Making My Skin Even Better

What Causes Rashes And How They Can Be Treated

by Virgil Mccoy

If you have a bothersome rash that burns or itches, you should consider having it examined by a dermatologist if it doesn't clear up right away. Many things cause rashes, and if you don't know what caused yours, then getting a diagnosis is important if there is an underlying problem.

Fortunately, most rashes clear up quickly with home care, but if yours persists or is accompanied by fever or other symptoms, medical care might be needed. Here's a look at what causes rashes and how they are treated.

What Causes Rashes On Your Body

Rashes are common, and you've probably had them a few times in your life. A rash can result from skin irritation, an allergic reaction, a medical condition, or an infection. Parasites, fungus, bacteria, and viruses can all cause skin rashes.

Sometimes a rash develops suddenly and spreads quickly. This often happens when you have an allergic reaction to something. Other times you might have a rash that comes and goes that you associate with wearing certain jewelry. You might get a rash when you're sick, or you could have a rash as a result of a chronic skin condition such as eczema.

Rashes also take on different appearances. They can be wet or dry, and sometimes they might form blisters. If a rash is on your face or the exposed parts of your body, it can be embarrassing, so you want to find a way to eliminate it as quickly as possible. To do that, the dermatologist will need to pinpoint the cause to prescribe the right treatment.

How Rashes Are Treated

You can buy products over the counter to treat your rash if it's mild. For instance, you might buy an OTC product to treat poison ivy or contact dermatitis.

However, if you don't know what caused your rash, or if the rash is severe, then you may not get very good results with self-treatment. Your dermatologist can prescribe the right medication for killing fungus or bacteria if necessary. Rashes are a type of skin inflammation, so anti-inflammatory creams and medication can sometimes calm a rash and help it heal quicker.

Your dermatologist might also recommend allergy testing so you can learn what triggers your rash so you can avoid it. If you find out you're allergic to nickel, for example, you may need to avoid wearing jewelry that contains it. If your rash is a condition such as rosacea, psoriasis, or eczema, your dermatologist may need to try different forms of treatment to find a way to keep the rash from coming back and being a frequent problem in the future.

Your dermatologist can also offer advice on how to deal with the rash while it's healing. Itching can often be intense, but scratching can lead to scars and infections. You may be given medications to relieve itching and soreness so your rash is more endurable while it heals. 

If you feel you need to see someone about your rash, make an appointment with a dermatologist such as one found through