Our skin deals with so much on a daily basis. Soaps, dirt, and UV rays are just some of the things that impact our skin daily. It’s no wonder that there are instances where our skin reacts, leaving us with itchy, annoying rashes. Rashes are not only an eyesore; they can cause a host of other issues, including pain, itching, swelling, and even fever. Rashes are the result of an inflammation that causes changes in the way the skin looks and feels. They can range from mild to infectious, and a doctor should evaluate rashes if they last for more than a few days. The source of these rashes can be difficult to pinpoint. If you are having a hard time finding out what is causing your rash, it may be time to visit the experts at Rendon Center. Give our experienced dermatologists in Boca Raton a call at 561-750-0544 today to find out more about our treatment options or to schedule an appointment.
"I had a very good experience at Rendon Center. Dr. Reed was informative and pleasant. I liked her immediately and is so important to me as a patient. She did a immediate procedure on my first visit and also made an appointment for me for a second procedure. The entire staff is also very welcoming, helpful, and extremely nice. I would recommend Rendon Center to my family and friends." - H.N.
What Causes Rashes & Itchy Skin?
Causes of Rashes While there are many causes of rashes, there are some that are more common than others. Bug bites, chickenpox, and poison ivy are all potential reasons for skin rashes and irritation. Other potential causes include:
- Excessive dryness
- Allergic skin reaction
- Reaction to medication
- Atopic dermatitis
- Dyshidrotic eczema
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Hand-foot-and-mouth disease
How Do You Identify a Rash?
Rashes can take many different forms. Symptoms like welts, redness, and blotches may affect a localized area or occur all over the body. A rash may make the skin dry and scaly or red and itchy, or any combination thereof. Some rashes involve small blisters that ooze or bumps that feel hard or pointy. It isn't difficult to identify a rash on the skin. It may be more challenging to determine what has caused it.
What to Do if Your Skin is Irritated?
If you develop an irritating skin rash, the goal is to alleviate symptoms as quickly as possible. There are several remedies you may try to help your skin recover from its irritation. Suggestions include:
- Take an oatmeal bath. Not just any oatmeal, but what is called colloidal oatmeal. This can be made by putting uncooked, plain oatmeal into a blender and making a fine powder. When the oatmeal powder is added to water, it should turn milky white. Colloidal oatmeal bath products are also available at retailers if you do not want to make your own. This remedy may ease the symptoms of certain rashes, such as eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, chickenpox, hives, and more. It works by binding to the skin to create a protective barrier.
- Use mild soaps and cleansers made for sensitive skin. These are usually free of fragrance and other potentially irritating chemicals.
- After bathing, pat the skin dry. Avoid rubbing and scratching as much as possible.
- If the affected skin can be left uncovered, do so.
- Apply calamine lotion to itchy spots from chickenpox, poison oak, or poison ivy rashes.
If appropriate based on your health, take an over-the-counter pain reducer like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to ease the discomfort of a rash. Medication should only be taken if safe and proper dosing is followed. People with kidney or liver disease may not be able to take these medications.
Can a Rash be Serious?
Most rashes are not considered significantly serious. That said, if you have a persistent rash that worsens or coincides with other symptoms aside from itching and irritation, it is wise to seek medical attention. Some of the signs that a rash could indicate a more serious condition include:
- A widespread rash on most of your body. This could indicate a systemic allergic reaction or infection that requires treatment.
- Fever with the rash. This, too, could be indicative of an allergic reaction or infection such as shingles, mononucleosis, or measles.
- The rapid spread of the rash. This may indicate an allergic reaction to some type of medication.
- Your rash starts to blister. Blistering may occur due to systemic reaction or other conditions, such as shingles.
- Your rash oozes and hurts. Oozing, pain, crusting of the skin, and skin that is warm to the touch all signal that your rash may be infected.
How Do I Know if I Have Shingles?
Shingles is a relatively common condition that comes with a telltale rash. That said, there do happen to be a few other types of rashes that can resemble shingles. These include:
- Contact dermatitis. This rash is caused by contact with an allergen such as a chemical, metal, or latex.
- Impetigo. This is an infection that occurs as a result of bacteria on the skin.
- Candida dermatitis herpetiformis. We most commonly see this rash in people with celiac disease.
- Insect bites. Some bites may look like shingles.
- Scabies. This condition is caused by mites.
- Folliculitis. What may look like shingles could be inflammation in the pores of the skin.
While some other conditions may look like shingles, your dermatologist can usually differentiate between them. Shingles is a condition known not only for its rash but for the unilateral pain, burning, stinging, and itching that occurs on only one side of the body. It may also bring a fever, chills, and nausea.
How Do I Know if I Have Contact Dermatitis?
Contact dermatitis is the result of contact with a chemical or substance to which the patient is highly allergic. The rash tends to ooze and only affects parts of the skin that have come in direct contact with the irritating substance. Contact dermatitis tends to be very itchy. Common examples are poison ivy and oak, certain soaps, cosmetics, jewelry, perfumes, and colognes.
Treatment generally consists of managing the redness and swelling. Applying over the counter creams that contain hydrocortisone and wet dressing can help relieve the itching. In some cases, we may prescribe higher strength creams or oral medications such as antihistamines to relieve the itching. It can take anywhere from two to four weeks for your rash to clear up.
