Rash Decisions: When to See Your Dermatologist Whether uncomfortable or unsightly, a skin rash can be alarming. Some can be easily treated with over-the-counter remedies, while others may be a symptom of something more severe. Unfortunately, there’s no one explanation for why rashes form or spread. It may be caused by an allergic reaction, illness, or even stress. So when should you call in the professionals? First of all, seek immediate help if your rash occurred shortly after eating, taking medication or being stung by an insect and continues to aggressively spread. Or if you’re experiencing other symptoms like joint pain, body aches, headache, swelling of the tongue, throat or mouth, skin tenderness or breathlessness. Otherwise, make a note of anything you’ve consumed, where you’ve been, what you’ve done and who you’ve been around. Skin allergies can be tricky to identify because their reactions aren’t immediate, typically occurring one to two days after exposure. So take stock of new things added to your daily routine – like a trying a new perfume, being in a new environment or coming in contact with a new fabric – but know that it’s also possible to develop a new allergy to products you regularly use. So don’t rule out an old product as the source of a new rash. The sooner you get rid of your rash the better you’ll feel, so this information may help your doctor more efficiently determine its cause. Contact your dermatologist if:
- Over-the-counter remedies aren’t helping.
- It hasn’t gone away or improved within 48 hours.
- It’s spreading.
- It’s oozing or showing other signs of infection.
- It’s blistering.
- It’s painful.
- It’s interfering with your life.
- There are additional symptoms – bleeding blisters, swelling, extensive peeling of your skin or skin that is changing colors or turning dark.
Rashes are a pain in the you-know-what. Most rashes can be self-medicated and typically clear up in a few days. But if you can’t tell if it’s your rash or your worry keeping you up all night, by all means, seek help from the skin care experts at Forefront Dermatology. To find the Forefront physician nearest you, visit the Locations page today.