Rashes 101

Rashes are uncomfortable and frustrating, especially when you don’t know what type of skin rash you have. Having the correct information will go a long way not only in prevention but also in finding the correct treatment. Below we answer some of the common questions regarding rashes.

1. What Are Rashes?

A skin rash is an irritation or itchiness of the mucous membrane and the skin. Acute rashes appear suddenly with severe symptoms and last for a short time. Most causes of acute rashes include hepatitis, allergies, food, and medications.

2. What Type of Rash Do You Have?

There are different types of rashes and all have different causes. Some of the common skin rashes include:

  • Eczema

Eczema causes the skin to appear scaly, dry and thick, and it affects the outer layer of the skin. The primary cause is stress and irritants, but it could also appear as an allergic reaction. Family history and environment are risk factors. There are two types of eczema: contact and atopic dermatitis.

Contact dermatitis is characterized by flat or raised, small and itchy growths. It occurs when you come in contact with an irritant that can damage your skin such as metals, dyes, chemicals, soaps, and detergents.

Atopic dermatitis, on the other hand, occurs due to an allergic reaction or when exposed to heat or rough clothing. The rashes or growths appear along skin lines and can ooze fluids and become hard. At-home remedies can work to reduce the symptoms. A little self-care can go a long way in preventing future episodes.

  • Urticaria

Urticaria or hives rashes appear suddenly as patches on the skin. Hives are caused when you come in contact with an allergen such as dust mites, pollens, latex, food, and bee sting.

  • Pityriasis rosea

Pityriasrosea is caused by bacteria or a virus and the rash appears as small and red bumps. Normally, this type of rash occurs right before you get a bacterial disease. The rash disappears within four or 10 weeks without treatment, but medicated lotions can hasten the process and reduce itchiness.

  • Pityriasis rosea

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that causes scaly and thickened plaques. Psoriasis is an incurable inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects all people of both sexes.

  • Miliaria or heat rash

Heat rash is common and it occurs when the sweat flow is obstructed usually due to hot and humid air or overdressing. The rash appears in clusters or small bumps that produce a stinging sensation. The rash is mild and clears when the affected skin patch cools, but a cold compress and a cold bath can help reduce the pain.

3. Are Rashes Contagious?

There are contagious and noncontagious rashes, although most fall in the latter category. The above-mentioned rash types, except for Pityriasis rosea, are noncontagious.

Contagious rashes are caused by fungus, bacteria, or viruses and include measles, chickenpox, scabies, and ringworms among others. These rashes spread when you come in direct contact with an infected person.

4. When Are Rashes an Emergency?

Most rashes are not life-threatening, but some can signal a more serious health problem. Seek urgent care in San Antonio if you notice any of the following:

  • The rash spreads over the body
  • You have fever
  • You begin to blister
  • There is severe pain
  • The rash is itchy, has yellow or green fluid. This could be an indication of an infection

5. What Are the Treatment Options Available?

The treatment option will depend on the cause and type of rash but may include antihistamines, steroids, antibiotics, immunomodulatory drugs (works great for atopic and contact dermatitis) and ultraviolet therapy.

To an untrained eye, all rashes appear the same, but they are not. Before trying any of the treatments, it is crucial to have an assessment to determine the type and the cause of the rash. Remember not all treatments work for everyone.

Furthermore, pay attention to the symptoms and the occurrence of the skin rash. If you notice any abnormalities with the skin rashes or have accompanying symptoms don’t hesitate to seek rash treatment in San Antonio.