How Do I Know if I Have Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that produces inflamed red papules that cause large patches of thickened, scaling skin. Some people experience only mild patches, while others experience their entire body covered in red, scaly skin.
Psoriasis is not curable but can go through long periods of remission. People are generally diagnosed with it in their early adult years. Psoriasis has been linked to diabetes and heart disease. There is currently no known cause; it seems to be a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors.
Treatment depends largely on the severity of the disease. Mild cases can often be managed with a combination of ointments, sprays, and steroid shots. More severe instances can require ultraviolet light treatment or total body treatments such as pills or injections.
How Do I Know if I Have Lichen Planus?
Lichen Planus leaves patients with shiny, flat bumps usually found on the inside of the wrists, and ankles, legs, back, or neck. It can also cause hair loss when it occurs on the scalp. It is not contagious but can be a result of medications used to treat high blood pressures, heart disease, and arthritis.
Our team can diagnose lichen planus with a visual skin examination and, in some cases, a skin biopsy. Treatment includes managing the symptoms through antihistamines and medicated creams. Steroid injections and prednisone may be necessary in severe cases.
How Do I Know if I Have Atopic Dermatitis?
Atopic dermatitis, which is also known as eczema, is a chronic condition that can occur as inflamed, itchy red skin. Patches may appear on any area of the body and can flare up at any time. It is important for patients to determine the cause of flare-ups to avoid these soaps, lotions, and creams that may be increasing the symptoms and causing the patient pain and discomfort.
How Do I Know if I Have Pityriasis Rosea?
This skin condition, often referred to as a “Christmas Tree Rash,” starts with a herald patch that may occur somewhere on the trunk of the body. Then, the rash spreads and may form the shape of a Christmas tree. It is unknown what causes this rash, but it will go away on its own within months. Patients who are experiencing itchiness may benefit from over-the-counter or medicated lotions for relief.
How Do I Know if I Have Heat Rash?
Heat rash, or miliaria, is caused by the blockage of sweat through the skin. This may be a result of tight clothing, humid weather, or overdressing. Small clusters of red bumps may form and sting or feel prickly. There is no treatment for heat rash except for avoidance of excessive humidity and heat and by wearing lightweight clothing to allow the skin to breathe.
How Long Does a Rash Usually Last?
If you have a general rash, not a condition like shingles, psoriasis, or eczema, your skin will likely return to normal within two to three weeks of your rash appearing. During that time, it is important to avoid exposure to any known allergens or irritants. You may apply a topical moisturizer or ointment to soothe the irritation and speed up the healing process. If, during the few weeks of having a rash, the condition gets worse, schedule an appointment with us! A prompt examination of irritated skin can help you avoid unwanted and unnecessary stress.
When Should I Get a Rash Checked Out by a Dermatologist in Boca Raton?
Often, over-the-counter products like an antihistamine or hydrocortisone cream can help lessen the severity of a rash until the irritation clears. If a rash coincides with a fever, it blisters or becomes painful, or blisters develop, a medical appointment should be scheduled right away. If the skin does not improve or it worsens over the course of two to three days, it is necessary to contact a doctor. Rashes that spread to larger areas or that persist may indicate a chronic skin condition or other underlying condition that requires proper medical treatment. Your dermatologist can perform a thorough examination of your skin and may order a few tests to get a full understanding of what may be causing the itching and irritation.
What treatments are there available for itchy skin?
Once your dermatologist in Boca Raton knows what is causing itching and irritation, they can administer or prescribe treatment to relieve symptoms. Some skin irritations will resolve on their own with home remedies and over-the-counter products. Some, a dermatologist may need to treat with prescription creams or oral medications. After seeing a dermatologist, patients know what is instigating irritation in their skin and what they can do to avoid future flare-ups. For instance, some dermatologic conditions that cause itching, such as eczema, may have environmental or food triggers. Because triggers can be different for every person, it is necessary to pay close attention to foods, cleansers, and even the weather, and note how various items and changes affect the skin. Working with a dermatologist, it becomes much easier to gain control over conditions that can cause recurring skin rashes and irritation.
What should you avoid when treating sensitive skin?
People may struggle with skin sensitivity due to several factors. How the sensitivity is managed may differ slightly based on the underlying cause. For example, someone with general skin sensitivity may not need to avoid excessive heat the same way someone with eczema would. In general, people with sensitive skin should try to avoid products such as soaps, shampoo, and lotion that contain fragrance and a long ingredient list. The fewer ingredients in products, the less irritating they may be to sensitive skin. This holds true for laundry products, as well. Many of the detergents and cleansers available today are "free and clear" of potentially irritating ingredients. When you see a dermatologist in Boca Raton for skin rashes and irritation, they can discuss the various factors that may contribute to ongoing or future itching and inflammation. This can help you make the best choices for your skin.
Call Our Dermatologist In Boca Raton In For Itching And Skin Irritation Treatment!
The team at Rendon Center can help you understand rashes and skin irritation. Our extensive experience helps us provide superior, quality care. To schedule a visit, contact us at 561-750-0544. Or, you can fill out the form in our contact page for your personalized appointment at our Boca Raton office. Our trusted dermatologists and talented staff members look forward to serving you!