Most rashes are minor issues that may not require immediate attention, but which should be looked at if they persist. However, some rashes may be especially unpleasant or signs of more serious problems. Urgent care or even emergency treatment may be required in certain cases. The page below will help you understand how to deal with this extremely common skin phenomenon.
Is just any unusual change in the color of my skin or its texture a rash?
Yes. Pretty much any change in the color or texture of your skin can be called a rash. Rashes come in numerous shapes and sizes. Some are itchy or painful. Some involve nasty blisters. Others you might barely notice. Not all rashes need to be treated, but even some seemingly harmless rashes can be signs of more serious problems.
I have a rash, should I be worried? Should I see a doctor?
The answer is probably not, and yes in many cases. You definitely should not be too worried, as rashes can mean very many things, most of them not serious. In certain types of cases, however, you should seek treatment immediately.
What kind of symptoms requires immediate attention?
If the rash is painful, accompanied by a fever, spreading rapidly, or appears to be infected, is oozing fluid, swelling, crusting, painful, warm, or especially if there’s a red streak, seek medical quickly. In particular, if breathing becomes difficult and there is tightness of the throat call 911. In these cases, anaphylaxis – a rare, life threatening type of allergy – may be an issue.
My rash isn’t really bothering me, but it’s been around for a while, should I see a doctor?
Yes. While rashes are usually nothing to be worried about, they can be signs of numerous medical issues. Most people know that odd growths on skin can be a sign of various types of skin cancer, but rashes can also be related to such problems as infections, potentially dangerous allergies to medicines, and even diabetes or hepatitis C. In many cases, the doctor may refer you to a dermatologist or simply prescribe an ointment if the condition appears to be minor.
How worried should I be about skin cancer?
As long as you’re seeing a doctor, not very much. Skin cancers should obviously never be ignored, but they are relatively slow moving, highly treatable, and very rarely life threatening. If cancers are neglected for too long, however, disfigurement is a real possibility. So, don’t worry, but do see a doctor.
What are the most common causes of rashes?
The usual culprit is skin inflammation which can be related to hay fever and other allergies, as well as ordinary stress – another good reason not to worry too much about your rashes. In some cases, doctors may not even know exactly what is causing the rash.
What are common treatments for persistent rashes?
Skin creams and moisturizers, antihistamines such as Benadryl, steroids, antibiotics, and even light therapy are frequently used to deal with persistent rashes.
Concerned about your rash? Get in touch with us now.
Dr.Michael Farzam and House Call Doctor Los Angeles provides outstanding care on a 24/7 basis throughout the Greater Los Angeles Area. We come to you wherever you are – at your home, office, hotel or just about anywhere else you’re likely to be. For urgent care or to make an appointment, call us at the phone number above. You can also reach out on the Internet through our contact page