What you need to know about rashes

Rashes are a common occurrence for both young and old and chances are you will experience a rash at some point in your life. LiveMD has all of the information that you need to know about rashes and how to treat them.

What is a Rash?
A rash is an irritation that occurs on the skin after exposure to an irritating substance or as a result of an allergic reaction. The skin usually becomes inflamed and red and there may be raised patches or bumps. The skin may be irritated or itchy. A rash may appear on only one small area of the body or it may cover a very large area.

What Causes a Rash?
A rash could be caused by many different factors. It could appear after exposure to a chemical or detergent such as a cleaning product, perfume or cosmetic product. Rashes can also be caused an allergen, like coming into contact with certain poisonous plants, having a reaction to specific foods or from contact with an animal or being bitten by an insect.

Different people will have different reactions to different substances and what causes a rash on one person may not have any effect at all on someone else.

How Can I Treat a Rash?
Most rashes can be easily treated at home. One of the most important things to remember is if the rash is itchy, don’t scratch it! Scratching can create more irritation and could spread the rash and make it worse. Applying an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream will provide itch relief and will decrease any redness. An oatmeal bath or a topical calamine lotion can also help to ease any irritation.

The area should be washed with cool or warm water and with a very mild, unscented soap and it should be left open and uncovered.

If the affected skin is dry or flakey you can use a mild, unscented moisturizer to help hydrate the area.

It is also important to try to determine what has caused the rash and stay away from any triggers if possible.

When Should I See a Doctor?
Although most rashes are not serious, it is important to see your doctor immediately  if any of the following symptoms are present:

  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tightness or swelling of the throat
  • A rash that is extremely painful
  • Excessive vomiting or diarrhea

If you suspect that you have a rash and would like to speak with one of our dermatologists via voice, text, or video, click here to book a consultation. You can also search and talk to our dermatologists and other doctors at www.mylivemd.com.

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January 4th, 2016 by