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Should I Be Concerned About This Rash?

woman with rash

Rashes are common skin conditions that may go away on their own, or they can sometimes linger and indicate an underlying issue that needs treatment.

What is a rash?

A rash is an abnormal change in skin color or texture. Rashes often are itchy, red, or irritated, and they’re often caused by inflammation. The inflammation that triggers a rash can have many different causes, so rashes can be symptoms of a variety of medical problems.

What are the most common types of rashes?

There are many different types of rashes, including the following:

  • Eczema – Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema is a common ongoing skin condition that often appears as patches on your skin. It can be red and itchy and often appears on the hands, feet, ankles, neck, upper body, and limbs. Eczema can sometimes flare up and get worse, with symptoms getting better at other times.
  • Shingles – These reddish patches of skin are caused by a virus that’s related to chickenpox. It’s characterized by small, itchy, painful bumps that blister.
  • Hives – Also called uticaria, hives are raised areas of inflammation without a distinct border, and they look white when you press them. They’re caused by infection or an allergic reaction.
  • Impetigo – This rash is a skin infection caused by bacteria. It consists of tiny blisters and a honey-colored crust.
  • Scabies – This contagious condition is caused by a tiny mite underneath the skin. It has lines that look like hives or bites and is very itchy.
  • Pityriasis rosea – This fine, itchy, scaly rash often appears as a single patch and then can spread.
  • Contact dermatitis – An allergic reaction causes this rash, which is often either dry, scaly, and non-itchy or very itchy with bumps.

When should you seek treatment for your rash?

Minor rashes can sometimes be treated with antihistamines or hydrocortisone cream. But if it doesn’t quickly go away or if you have concerns, a dermatologist can determine the cause of a rash and determine the best form of treatment.

If you have the following symptoms with your rash, you should see a dermatologist or, in some cases, an emergency room doctor:

  • Covers your body – This can indicate an allergic reaction or infection.
  • Is accompanied by a fever – This can also indicate an allergic reaction or infection.
  • Occurs suddenly and spreads quickly – This could be caused by an allergic reaction, and if you have trouble breathing, you’ll need to get emergency medical help.
  • Has blisters or open sores – This requires attention if it’s around your eyes, in multiple areas in your mouth, or affects your genitals.
  • Signs of infection – These include swelling, crusting, a red streak coming from the rash, warmth in the area, or yellow or green fluid.
  • Skin discolorations or changes in texture – Yellowing of the skin could indicate liver disease, and harder, darker skin could indicate diabetes.
  • Circular shape and may look like a bullseye – This could be a sign of Lyme disease.

If you have a rash that you’re concerned about, make an appointment today with Keys Dermatology in Key West and Islamorada FL. Our practice is warm and welcoming and is committed to delivering the highest quality of services with personalized attention and care.

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