What is a Rash?

A rash is an area of the skin that becomes irritated and swollen, often resulting in itching and redness. Rashes can often be a symptom of another medical condition or the result of an irritating substance or allergies. Rashes are common in many individuals and can be temporary or long-lasting. While many rashes are a result of contact with an allergen, others can be a sign of an infection and should be treated right away. Springfield Urgent Care can help determine the type of rash you’re experiencing and how to manage it.

Common Skin Rashes

Treatment for your rash will depend on the cause and type of rash you are experiencing. Some common rashes and their symptoms include:

Eczema

Eczema is not a condition itself, but can be a reaction to a number of skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis. The exact cause of eczema is unknown but could be caused by a number of factors including genetics, defects in the skin barrier, environment, and an abnormal immune system function. Eczema commonly appears on the inner elbows, backs of the knees, cheeks, neck, wrists, and ankles. It can be treated with oral medication, steroid cream, or light therapy.

Psoriasis

This type of rash results in bumpy scaling that will flake and fall off. The scaling typically occurs on the scalp, knees, and elbows. Psoriasis might be caused by genetics or an issue with the immune system. Those with psoriasis have skin cells that grow at an abnormally fast rate, resulting in a buildup and scaling.

Contact Dermatitis

Contact with an irritating chemical or substance such as the resin from a poisonous plant such as poison ivy, oak, and sumac can result in an itchy, sometimes blistering rash. The rash often looks like a straight line from the plant brushing the skin but can be more spread out if contact came from exposed clothing. The rash will usually develop within 12 to 48 hours after contact and can take several weeks to go away.

Heat Rash

A heat rash is common in infants but can occur at any age. The rash often appears like a cluster of acne or tiny blisters and is caused by occlusion of the sweat ducts during hot, humid weather. The rash typically occurs on the neck and upper chest, groin, under the breasts, and in the elbow creases.

Hives

Hives appear on the skin as red, itchy, raised welts that appear suddenly and usually resolve in about eight hours. Hives can be a result of allergens and should be treated by removing the trigger. They might also be managed with an antihistamine or medication.

Fungal Infection Rash

A rash caused by a fungal infection or yeast tend to appear in the folds of the skin and can be bright red and blister around the edges. These rashes are often acquired from gyms, pools, showers, and locker rooms.

Bacterial Infection Rash

Common bacterial rashes include folliculitis and impetigo. These can be caused by staph or strep germs and often appear as eruptions of painful bumps that ooze. A rash that covers a large area of the body might be caused by scarlet fever, rocky mountain spotted fever, or other bacteria.

Treatment for a Rash

Most rashes are not harmful and might get better with home remedies. An over-the-counter anti-itch cream or oral antihistamine might be used to manage itching. Moisturizing lotions can help with a rash related to dry, scaling skin. For rashes caused by a fungal infection, you might try a topical antifungal medication. If your rash covers a large portion of the body, is severe, or persistent, you might benefit from a consultation at your urgent care.

If you have a rash that won’t go away, contact Springfield Urgent Care for an appointment to have your rash examined and to discuss symptom management.

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