A skin rash can be a symptom of numerous medical conditions. It typically appears as an area of irritated or reddened skin.
The area may also be swollen and painful, and rashes are frequently itchy. Some skin rashes develop into blisters, or you might notice patches of raw skin.
There are multiple potential causes of skin rashes. Some common ones include:
Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to a specific substance. With a skin allergy, that substance could be something like latex — a type of rubber found in protective gloves and other products. Or, you could get a skin rash from an allergy to something you eat, a plant (like poison ivy), or medication.
Contact dermatitis might be due to an allergy, such as latex. Or it could be a reaction to an irritant like a chemical. Contact dermatitis is a type of eczema, so your skin might flake, weep, and develop scaly, crusty patches. Prolonged contact can cause the skin to blister and split.
A systemic illness is one that affects your internal systems. Many of these conditions cause rashes in addition to fever and other symptoms. Examples include measles, chicken pox, and meningitis.
Because there are so many potential causes of a skin rash, it’s important to find out what’s causing yours so you can get the right treatment.
Diagnosing your skin rash could involve several processes. Dr. Adams begins with a physical examination of the rash, and a check of your vital signs to determine the cause. He might also run tests, including a blood workup.
If your skin rash isn’t due to a systemic disease, you might need to undergo allergy testing. That involves having potential allergens on your skin in tiny amounts to see if you react.
Treating your skin rash successfully depends on the cause. For systemic illnesses, treating the disease should make the rash clear up. Other treatments might include:
Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory steroid that reduces swelling. Antihistamines are drugs that can help with allergies by reducing itchiness. It’s also important to try and avoid any substance that gives you a skin rash.
If you have a skin rash and it doesn’t go away within a day or two or keeps coming back, contact Twelve Bridges Dermatology for advice. You can call their office or use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.