A rash means our skin’s color or texture has changed. Sometimes we can treat inflammation at home just fine. Other times, we need to make a “rash” decision to seek medical help. But how do we know when to do this?
What’s A Rash?
Rashes are any change to the standard color and feel of your skin. Sometimes they itch; other times, they are painful. And sometimes they don’t feel like much at all.
What Causes Rashes?
Some medical conditions cause rashes. Other times, rashes are caused by an allergy or an irritating substance.
How Long Does A Rash Last?
Some rashes clear up in a matter of days. Others are chronic and need long-term treatment.
10 Common Skin Rashes
- Herpes simplex
- Athlete’s foot
How Many Rashes Are There?
There are hundreds of different types of rashes, so keeping track of their names is daunting. But one thing that’s easy to remember is that they usually fall into one of three categories:
- Immune system — these result from the body producing antibodies.
- Infectious — bacterial, viral, or fungal infections.
- Inflammatory — either short-term or long-term.
Relief For Skin Rashes
If you need immediate relief from the itch and pain of a rash, apply something cold. This could be a wet rag or an ice pack. It could even be a cold shower. The cold limits blood flow to the area of inflammation.
Could It Be Skin Cancer?
It’s essential to have a dermatologist evaluate any spots or rashes that are red and scaly. This is especially true if they’re on the part of your body that gets frequent sun exposure.
Covid-19 Skin Rash
Some people with Covid-19 might develop a rash. The exact incidence of Covid rash is unknown. But it’s estimated at only about one percent, so it’s rare.
Before You Self-Treat A Rash
It’s important to know what type of rash you have before you attempt to treat it. That’s because rashes can be caused by many different things. Treatments vary depending on the kind of rash you have.
Treatment For Skin Rash
Skin rash treatments include everything from antihistamines to relieve itching to cortisone creams to relieve swelling.
When To Get Medical Help
It’s time to go to the dermatologist if you have a rash that hasn’t cleared up with home care after about a week or two. Also, look for fever, blisters, open sores, pain, or a quickly spreading rash. These are all signs that you need medical care.
What Your Dermatologist Will Ask You
Your dermatologist will ask a series of questions to narrow in on the origin of your rash. Some common questions include:
- Did you switch to a new cosmetic or personal hygiene product recently?
- When was the last time you were in the woods?
- Have your medications changed?
- Do you have asthma or allergies?
- When was the last time you traveled?
Why See A Dermatologist Instead Of A General Doctor?
The advantage to letting a dermatologist look at your rash is that they are skin doctors. They have spent years training to diagnose your rash. They are specialists who will efficiently zero in on the cause of your inflammation and work with you on a treatment plan.
Not sure what type of rash you have? Ready to begin your journey to better health? Book an appointment with one of our dermatologists today.