"Rash" is a general term for a wide variety of skin conditions. A rash refers to a change that affects the skin and usually appears as a red patch or small bumps or blisters on the skin. The majority of rashes are harmless and can be treated effectively with over-the-counter anti-itch creams, antihistamines, and moisturizing lotions.
Rashes can be a symptom of other skin problems. The most prevalent of these are:
- Atopic Dermatitis, the most common form of eczema.
- Bacterial Infections, such as impetigo.
- Contact Dermatitis, a type of eczema caused by coming into contact with an allergen.
- Chronic skin problems, such as acne, psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis.
- Fungal Infections, such as ringworm and yeast infection.
- Viral Infections, such as shingles.
While most rashes are not life-threating, some can signal something more serious going on with the patient’s health. If you notice any of the following symptoms, schedule an appointment as soon as possible:
- You have a fever with the rash: If this is the case, go to the emergency room as this may signal an allergic reaction or even an infection such as shingles, scarlet fever, measles or mono.
- The rash is all over the body: A rash that covers the body can be an infection or allergic reaction too.
- The rash occurs suddenly and spreads fast: This can be a result of some type of allergy. If breathing becomes difficult, then seek emergency care.
- The rash is painful: This should be evaluated by a dermatologist immediately.
- If the rash is infection: If the rash is swelling, crusting, painful, warm and has a yellow or green fluid, it’s important to seek care immediately.
- If the rash is beginning to blister: Seek care immediately. Seek emergency care if this occurs around the mouth or eyes.
A rash may be a sign of a more serious illness, such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, liver disease, kidney disease or some types of cancers. If you experience a rash that does not go away on its own after a few weeks, make an appointment to see one of our dermatologists to have it properly diagnosed and treated..
Rather than trying to treat yourself, it’s important to schedule an appointment with one of our dermatology team members. Schedule an appointment by calling (941) 625-2878 today.