Rash - Treatment and Prescriptions

What is Rash?

Rashes is an area of irritated, red, itchy, or swollen skin. It's a general term for many skin conditions that cause similar looking symptoms, so there are a seemingly endless list of skin conditions that cause rashes. Here are some common skin conditions that may cause a rash:
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Pityriasis rosea
  • Perioral dermatitis
  • Cellulitis
  • Granuloma annulare
  • Lichen planus
  • Lupus
  • Lyme Disease

Symptoms

Rashes are usually characterized by redness and swelling caused by an inflammatory response. However, that’s not to say they all look the same because rashes can look very different from each other depending on the location, shape, and additional symptoms. Take a look at the symptoms from some of the most common skin conditions causing rashes:
  • Atopic dermatitis – dry skin, red or brown itchy patches, small bumps, or thickened, cracked, swollen or scaly skin
  • Contact dermatitis – red skin, itching, dry, cracked, or scaly skin, bumps and blisters, or swelling
  • Pityriasis rosea – red, itchy, raised oval or circle on the chest, abdomen, or back
  • Perioral dermatitis – acne-like, red, and maybe itchy breakout usually around the mouth but it can happen around the genitals
  • Cellulitis – red, swollen, tender area that might come with a fever
  • Granuloma annulare – a red, ring-like bump
  • Lichen planus – red to purple bumps that might have white streaks and could be on the elbows, back, wrists, ankles, mouth, or genitals and appearing as white streaks in the mouth
  • Lupus – butterfly shaped redness across the cheeks and nose, fatigue, or fever
  • Lyme Disease – a red bump, and after it goes away, a large red area could appear

Causes

Because there are many diseases that could cause rashes, there are also many different causes. What they have in common is that they all stimulate the immune inflammatory response to cause redness and swelling. Here are some common skin conditions that cause rashes:
  • Atopic dermatitis – Irritants or allergens and genetic mutation that makes the immune system overreact to allergies.
  • Contact dermatitis – Chemical irritants and/or allergens.
  • Pityriasis rosea – Unknown.
  • Perioral dermatitis – Unknown, but experts suspect topical steroid involvement.
  • Cellulitis – Bacterial infection which is commonly streptococcus or staphylococcus.
  • Granuloma annulare – Unknown, but it's known to have a few triggers like insect bites or hepatitis infections.
  • Lichen planus – Autoimmune response attacking skin and mucous membranes. Triggers could include hepatitis C infection or certain drugs.
  • Lupus – A genetic, autoimmune disease that could be triggered by sunlight, infections, or medications.
  • Lyme Disease – Borrelia burgdorferi and borrelia mayonii bacteria transferred by tick bites.

Treatment

Luckily, even if there are many different causes for rashes, they’re generally treated the same. The redness, swelling, and itchiness is the result of an inflammatory response, so anti-inflammatories and trigger prevention are key characteristics of a good rash treatment plan. However, that is only one part of the solution. A complete plan to combat a rash involves the understanding of what’s causing the rash, so having a dermatologist take a look at the issue and situation is important to find a proper solution.

Home Remedies

While home remedies have taken on popularity, there are little to no studies confirming the effectiveness of such treatments. In some cases, it might even do more harm than good considering their minimal effectiveness versus the unknown side effects they could have on your body. It’s best to follow the medical advice of a dermatologist because they know what will or will not treat the disease. Here are some popular home remedies that you should be careful with:
  • Coconut oil
  • Colloidal oatmeal
  • Moisturizers

Over the Counter Medication

While some over the counter (OTC) medications are effective enough to be given as prescriptions, other OTC medications have limited effects on disease. They might help for mild to moderate cases, but they aren’t usually effective on severe ones. If used incorrectly and without guidance, they might even prove to be ineffective and produce unforeseen side effects. However, a dermatologist can tell you whether or not these can be effective for you. Here are some OTC medications that may or may not be included in a treatment plan given by one of our dermatologists:
  • Moisturizers – “Locks in” moisture into the skin to protect it against irritants and allergens.
  • Corticosteroids – In creams or ointments, it relieves itching and skin inflammation.

Prescription

Prescriptions, alongside professional medical advice, are the most effective form of treatment. Home remedies and over the counter treatments take plenty of time, energy, and money, yet are uncertain to work. Our experienced dermatologists take your unique skin, set of symptoms, and medical history into account to take the guessing game out of your road to recovery. Here are some prescriptions your dermatologist might include in your personalized treatment plan:
  • Corticosteroids – Relieves itching and skin inflammation.
  • NSAID – These are non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs that reduces skin inflammation.
  • Moisturizers – Prescription-strength moisturizers “lock in” moisture into the skin to protect it against irritants and allergens.
  • Antibiotics – Kills bacteria that could cause infection and an overactive immune response.
  • Oral Antihistamines – Relieves itching.
  • Immune system controlling drugs – Relieves skin inflammation and immune system reactions.

Post Treatment Prevention

After being seen by one of our SkyMD dermatologists, you’ve been equipped with the treatment plan and prescription(s) to treat your discomfort. However, disease can be persistent, so you have to be too. A skin care routine and a set of disease-preventing habits recommended by our dermatologists are essential for long term prevention. Here are some popular prevention strategies that could supplement your personalized treatment plan: Avoid triggers such as irritants, allergens, or certain weather conditions Moisturize often to protect against irritant and allergens Avoid scratching the itches so you don’t fall into the itch-scratch cycle Manage stress effectively Avoid excessive sweating Wear soft materials that won’t stimulate itching Gently pat to dry skin to prevent itching and scratching Apply insect repellent

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