rashes, rash treaments, underlying disease, ECZEMA, PSORIASIS


What seems like a simple rash could be a sign of underlying disease. As a rash expert, Dr. Hawley and her team know to look beyond just the surface. Various signs and symptoms such as itch, redness, sores, and dry patches can leave you feeling helpless and exhausted. In order to diagnose and manage the conditions that cause these symptoms, our rash specialist will work with you closely to get to the source.

What are the most common types of rashes?

While each case is unique and requires personalized treatment, there are certainly some rashes that we see more often than others. The most common rashes we see include:

  • Eczema - Also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages. It causes red, itchy, and sometimes painful rashes on the skin.
  • Psoriasis - A chronic autoimmune condition that affects the skin in over 125 million people worldwide, and can appear in various forms and affect people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities. This condition causes an increase in the production of skin cells, leading to the development of patches of thick, red, and scaly skin that can be itchy and painful.
  • Rosacea - A chronic skin condition causing facial redness, visible blood vessels, bumps, thickening of the skin, and sometimes pustules. It is a common inflammatory skin condition and can be mistaken for acne, dermatitis, or other skin conditions. Triggers include stress and certain foods.
  • Hives - Typically red and raised, and can be caused by a variety of factors such as allergies or stress.
  • Contact Dermatitis - Occurs when the skin is exposed to an irritant or allergen and becomes inflamed, leading to a rash.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What causes rashes?

  • A rash is a common skin condition that can be caused by a variety of factors. A rash is essentially an inflammation or irritation of the skin that causes redness, itching, and sometimes even blistering or scaling. There are numerous potential causes of rashes, ranging from allergic reactions to viruses and infections or insect bites or stings.

What are some common triggers for rashes?

  • Some of the most common triggers for a rash include irritants like soaps, detergents, fragrances, and cleaning products, as well as allergens like pet dander, pollen, certain foods, and medications, and also contact with plants like poison ivy or oak. Infections like fungal or bacterial can also cause rashes. Other triggers can include stress, sweating, and even changes in weather or temperature.

Can I get a rash from stress?

  • When we experience stress, our body releases cortisol, a hormone that can affect our immune system. While it's not a common occurrence, stress can trigger skin reactions such as hives, eczema, and psoriasis. This can lead to inflammation in the skin, which can result in an itchy and uncomfortable rash. It all comes down to how your body responds to stressors, and for some people, the immune system tends to overreact, leading to a rash. While stress-induced rashes can vary in appearance and severity, they are usually temporary and can be managed with topical treatments like creams or lotions. If you are experiencing a rash and believe it is related to stress, it is important to prioritize self-care like getting enough sleep, exercising, and practicing stress-reducing techniques like meditation or yoga.
  • Additionally, making sure you have a healthy diet and keeping your skin clean can also help prevent any flare-ups. While stress management techniques can be beneficial in reducing the likelihood of developing a stress-induced rash, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional if you are experiencing symptoms to receive proper diagnosis and treatment.

Can rashes be contagious?

  • Some rashes are caused by infections that can be spread from person to person, while others are not contagious at all. For example, rashes caused by infections like chickenpox, shingles, and measles can all cause highly contagious rashes that can be spread through direct contact or contaminated items, while eczema, psoriasis, and hives are not contagious.
  • If you notice a rash on yourself or someone else, it's important to determine the cause and take appropriate steps to prevent it from spreading further. You must take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of contagious rashes, such as avoiding skin-to-skin contact with those who are infected, washing your hands frequently, and not sharing personal items like towels or clothing. Seeing a healthcare provider can also help determine if your rash is contagious and what steps to take to prevent spreading it to others.

How can I identify if my rash is serious or not?

