A rash is a general term for an abnormal skin outbreak. When you have a rash, you know that something is wrong, even if you do not know exactly what it is that you are looking at. Some rashes are contagious, and others are not. Rashes can be itchy, painful, or cause a burning sensation on the skin. A rash is any area of the skin that is irritated or swollen, resulting in a visible redness, or raising of the skin. Though they are often acute in nature, skin rashes can sometimes be indicative of a chronic issue such as eczema. Rashes may either be painful or completely pain-free depending upon the cause. They may be itchy or not itchy.
What Causes Skin Rashes?
While rashes can vary in terms of causation, there are a handful of common factors that tend to result in changes of the epidermis in adults. Heat rash, for example, is extremely common and often results from sweat ducts getting clogged in hot weather, while plants such as poison ivy and sumac can result in rashes simply due to contact. Chemicals can also cause rash, as can more chronic conditions such as eczema. Diaper rash is common in young children. Rash may form in school aged children due to ringworm or in adolescents because of acne. Medications may be prescribed to help prevent scratching and itching.
Types of Rashes
- Heat rash: Hot weather can bring about heat rash, which is caused by blocked sweat glands. Heat rash presents as reddened skin with tiny bumps or blisters and feels itchy or “prickly.” It proliferates in areas of the body that are too hot, like skin folds in the groin, the armpit, or under the breasts. Dampness and poor air circulation also contribute to the problem. To treat and avoid heat rash, loose clothing should be worn in hot weather. Heat rashes are not dangerous, but they can be uncomfortable.
- Rashes from poison ivy, oak, or sumac: These three plants found in nature contain urushiol oil, a substance that often triggers an allergy rash. These rashes present with itchy, raised bumps, or blisters called vesicles. Each can require medical intervention if they cover extensive areas of the skin, or sensitive areas like the mouth or eyes. Poison sumac is usually the most severe. When you need care for a rash from poison ivy, oak, or poison sumac, visit Atlanta Urgent Care.
- Eczema: Eczema, or dermatitis, is a chronic inflammatory condition thought to be caused by an overactive immune response. Eczema rash presents with large, raised, itchy, red areas that can appear dry and scaly. They occasionally ooze. At Atlanta Urgent Care we can treat acute exacerbation of simple eczema, dyshidrotic eczema, and other forms of contact dermatitis. We will also refer you to a dermatologist if needed.
- Psoriasis: Psoriasis is a non-contagious autoimmune skin disease that speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells. Symptoms are patches of thick red skin and silvery scales. Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory type of arthritis with many of the same symptoms as psoriasis and arthritis.
- Diaper rash: Diaper rash is a form of dermatitis that causes bright red skin on babies’ bottoms. Diaper rash has a variety of causes, such as a yeast infection, chafing from tight diapers, or prolonged exposure to urine or feces. It usually is not serious. However, if it does not go away after days of treatment, or is associated with other symptoms, such as fever, seek medical attention.
- Hives: Hives are generally caused by an allergic reaction, but they can be viral or autoimmune in nature, as well. They are primarily caused by the body’s immune response to something in the environment and can also be caused by stress. Hives appear as very large, itchy, raised areas of the skin. When severe, they can become welts. Hives can flare up suddenly, and the reason is not always obvious. We can treat Hives at Atlanta Urgent Care with Steroids, and Anti-allergy medications.
- Viral and bacterial rashes: Many diseases and illnesses can cause viral rashes, including measles, rubella, chickenpox, herpes simplex, and shingles, which is a reactivation of the chickenpox virus. Bacterial rashes include impetigo and meningitis when it is accompanied by a rash. Viral and bacterial rashes can be symptoms of a serious illness. If you suspect a viral or bacterial rash, visit Atlanta Urgent Care as soon as possible.
- Fungal rash: Fungal infections can cause skin rashes. These include yeast infections, ringworm (tinea corporis), scalp ringworm (tinea capitis), athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), and jock itch. Fungal infections are usually not dangerous, just irritating. Atlanta Urgent Care can diagnose and treat fungal infections.
- Rashes from insects: The bites and stings of insects can cause rashes. Some examples are ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes, and bed bugs. Poisonous insects and insects that carry disease can also cause rashes. Serious tick-borne illnesses that cause rash include Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. The seriousness of the rash depends on the cause, but they all may require medical attention by Atlanta Urgent Care.
How Do I know If I Should Walk In For A Skin Rash?
A rash that does not go away or lasts for more than a few days should always be diagnosed by a medical professional via physical examination. Further testing may be considered to confirm suspicions. While skin rashes are relatively common, they can be indicative of a larger problem and should never go fully ignored. At Atlanta Urgent Care, we see rashes of all different kinds and regularly create effective treatment plans for our patients. Not sure what’s causing your rash? We can determine the root of the problem and get you feeling better in no time. Treatment of skin rashes depends upon the underlying cause and may include prescription creams, ointments, or corticosteroid pills. We also have access to Dermatologists in the Atlanta metro area.