A skin rash isn't a specific diagnosis in itself. It simply refers to skin inflammation and discoloration, such as a reddened appearance. There are many types and causes of skin rashes, such as hives, contact dermatitis, and diaper rash. Sometimes, a mild skin rash may be treatable with over-the-counter skin creams. However, if you have severe symptoms or your rash persists longer than a few days, it's time to see a dermatologist.
If your skin rash develops suddenly, you may have hives. Also known as urticaria, this skin condition results in the appearance of pink areas of swelling that are typically itchy, burning, or stinging. These welts may be small or large and they can appear anywhere on your skin. Often, the development of hives is caused by exposure to an allergen, such as a medication, food, or other substance to which a person is allergic. If hives are accompanied by the swelling of the throat or face that makes it difficult to breathe, the patient requires emergency care. In most cases; however, hives are mild and clear up by themselves or with treatments such as antihistamines.
Much like hives, contact dermatitis can develop from exposure to an allergen. This red, itchy rash isn't dangerous, although it can be unpleasant. Contact dermatitis can result in red bumps, severe itching, and dry, cracked skin. In severe cases, crusting blisters can form. A dermatologist can prescribe medications to control this skin reaction and help patients figure out which substance is triggering it.
As the name suggests, diaper rash can develop on an infant's bottom. It may also develop on the skin of adults with incontinence. It looks like inflamed, reddened skin on the buttocks, thighs, and other nearby areas. To care for a baby with diaper rash, parents should keep the area clean and dry. If the rash persists, a dermatologist may recommend applying a mild hydrocortisone cream.
If you've developed an unusual rash, a medical dermatologist at Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery can provide an accurate diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan. Our clinics also offer cosmetic dermatology products and services. Get relief from your skin rash by calling (866) 400-3376 to arrange a visit with a dermatologist.