Posts for tag: Rash
What causes rashes?
There are so many reasons why a rash may surface. Rashes may be the result of a bacterial, fungal, or viral infection, or it could be caused by an allergy. Common causes of a rash include,
- Atopic or contact dermatitis
- Pityriasis rosea
- Insect bites and stings
- Poison ivy, oak, or sumac
- Diaper rash
- Lichen planus
- Allergy to a drug/medication
Most rashes are mild, self-limiting, and can be treated on your own without having to turn to a doctor. Some ways to ease a rash and promote faster healing is by,
- Using only gentle cleansers and soaps that do not contain harsh chemicals or fragrances
- Avoiding hot water and only using lukewarm or cold water
- Being gentle when cleansing, bathing, and handling the skin
- Not covering the rash (let it breathe)
- Using only unscented products
- Applying calamine lotion to control itching
- Using hydrocortisone cream to reduce itchiness, swelling, and redness
- Not scratching the rash, as this can lead to an infection
It’s important to recognize when a rash probably requires medical attention. You should schedule an appointment with your dermatologist if,
- The rash is widespread and takes over most of your body (this could be a sign of an allergic reaction, which requires immediate attention)
- The rash is spreading quickly and suddenly
- Your rash is accompanied by a fever (this is often a sign of serious infection)
- The rash is painful or contains blisters
- There are signs of infection such as oozing, crusting, or skin that’s warm to the touch
You’re Allergic to the Oil from these Plants
Poison ivy secretes an oil known as urushiol. When a person comes in contact with the oils from these plants this causes an allergic reaction. You may notice a rash that forms in a straight line (as if you brushed against a poison ivy leaf). If you suspect that you’ve come into contact with poison ivy, sumac, or oak, it’s important to wash your clothes immediately and to take a shower to prevent the oils from spreading further.
You Can Usually Treat It Yourself
While the rash can be unpleasant, symptoms should go away within 2-3 weeks. Since the rash can be quite itchy and uncomfortable, here are some ways to ease your symptoms:
- Take cool, oatmeal baths to alleviate inflammation and itching
- Apply calamine lotions to the skin to temporarily alleviate itching
- Steroid creams (aka: cortisone cream) may also alleviate redness and inflammation
- Apply cold compresses to the area when symptoms flare-up
- Whatever you do, do not scratch your rash (this can lead to an infection)
Some people have severe allergic reactions when they come into contact with poison ivy, sumac, or oak. You must call your dermatologist as soon as possible if:
- Pus develops on the rash
- You also have a fever over 100 F
- You experience severe itching
- The rash keeps spreading
- You aren’t sure whether the rash is caused by poison ivy, oak, or sumac
- The rash spreads to the mouth or the eyes
- Symptoms don’t improve within a week
Find out what could be causing your rash and when you should seek treatment.
Most of us will deal with rashes at some point during our lifetime, whether it’s from coming in contact with poison ivy or because of an allergy. Many times a rash is self-limiting and will go away on its own; however, it’s also important to understand when it’s a good idea to turn to our Boise, ID, dermatologist, Dr. Jennifer DeBlieck, to deal with your rash. Read on to learn more!
Here are the most common types of rash,
- Hives: caused by an allergic reaction, hives lead to raised, itchy spots on the skin
- Shingles: a painful blistering rash appears as a result of herpes zoster (the same virus responsible for chickenpox)
- Athlete’s foot: if you are dealing with a scaly, itchy and uncomfortable rash on your foot, you may be dealing with a fungal infection known as athlete’s foot
- Ringworm: a raised round rash most often found on the arms or the legs that is caused by a fungal infection (it’s also highly contagious)
- Psoriasis: scaly, thick plaques caused by an autoimmune disorder
- Pityriasis rosea: the most common type of rash, which causes small round spots on the chest, back or stomach (they may itch as well)
- Scabies: a contagious and very itchy rash that often gets worse at night, this rash is caused by a parasite but can often be misdiagnosed as pityriasis rosea or dermatitis
When to See a Dermatologist
While a rash may not look so attractive, most of the time it is a rather benign symptom that will go away by itself. You may even find that over-the-counter remedies will do the trick; however, if your symptoms are severe or widespread then it might be time to turn to our Boise, ID, skin doctor to find out what’s going on and how to best treat it. After all, sometimes there are no explanations for why rashes form. A rash may be the result of an allergic reaction, stress, or even infectious disease.
