What is a rash?Rash is a general term, used to describe many different types of skin conditions. In most cases, a rash is defined by changes in the skin, and it may be red, bumpy, or blistered. Depending on the circumstances, rashes can range from very small to covering a large portion of the body. Most people develop rashes at least occasionally throughout their lifetimes.
What causes rashes?Typically, a rash is a symptom of another skin condition, or a health problem that affects the skin. Some of the most common causes include:
- An allergic reaction to a medication.
- Impetigo or other bacterial infection.
- Ringworm or other fungal infection.
- Chicken pox or other viral infection.
- A reaction to touching an allergen such as poison ivy.
Symptoms of rashesThe symptoms of rashes can vary widely. The most common include:
- Discolored skin, especially redness
- Welts or other raised areas
- Dry, scaly areas
- Rashes frequently itch
- If symptoms such as fever or difficult breathing accompany a rash, it may be a sign of a more serious medical problem requiring prompt attention.
How to prevent rashesBecause a rash is usually triggered by another problem, the best way to prevent it is to keep your skin healthy and avoid allergens. Follow these tips to help prevent skin irritation:
- Keep your skin hydrated by using moisturizer immediately after bathing or hand washing.
- Avoid contact with anyone who has a skin infection.
- When shaving, only use clean razors.
- Only use non-irritating cleansers, soaps, fragrances, and cosmetics.
- Ask your dermatologist what skin care products are best suited to your skin type.
Treatment for rashes at Dr. W DermatologyMost of the time a rash can be treated with an over-the-counter moisturizer, anti-itch cream, or antihistamine formula. However, if the underlying cause of the rash is still present, the skin will continue to be irritated. If you have a resistant or recurring rash, call us and schedule an appointment to see your dermatologist.
The treatment will depend on the cause. We may provide medication, dermatological procedures, or help you identify and avoid allergic triggers. Just call Dr. W Dermatology at (281) 771-0494 and schedule an appointment to visit our Katy or Houston office.