All About Rashes

Rashes are very common and almost everyone will encounter one at some point. Rashes vary in cause and severity. It helps to have a rough idea as to what a rash is, how to treat it and when to call a doctor.

What Is A Rash?

A rash is not an actual illness, but rather a symptom of any number of conditions. A rash, by definition, is simply an inflammation of discoloration that appears on the surface of the skin.

Rashes are either infectious or non-infectious.

Noninfectious Rashes

Here are a few types and causes of non-infectious rashes:

  • Heat rash- Small red blisters that occur on the skin in hot weather as the sweat ducts become clogged.
  • Drugs- many drugs may cause rashes as a side effect or allergic reaction.
  • Contact dermatitis  Any rash caused by skin coming into contact with a specific chemical which causes skin irritation, i.e. certain chemicals, or even plants such as poison ivy.
  • Eczema/atopic dermatitis- usually a childhood skin condition causing itchy, red, weeping rashes
  • Psoriasis- a chronic skin condition that leads skin to flake and scale off
  • Stasis dermatitis- A rash found on lower legs in of patients suffering from chronic leg swelling. This rash can be oozy.
  • Hives- itchy red bumps that appear suddenly and resolve within several hours, usually because of certain foods or drugs consumed.

Infectious Rashes

Infectious rashes are caused by various viruses bacteria, fungi or parasites.

Fungal Rashes

Fungi causing rashes spread easily in damper areas, shared by other people, such as shared bathrooms, swimming pools, locker rooms etc.

The most common fungal rashes are from yeasts and cause painful, red pustules on the skin, especially in folds of skin.

Luckily, most of these fungal infections are harmless and can be treated with an over-the-counter topical cream.

Rashes produced by bacterial infections

Rashes caused by certain strains of bacteria are usually plaque-like, pus-filled and quite painful.

Bacterial rashes may appear in isolation or be a part of a larger set of symptoms as part of a bacterial infection.

Examples of bacterial rashes are Scarlet fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Rickettsia and even certain strains of Syphilis.

Viral Rashes / Exanthems

Many viral infections may cause a rash as part of the larger set of symptoms. These rashes are known as exanthems. Exanthems can occur all over the body ( such as chicken pox) or be localized to one region and usually include itching, burning and burning sensations.

Common viral infections causing this type of rash include Measles, chicken pox, shingles.

Rash due to parasites

Many microscopic parasites live within our layers of skin and may sometimes cause irritation and allergic reactions such as a rash.

Bedbugs and mites, such as dust mites are common culprits and may cause skin eruptions in the regions where they may bite and pierce the skin.

Diagnosing and Treating Rashes

Healthcare professionals are able to diagnose a rash through any number of tests. A visual inspection of the rash as well as a list of other symptoms and lifestyle factor information provided by the patient can help them narrow down the possibilities of the cause of the rash.

After a visual examination, various laboratory tests including blood, swab samples of rash, can confirm the exact cause of the rash.

Treating rashes

Treatment of the rash will depend on the cause. Most rashes are harmless and can be treated with any number of topical creams. If the rash is severe or caused by an infection, antibiotics or other medications may be prescribed.

Because rashes are merely a symptom of many other ailments, treatment of the underlying cause of the rash will be addressed first, while the rash is provided with symptomatic relief treatment measures.

While most rashes resolve on their own, a doctor should examine those which do not and which appear along with various other symptoms.

How Doctors-on-Call can help

Nobody wants to leave the house with an embarrassing, uncomfortable and sometimes highly contagious rash. This is when it helps to have a professional come to you. Doctors-on-Call is highly equipped to diagnose and treat any number of rashes and their underlying ailments. They are also able to provide you with necessary medications and prescriptions as needed.

While a rash can be harmless, the underlying cause of the rash may not be. Sometimes it is better to be safe than sorry and have a doctor ( Doctor-on Call) have a look at it, for your price of mind.