Skin rashes can be difficult to manage – especially when they cause inflammation, pain, and itchiness. Fortunately, most rashes are harmless and almost all forms can be treated with the help of an experienced dermatologist.
What Is a Skin Rash?
A skin rash is one of the most common conditions dermatologists diagnose and treat. While most rashes are harmless and will resolve relatively quickly, some forms are serious health concerns. Examples include psoriasis, an autoimmune disorder, and Lyme disease, known for its signature bull’s eye rash and accompanying symptoms, such as severe headaches and fatigue.
What Does a Skin Rash Look And Feel Like?
While skin rashes vary from person to person and in their causes, many skin rashes exhibit some or all of the following symptoms:
- Localized warmth and redness
- Bumps, scales, or blisters
- Pus and oozing if a rash becomes infected
What Could Be Causing My Skin Rash?
The skin rash your dermatologist sees most often is simple dermatitis. Eczema is a kind of dermatitis that stems from a faulty immune system. Contact dermatitis is allergy-related and develops when an adult or child touches an irritating substance such as poison ivy, wool, or laundry detergent.
One of the most irritating rashes — often called jock itch — is caused by fungus. This microbe also causes athlete’s foot, a red, itchy, and inflamed rash occurring between the toes and across the forefoot.
In short, fungus, substances in the environment, and numerous other factors can lead to skin rashes.
Do I Need to See a Dermatologist for My Skin Rash?
In general, most skin rashes clear by themselves. Benign rashes should resolve within a few days to one week. However, if your rash worsens, causes significant pain or embarrassment, or if you develop other symptoms, such as a high fever and weakness, you should see a dermatologist right away.
What Can I Do At Home for My Skin Rash?
To soothe and help resolve a rash, try the following skin rash treatments and solutions:
- Apply a cold compress or an ice bag to the affected area.
- Use over the counter anti-itch creams or ointments containing hydrocortisone.
- Apply a baking soda paste to mosquito or other insect bites to relieve itching and reduce pain.
- Take an oatmeal bath. (Aveeno is a popular commercial brand.)
- Apply calamine lotion to limit itching.
- Avoid substances (contact irritants) which you know your skin is sensitive to (wool, household cleaning supplies, and latex).
- Wear vinyl gloves when cleaning and gardening.
- Stay cool to limit sweating.
- Wear loose-fitting cotton clothing in the warm summer months.
- Apply aloe vera gel to soothe irritated skin.
- Change your child’s diapers frequently to keep skin dry.
- Use mild hand soap and body washes containing no fragrances or dyes.
- Wash your clothes in sensitive skin laundry detergent.
Scientific research shows that some skin rashes–notably acne and rosacea–increase with stress and anxiety. So, whenever possible, employ relaxation techniques and lifestyle changes to limit stress levels.
Seeing a Dermatology Specialist in the Miami Area
At the Children’s Skin Center in the Coral Gables and Miami area, we provide comprehensive dermatology care for both children and adults. Plus, our board-certified dermatologists, Dr. Ana Duarte and Dr. Andleeb Usmani, deliver many cosmetic dermatology services to help you look and feel your very best.
To learn more about skin rashes and treatments, please contact one of our eight convenient locations at (305) 669-6555. Or, use our online form to request an appointment.