Rashes and Redness

Do you have a rash?

Rashes are changes in the texture or color of your skin. They can be found all over the body and can become bumpy, itchy, scaly, irritated and areas of redness. Rashes are created from a wide range of external and internal factors that can range in severity. Some rashes require no treatment and will heal on their own while others might be a sign of something more serious.

What causes a Rash?

You may find a rash due to an allergy, diseases, reactions to medication, or infection (bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic). Common rashes include poison ivy, poison oak, hives, eczema. Over-the-counter products may help treat rashes but if the rash is lasting for multiple days and is accompanied by other symptoms you should see your doctor.
  • Poison Ivy: This is uncommon on the West Coast. Here we have Poison Oak. The rash is caused by an allergic reaction to touching the poison ivy plant. The rash can generate hours to days after exposure and cause red, blistering, swollen skin, and severe itching. Typically heals on its own within a few weeks.

  • Poison Oak: Similar to poison ivy, poison oak rash is created by touching the poison oak plant which is very common in Northern California. The rash will have the same reaction creating red, blistering, swollen skin, and severe itching and typically heals on its own over time. The itch can be extremely uncomfortable and can spread to parts of the body that did not come in contact with the plant in severe cases.

  • Dermatitis: Atopic dermatitis (eczema), Seborrheic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and stasis dermatitis affect millions of individuals each year. Each has a different cause and treatment. They tend to be chronic conditions.

  • Psoriasis: Psoriasis is a common genetic condition that shows up in adulthood in most cases. The rash consists of pink-red plaques covered in white scales most commonly found on the scalp, lower back, knees, and elbows. Psoriasis can also create dry, cracked skin and swollen and stiff joints. There are many effective ways to treat psoriasis now.

  • Hives: Hives (urticaria) is a skin reaction that creates red itchy welts. If hives last longer than six weeks it is classified as chronic hives. Hives can be found anywhere on the body varying in size, shape, and appear and fade repeatedly. There are many different causes of hives.

  • Eczema: Also known as atopic dermatitis makes your skin red and itchy. This is an inherited condition that often arises in childhood but can be seen at any age. Eczema can be accompanied by asthma or hay fever. Eczema treatment requires close attention to skincare and now there are many good treatments available to try.

  • Heat Rash: Heat rash includes red bumps and feels prickly or itchy. This occurs when sweat can’t get to the surface because the sweat gland is blocked. Allowing your skin to cool will allow the heat rash to fade. Medical assistance can sometimes be required.

  • COVID-19: Studies have found roughly 8% of people who test positive for COVID-19 experienced a skin rash. These rashes have been described as hive-like, generalized rashes and “covid fingers and toes” (reddish and purplish bumps on fingers and toes).

  • Scabies: Scabies is an infestation of mites that burrow into your skin. Scabies is contagious, spreads quickly, and is extremely itchy. Scabies can sometimes be difficult to recognize and requires treatment and extensive cleaning of your surroundings and clothing.

Treatments for Rashes and Redness:

Before treating rashes and redness contact your dermatologist to determine the cause. The correct diagnosis will help expedite the healing process and identify severe cases that will require special treatment.