Huntington dermatologist explains common types of skin rashes, their causes and available treatments

Home » Huntington dermatologist explains common types of skin rashes, their causes and available treatments
Women shaving, skin rashes on her back

Skin rashes are one of the primary reasons that individuals make an appointment with us in our Huntington office. Skin rashes can occur for a number of reasons and may vary in color, size, shape, texture, and location on the body. Some rashes are simply itchy and uncomfortable, while others can be painful. There are short lived rashes that come and go and chronic rashes that last for weeks or even longer.

Because different types of rashes can have similarities yet be treated differently, it’s important to seek diagnosis and treatment from an experienced dermatologist. At the Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Center in Huntington, NY we can determine the type and cause of your rash and provide you with treatment options to alleviate symptoms.

Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis on handsContact dermatitis is a type of rash that occurs when an irritant or allergen comes into contact with the skin.

What it looks like: Allergic contact dermatitis typically causes itchy, scaly, red rashes. In some individuals these areas can blister and weep.

Causes: With irritant contact dermatitis, the skin comes into contact with some sort of chemical or substance that causes a rash. Some common irritants are soaps, detergents, solvents, makeup, and cosmetics.

With allergic dermatitis, the skin is exposed to an allergen such as medications, certain plants, nickel, dye, or rubber.

Treatment: The first step is to determine what is causing your contact dermatitis. We have testing that can determine the various triggers that may be causing your rash. Some cases of contact dermatitis may resolve after topical creams and oral antihistamines, while others may need corticosteroids, antibiotics, or immunotherapy. It’s also important to avoid contact with the irritant/allergen. Whenever possible use alternative products.

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Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis on armAtopic dermatitis, or eczema, is a common skin condition that causes intensely itchy patches of skin. Atopic dermatitis can occur on different areas of the body. Scratching of the rash can lead to swelling, cracking, crusting, and release of fluid.

What it looks like: Atopic dermatitis causes dry, discolored patches of the skin that may appear thickened or scaly.

Causes: The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is often unknown. Many people who develop the condition also have a family and personal history of allergies.

Treatment: Treatment for atopic dermatitis typically involves treating the rash while also making lifestyle changes. It’s important to keep the skin properly moisturized and avoid long, hot showers which can dry out the skin. We can recommend certain creams and lotions that can be effective and we can make recommendations for specific clothing materials to avoid.

Topical treatment may involve the use of a steroid cream. Patients may benefit from a corticosteroid, antihistamine, or in some cases, light therapy.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis on elbows

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease which leads to thick, scaly patches that can become very itchy.

What it looks like: Psoriasis patches can vary in color (white, silver, or red) and may appear thick, discolored and scaly.

Causes: Psoriasis causes overproduction of skin cells, which leads to unsightly and uncomfortable patches of skin. While the cause of psoriasis is largely a mystery, we do know that it’s an immune system response. Psoriasis outbreaks may start or worsen as a result of certain triggers such as infections, stress, smoking, trauma, or certain medications.

Treatment: While psoriasis cannot be cured, it can be managed effectively with treatment. Treatment may include topical medications such as corticosteroids and retinoids, oral medication, phototherapy (UVB light therapy), or biologic injections.

In addition to the three rashes listed above, we can also provide diagnosis and treatment of other conditions such as hives, vitiligo, rosacea, actinic keratosis, hyperpigmentation, melasma, shingles, and more.

At the Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Center, we help patients find relief from their skin conditions with our wide range of available treatments. If you are showing the signs and symptoms of a rash, it’s important to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Once we determine the type and cause of your rash we can recommend specific medications, creams, and therapies to help clear your skin and eliminate the uncomfortable effects of skin rashes. If you are in the Huntington, NY area, call our team today to schedule an appointment.

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