Sometimes, your skin gets red and itchy, irritating you and making it hard for you not to scratch it. However, scratching makes it worse and leads to scarring. This itchy and red part of your skin is a rash. You can wait for it to pass and suffer from irritation, or you can consult with a dermatologist for appropriate treatment options.
What Is a Rash?
A rash is a skin reaction to various irritants or substances. It can be due to an allergic reaction or contact with certain animals, insects, or plants. Medications or infections can also cause rashes. Rashes can be viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic, depending on what caused it. The skin may appear bumpy, flat, red, scaly, or darker than its natural color.
Most rashes are harmless and clear up on their own. Nonetheless, if you or your child gets frequent rashes, consult with your dermatologist for examination and treatment.
Skin Rash Treatment
Your dermatologist may recommend the following remedies for your skin rash:
Zinc Oxide Ointment or Cream
This ointment or cream works by providing a protective barrier to the skin. It soothes and heals the irritated skin and is commonly used to prevent or treat diaper rash in babies.
Topical Corticosteroid Creams, Gels, Lotions, or Ointments
Depending on the corticosteroid’s potency, it can either be bought over-the-counter or with a doctor’s prescription. Corticosteroids do not cure the conditions that cause skin rashes, but they do relieve itchiness. You should note that corticosteroids should not be used on children ages 2 and below unless with the advice of a healthcare professional. These should also not be applied to the rectal or vaginal area unless otherwise stated by a doctor. Mild corticosteroids are safe for pregnant women, however, the potent versions are not.
Antihistamines work by preventing the body from releasing histamine, a chemical that causes the blood vessels to expand and the body to react, causing skin rashes, runny nose, and sneezing. Antihistamines can be taken to prevent or reduce the effects of an irritant. Always consult with a doctor before letting your child take any medication.
Anti-Itch Lotions or Creams
You can also use anti-itch lotions or creams to treat rashes, ideally ones that contain at least 1% hydrocortisone. Anti-itch lotions or creams temporarily relieve itchiness. You may also use calamine lotion, which is good for rashes caused by poison ivy or oak.
Dermatologists may also recommend oatmeal baths. Add a cup of colloidal oatmeal to water, and take a short dip. Oatmeal baths are great for relieving skin rashes – especially ones caused by poison ivy or oak.
Most rashes are harmless. However, some are associated with life-threatening diseases. If your rash comes with a fever, headache, nausea, and muscle aches, you should seek immediate medical attention as the rash may be a symptom of a severe health problem. Some of these problems are meningococcemia, Lyme disease, and toxic shock syndrome.
Skin Rash Treatment in Miami, Florida
Skin rashes, although mostly harmless, still affect your daily activities. Don’t let this treatable issue take over your life, and consult with a dermatologist. Visit us at the Children’s Skin Center in Miami, Florida, to find out the best treatment option for you.
Dr. Ana Duarte and Dr. Andleeb Usmani are board-certified dermatologists skilled in the treatment of various skin conditions, including rashes.
To make an appointment, please call (305) 669-6555, or you may request an appointment online.