What Is a Rash?

Rashes appear as red, itchy bumps, blisters, or patches on the skin caused by various factors. Simple rashes are called contact dermatitis, which means the skin is inflamed or swollen, occurring when an allergen or irritant comes into contact with the skin. Poison ivy, cosmetics, and certain metals are common culprits. Another type of rash is atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, a chronic condition that causes dry, itchy skin. A physician can usually identify the rash by looking at it and asking about accompanying symptoms.

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Who Gets Rashes?

Anyone can get a rash, regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity. Various factors, including allergies, infections, autoimmune disorders, insect bites, and environmental factors like heat or cold, can cause rashes. Some common rashes include eczema, psoriasis, hives, contact dermatitis, heat rash, impetigo, shingles, chicken pox, measles, scarlet fever, insect bites, and those caused by medical conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. It's essential to see a healthcare provider if you have a rash that is severe, spreading rapidly, or accompanied by other symptoms like fever or difficulty breathing.

Rash Symptoms

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Blisters
  • Dryness
  • Scaling
  • Crusting
  • Oozing
  • Bumps
  • Sensitivity to light
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Treatment Options for Rashes

Mild rashes can often be treated with simple home care practices such as avoiding soaps and bathing in warm water. Others may require moisturizing creams, prescription medications, or more extensive treatment.

Oral Medications

In some cases, your doctor may prescribe oral medication, such as antihistamines, antibiotics, or corticosteroids, to help treat the rash.

Cool Compresses

Applying cool, damp compresses to the affected area can help relieve itching and reduce inflammation.

Avoiding Irritants

If the rash is caused by contact with an irritant, avoiding that irritant can help prevent further outbreaks.


Keeping the skin moisturized can help prevent dryness and reduce itching. Using a fragrance-free lotion or cream can be helpful.

Topical Creams or Ointments

Hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion, or antihistamine creams applied directly to the affected area can help relieve itching and inflammation.

Worried About a Rash?

Our medical providers at Skin Care Doctors are highly trained to diagnose dermatological conditions like rashes. If you have a persistent rash that isn’t responding to at-home treatments, contact our office to schedule an appointment. You may need a prescription medication to give your skin relief. Because rashes have different causes, receiving a diagnosis by a dermatologist or healthcare provider can ensure you are treating it from the source.

Better skin health starts here. Schedule your appointment today.

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