To an untrained eye, all skin rashes look the same and are easily manageable with over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The truth is that rashes aren’t that simple. Rashes come in many sizes and shapes and can appear as welts, blotches, or blisters. What’s more, rashes can be dry, scaly, or itchy and can occur in one part of the body or many areas. Furthermore, some rashes occur immediately, while others develop gradually.
While most rashes aren’t life-threatening, some can be a sign of something severe. Rashes can mean a lot of things to a whole lot of different people. If you are concerned by rashes in East Northport, New York, please schedule an appointment with Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Center. What may seem like a relatively harmless rash can turn out to be a medical emergency. Better err on the side of caution by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Roger Koreen.
Common types of rashes
Rashes involve the change of skin color, texture, and feeling. Also known as skin lesions or erythema, skin rashes can be determined by their location, appearance, and symptoms. Skin tests like biopsy and scraping can help with diagnosis.
Some common types of rashes include:
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis): Eczema is an umbrella name for a range of skin conditions featuring itchy, scaly, red, and dry skin that can emit clear fluid when scratched. Eczema is more likely to occur on the inside of elbows and knees, although it can occur anywhere in the body.
- Contact dermatitis: This rash appears when the skin is exposed to irritants or allergens. This rash appears as a red, scaly, or blistered patch, depending on the cause and severity.
- Psoriasis: This chronic inflammatory condition occurs when a faulty immune system affects the growth cycle of skin cells. This skin condition is characterized by thick, dry skin with silvery scales.
- Hives: Also known as urticaria, hives occur suddenly and cause pale pink or red, itchy welts or raised patches. Hives arise due to exposure to allergens and can be a sign of severe allergic reactions.
- Impetigo: This skin rash is caused by bacteria that live on the skin. This condition is common in children and appears as brown, crusty blisters or sores around the mouth and nose.
- Pinprick red dots: Pinpoint red dots on your skin can be caused by minor factors like allergens, skin rash, or rubbing your skin on a rough surface. However, non-itchy red dots that are flat on the skin can be caused by petechiae. This condition occurs when tiny blood vessels in the skin break open, resulting in small red, purple, or brown dots in the skin. Petechiae isn’t a condition by itself but rather a symptom of another problem, including sepsis, leukemia, meningitis, and blood clotting disorders.
There are many causes of skin rashes, including medications, allergens, infections, autoimmune diseases, etc. Our skin rash treatments depend on the cause and severity. After diagnosis, our dermatology team may recommend medicated creams or lotions, oral medications, or photodynamic therapy.
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When to see a skin doctor
While some rashes are easily manageable with home remedies, there are signs you shouldn’t ignore and must see your doctor. When you notice any symptoms below, visit a board-certified dermatologist immediately.
- Rashes all over your body
- The rash is sudden and spreads quickly
- Painful rashes
- Rashes not responding to home remedies
- Infected or blistering rashes
When you notice your rash is accompanied by other signs of systematic illness, Dr. Koreen advises you to go to the emergency room (ER). For instance, if you have a rash and experience fever, chills, inability to look at bright lights, and fatigue, go to an ER immediately.