It’s time to visit us if,
- The rash is spreading or getting worse
- It isn’t responding to over-the-counter treatments
- The rash has remained the same for more than 48 hours
- The rash is painful, blistering or showing signs of an infection
If you are dealing with a new or worsening rash that has you concerned then call DeBlieck Dermatology in Boise, ID, today to schedule an appointment with us. Our number is (208) 939-5030.
Find out if that red scaly skin could be the result of an immune disorder known as psoriasis.
Have you suddenly found patches of dry, irritated and peeling skin on your body? If so, you may not be thrilled to find out that it could be psoriasis; however, the positive news is that you are one step closer to getting the treatment and care you need. Let our Boise, ID, dermatologist Dr. Jennifer DeBlieck tell you more about this condition, its symptoms and the treatment options that will help you achieve clearer skin.
What is psoriasis?
Our immune system is designed to detect foreign invaders and to fight off infections. Unfortunately, sometimes these signals get jumbled up and our immune system starts fighting healthy cells. When this happens an autoimmune disorder forms. Psoriasis is an inflammatory autoimmune condition that causes the immune system to attack the skin, leading to the sudden buildup of cells on the surface of the skin.
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptom of psoriasis is the presence of thick, red scaly patches. These patches are often inflamed, usually dry and scaly, and can sometimes itch or be painful. These plaques can appear just about anywhere on the body but most commonly appear on the knees, elbows, scalp, and legs.
Most of the symptoms are cyclical, which means that you may experience flare-ups that last several weeks or even months, after which you may experience a bout of remission (in which you don’t experience any symptoms).
I have been diagnosed with psoriasis. Now what?
While there is no cure for psoriasis there are several ways to manage your condition to reduce the frequency and severity of your flare-ups. The most common treatment options include topical medications, systemic medications and light therapy.
Those dealing with mild-to-moderate psoriasis will often use a topical medication, which is applied directly to the skin. This medication is often used in conjunction with other medications or treatment options. Common topical medications include:
- Corticosteroid gels or creams
- Vitamin D solutions
- Retinoid creams
- Ointments that contain salicylic acid
Systemic medications are administered orally or through an injection. Our Boise, ID, skin doctor may prescribe systemic medications for severe or persistent bouts of psoriasis. These medications include,
- Biologics (which affect the immune system)
Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, uses natural or artificial UV light to reduce inflammation and scaling. Phototherapy can target a single plaque or more widespread flare-ups. In most cases, light therapy is usually combined with medications.
DeBlieck Dermatology in Boise, ID, is dedicated to providing a full range of dermatological services to patients of all ages. No matter whether you are fighting adult acne or are concerned that you might have psoriasis, don’t hesitate to call our office today to schedule an evaluation.
Rashes will happen to most people at some point during their lifetime, whether it’s from coming in contact with poison ivy while on a camping trip or from an allergic reaction to a skincare product. While most rashes aren’t anything to worry about, we know that the other symptoms that accompany them—redness, itching and burning—can be annoying. Find out the most common causes for rashes and when your rash requires an evaluation from a dermatologist.
What causes a rash?
There are a variety of reasons rashes develop. Your rash could be caused by:
- Contact dermatitis
- Certain medications
- Heat rash
- Viral infections
- Asthma or allergies
- Bug bite
- Poison ivy, oak and sumac
When do you seek medical attention?
Most rashes will go away on their own and won’t require medical attention; however, while all rashes might look the same it’s also important to be able to recognize when a rash is serious enough that it needs to be evaluated by a skin doctor. Since there are so many different things that can cause a rash it’s important to have a proper diagnosis so you know exactly how to treat it.
You should have a rash checked out if:
- It’s all over your body
- It’s accompanied by a fever
- It’s painful
- It’s showing signs of an infection (oozing; warm to the touch; swelling)
- It’s blistering
- It appears suddenly and continues to spread quickly
How do you treat a rash?
The treatment plan your dermatologist creates for you will really depend on the cause of your rash. Sometimes over-the-counter creams such as hydrocortisone or calamine lotion can help manage itching and other symptoms until the rash goes away. Oatmeal baths can also be soothing for rashes caused by poison ivy or poison oak. While the rash heals, avoid using any products on your skin that contain fragrances or harsh chemicals. Try not to cover the rash, as it needs to be able to breathe.
If you do have to come in for an evaluation, we will provide you with the proper medication or treatment necessary to get rid of the root cause of the rash. It’s important that you follow the treatment as prescribed in order to effectively get rid of the rash.