greyish lines.

Infestation of scabies can be highly contagious. It usually spreads when there is prolonged skin to skin contact, including sexual contact. Scabies does not spread through casual contact at school or work. However, outbreaks usually happen in childcare centres and nursing care facilities.


Doctors can diagnose scabies by visual examination. A small needle may be used to scrape the skin or dislodge the mite and look for faecal matter or eggs. Scabicide creams can be used to treat scabies since they kill the mites.

All the people that live with you, including sexual partners, should be treated for scabies too. You should carry out sanitation of your clothes and bedding since mite infestations are very contagious. Ensure that you vacuum rugs, mattresses, carpets and upholstered furnishings. Wash all towels and clothing in hot water. Seal items that cannot be washed such as pillows and stuffed toys in plastic bags for at least a week.

Dermatitis herpetiformis and gluten intolerance

Dermatitis herpetiformis is an itchy, blistering, burning skin rash that can be quite difficult to live with. The rash inside the elbow is an indication of gluten intolerance which may be caused by a severe underlying condition known as celiac disease.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that is characterised by intolerance to gluten. Gluten can be found in barley, rye and wheat. A skin biopsy usually diagnoses dermatitis herpetiformis. It can be treated using antibiotics known as dapsone. Individuals with this condition are advised to maintain a strict gluten-free diet.