  • Rashes can be distressing and confusing to deal with, but identifying whether or not it's serious is essential to determine the next steps to take. One of the first things to pay attention to is the duration of the rash. Rashes that don't go away after a couple of days or continue to spread should be evaluated by a healthcare professional. A minor rash usually clears up within a week or two. Another significant factor to consider is the accompanying symptoms, such as fever, nausea, body aches, and severe itching. These signs could be indications of an underlying health condition that requires medical attention. A rash that spreads rapidly and covers a larger area of the body could also be a red flag. In that case, a trip to the doctor is highly recommended.
  • Additionally, if you experience difficulty breathing, dizziness, or chest pain, seek medical attention immediately as it could be a sign of a severe allergic reaction or infection. If you're unsure about the severity of your rash, don't hesitate to seek medical advice – it's always better to err on the side of caution and get the care you need.

How long does a rash usually last?

  • The duration of a rash can vary depending on its cause and severity. Some rashes, such as those caused by an allergic reaction, may clear up within a few days, while others may last for weeks or even months. With the proper treatment and care, most rashes will improve within a week or two. However, some chronic skin conditions may require longer treatment and management to control the symptoms fully.

Is it safe to use home remedies for rashes?

  • When faced with a rash, it's natural to search for a quick and effective solution. While there are many over-the-counter remedies available, some people may opt for home remedies instead. It's important to note that not all home remedies are created equal and their safety and effectiveness may vary. Different types of rashes can have different underlying causes, and some can even be a sign of a more serious condition. Some ingredients commonly found in home remedies can cause adverse reactions or further irritation of the skin. It’s crucial to research home remedies, understand the properties of each ingredient and their potential interactions before applying them, and to consult with a healthcare professional before beginning treatment. However, there are a few commonly used home remedies for rashes that have been proven safe and effective. For example, applying a cool compress can help reduce itching and inflammation, while oatmeal or baking soda baths can soothe irritated skin. Overall, home remedies for rashes can be a safe and effective option when used correctly and with proper knowledge.

What are some over-the-counter treatments for rashes?

  • When it comes to treating rashes, there are a variety of over-the-counter options available. Some of the most common treatments include:
    • Antihistamines, such as Benadryl or Claritin, can help reduce itching and redness associated with allergic reactions.
    • Corticosteroid creams, such as hydrocortisone, can also help relieve inflammation and itching.
    • Calamine lotion is another option to soothe and cool itchy skin and dry out rashes.
  • It's important to read the labels carefully and follow the directions for each product. For more severe cases, your doctor may recommend a more potent prescription medication.

Can I still use skincare products if I have a rash?

  • Many people wonder if they can still use their usual skincare products when they have a rash. The answer is, it depends on the cause of the rash. Certain skincare products can make the rash worse by causing further irritation or inflammation. However, that doesn't necessarily mean you can't use any skincare products at all. In fact, there are some products that can actually help soothe and heal rashes, such as creams or ointments that contain ingredients like aloe vera or calendula.
  • If the rash is a result of an allergic reaction, it is best to avoid using any products that contain ingredients that trigger your allergies. On the other hand, if the rash is due to dry skin, you may want to choose products that are designed specifically for dry skin. It’s best to opt for gentle, moisturizing formulas that can help soothe the skin and promote healing. Ultimately, it's important to listen to your body and pay attention to any reactions or discomfort when using skincare products while you have a rash. If you're unsure, consult with a dermatologist for guidance on the best course of action.

Are there any preventive measures I can take to avoid rashes?

  • There are preventive measures you can take to avoid getting a rash. Firstly, try to identify any potential triggers that could be causing your rashes and avoid them as much as possible. This could include certain fabrics, soaps, detergents, or even certain foods. Secondly, keep your skin clean, dry, and moisturized. This means washing your skin regularly with a mild soap and water, and patting yourself dry (rather than rubbing) when getting out of the shower. Wearing natural, loose-fitting, breathable fabrics, especially during hot weather, such as cotton, can also be helpful in reducing the risk of developing a rash. Finally, make sure you drink enough water to stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet to maintain healthy skin.
  • If you do develop a rash, resist the urge to scratch it, as this will only make it worse. Instead, try using over-the-counter creams or ointments designed for rashes, or consult your doctor for further treatment advice. By being proactive and taking the necessary preventive measures, you can minimize your risk of developing rashes and keep your skin healthy and comfortable.