A rash is defined as a red spot on a person’s skin, caused by an illness or a reaction to something.

When I lean my back against some hard surface, an area on my back turns red.

Can I call that area "a rash"?

For example, "I leant my back against the headboard and it left a rash on back".

Does a reaction here mean a chemical reaction or any natural reaction like leaning your back against something?

  • 1
    "I leant my back against the headboard and it left a mark on my back". Jul 8, 2022 at 11:58

1 Answer 1


No. A 'rash' is an area of irritated or swollen skin, usually an allergic reaction or a symptom of an infection or similar.

We would just call what you are describing "a mark". The sort of mark left by leaning against something would just be temporary, caused by the pressure.

From Cambridge:

a small area on the surface of something that is damaged, dirty, a different color, or in some other way not like the rest of the surface

Of course, there are more serious things that can be caused by pressure, such as pressure sores or bruises.

  • Yes a mark seems correct. Maybe you can add the definition of "mark" in an injury context?
    – DialFrost
    Jul 8, 2022 at 9:46

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