What Could This Rash Be?

A woman scratches an itchy rash on her arm.
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If your skin is red, itchy, bumpy, inflamed or even oozing —a rash may be to blame. But is it something to heal at home with some TLC or does it deserve a call in to your doctor? The answer? Well, it depends on what’s causing it as well as the severity of your symptoms. We’re here to help you know what to do so you can find the relief and comfort you need. 

The Root Cause of Most Rashes

Most rashes are caused by contact dermatitis, which means they happen when you touch something and have an allergic reaction. Common items that cause contact dermatitis include:

  • Beauty products, such as makeup, lotions and soap
  • Chemicals
  • Fabric dyes
  • Household products, such as cleaning agents or laundry detergents
  • Latex and rubber
  • Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac

Other causes of a contact dermatitis rash include:

  • Antibiotics or other medications
  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal infections
  • Insect bites
  • Viruses

If you’ve been exposed to one of these causes, then it’s likely that’s what’s causing your rash. 

However, if you aren’t sure what caused it, the appearance of your rash may give you some clues. For example, rashes caused by:

  • Contact dermatitis will make your skin appear red and sometimes bumpy
  • Fungal infections are itchy and usually found in the folds of your skin
  • Virus(such as shingles) will usually include blisters

When to Call the Doctor About a Rash

Rashes are common, and not always a sign of a serious condition. But there are times when a rash could indicate a bigger problem. In general, you should call your doctor or visit urgent care if the rash:

  • Appears with a fever
  • Causes you significant pain
  • Doesn’t fade on its own in three days
  • Interferes with your daily activities
  • Makes it difficult to sleep
  • Starts shortly after eating a new food or taking a new medicine

Heal Your Rash Today

Even the most common of rashes can put a damper on your spirit. So look to us for immediate relief. One of our expert urgent care locations is nearby to help you today.  

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