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Seeing a Doctor Can Help with a Skin Rash

Many things can make the human skin break out in scales, blotches, blisters, or spots. Skin rashes come in various forms and shapes, and they can affect both kids and adults. They occur in different places, including the face, legs, torso, or arms. The location, color, and appearance of the rash determine the correct diagnosis and treatment. While some skin rashes disappear quickly on their own, others can persist for a couple of days, and that can be a symptom of an underlying condition, bacterial infection, allergic reaction, or a side effect of a particular medication. It is best to seek medical attention if home care does not work, fever, open sores, and blisters accompany the skin rash, or if it spreads rapidly throughout the body.

Common Causes of Rashes

People usually develop skin rashes for various reasons. Knowing the cause helps facilitate proper management and treatment. Here are the common causes of skin rashes:

  • Insect Bites - An insect bite can cause inflammation, redness, blisters, irritation, itching, swelling, and pain, depending on the person’s sensitivity and the type of insect. A skin rash from an insect bite is a result of an allergic reaction to the venom. It is best to seek medical attention because certain insects carry lethal poison.
  • Reaction to Weeds and Plants - Plants protect themselves from humans and animals by discharging harmful substances to the skin, digestive system, or immune system. Some of the common plants that cause skin rashes are poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.
  • Medications - Some medicines can cause skin rashes in certain people. It can be a side effect of the medication or an allergic reaction. Additionally, some people can experience photosensitivity. A drug rash can manifest itself in the form of thickened and scaly skin areas, bump eruptions, or red or purple skin discoloration, occurring on the skin or even in the mouth.
  • Infections - Many infections, whether viral, fungal, or bacterial, such as candidiasis, chickenpox, dengue fever, measles, and roseola, can cause skin rashes. Such rashes are typically accompanied by body aches, fatigue, and fever. These rashes differ based on the infection type.

Common Rashes to Look Out For

There are many common rashes that people can suffer from. Look out for the following skin rashes: 

  • Contact Dermatitis - This type of rash occurs from contact with a specific substance. The substance can cause an allergic reaction or irritate the skin. Irritant contact dermatitis is caused by several substances like industrial chemicals and cleaning products and often generates a dry, non-itchy, scaly rash. Allergic contact dermatitis causes an intensely itchy red rash, accompanied by bumps and even blisters. The common causes of this type of contact dermatitis are nickel, poison ivy, and latex rubber.
  • Drug Rash - It can be caused by various medications, including water pills and antibiotics. Drug rash usually occurs in the first week of taking the drug and manifests itself as red spots before spreading and merging to cover large body areas. Although it is rare, a drug rash can be part of a more severe, possibly life-threatening allergic reaction. These serious allergic reactions need emergency care.
  • Heat Rash - This rash results from obstruction of sweat flow, typically due to overdressing or hot, humid weather, and usually resolves itself once the skin cools. Heat rash can be prevented by avoiding too much humidity and putting on loose, lightweight clothes.
  • Rosacea - It is a long-term skin condition that affects adults, causing redness in the face, and can generate a pus-filled or small red bump. Possible triggers vary from person-to-person and may include skin products, foods, alcohol consumption, sun exposure, emotional stress, and extreme temperatures. Although it has no cure, the signs and symptoms can be reduced or controlled with treatment.

Home Care for Skin Rashes

Gentle skincare at home is enough to control and treat the majority of simple skin rashes. The following general guidelines should help.

  • Avoid skin scrubbing
  • Avoid any recently added lotions or cosmetics
  • Do not apply ointments or cosmetic lotions directly to the affected area
  • Clean the rash with warm water
  • Pat drying
  • Expose the affected skin to air

The human skin is a complex organ, so getting a skin rash should come as a surprise. Luckily, most skin rashes are not life-threatening and clear up on their own or with the help of topical treatment or a little lotion. However, if it persists, medical attention may be necessary.

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This health content shouldn’t be considered as medical advice. Do not disregard or delay in seeking advice from a certified doctor or other qualified medical provider. Always speak with a physician before beginning, terminating, or altering a prescribed care or treatment plan. We provide this health content as a resource, but it should never supersede professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. During a medical emergency, call a doctor or emergency services immediately.