Rashes Treatment Questions and Answers
What is a Rash?
Virtually everyone has – at some point in our lives – had the experience of developing an irritating, swollen, itchy, red rash. One type of rash that none of us are likely able to recall, known as a diaper rash, is when a baby’s skin becomes inflamed from prolonged contact with a wet diaper. As we grow older, our skin is still vulnerable to developing a rash from detergents, fabrics, bleach and fabric softeners, just as it was when we were babies. Some rashes can lead to blisters, or raw and painful patches. Genetics also plays a role in what makes some people more likely to get rashes. A rash can develop immediately, or it can manifest over the course of several days, and although a rash will typically clear up fairly quickly, some are long-lasting and require long-term treatment.
How Do You Get Rashes?
The most common type of skin rash is called contact dermatitis, which reveals redness and itching, and occasionally small bumps. Most people get the rash from something they touched, that either was an irritant, or had an irritant on it, like a chemical, a plant that caused an allergic reaction, like poison ivy, or petting a cat or a dog. A wide variety of factors, including underlying medical conditions, can lead to a reaction that causes a rash, including:
- Medications (allergic reaction to medication is considered urgent)
- Immune system disorders
- Insect bites
- Fifth disease
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
Children are particularly vulnerable to developing a rash from illnesses, such as:
- Scarlet fever
- Hand, foot and mouth disease
- Fifth disease
- Kawasaki disease
How Can I know if my rash is serious?
It’s important to understand what type of rash you have before you start any kind of treatment for it because rashes can be caused by many different things. If the rash doesn’t seem to go away, if it continues to spread, or becomes painful, or accompanied by fever, you will require a visit to a healthcare provider. Severe reactions to medications that result in a body-wide rash are considered an emergency situation and medical assistance should be sought immediately.
How do I Identify my Rash?
Skin rashes will appear as abnormal changes in skin texture, color and appearance due to inflammation. They can occur in a small, localized area, or they can appear throughout the entire body. Symptoms of a skin rash depend on the condition and have identifiable characteristics. For example, symptoms of eczema will often display on the hands, elbows, or on the inside of the knees as itchy, red, flaking or leathery feeling skin, or small blisters. Some causes of a rash are known, and some are unknown. Pityriasis rosea, for example, has no known cause, but it is thought to be caused by a virus since the rash resembles some viral illnesses. The cause of shingles is known, which is the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus responsible for chickenpox. It is important to learn what things trigger an allergic reaction that can result in an uncomfortable and irritating rash. Self-diagnosis of a rash can be, at best, very challenging, especially if the reaction is painful, spreading, or from an unknown source. Getting a medical diagnosis if the rash lasts for more than a few days is advisable, as tests can be performed to determine the type of rash, as well as the cause.
Tests that might likely be performed are a skin biopsy, skin scraping, as well as blood tests.
Our friendly, and highly trained team of medical professionals at Family First Medical Group, are proud to offer a wide variety of medical services, including preventative and diagnostic care, pediatric care, women’s services, and so much more. We also help treat a variety of rashes. Call either of our locations, or visit our website to arrange an appointment. We serve patients from Evergreen Park IL, Mokena IL, Oak Lawn IL, Hickory Hills IL, Chicago Ridge IL, Bridgeview IL, Bedford Park IL as well as many other areas in the Chicagoland Region.