Rashes can be a source of stress for anyone, including parents whose child has a rash. Skin rashes are a sign that skin has become irritated. This may be the result of contact with a specific irritant, an infection, hormonal changes, or some other trigger. Generally, rashes are not cause for great concern. Children, especially, may develop rashes from time to time due to their constantly evolving immune systems.
Occasionally individuals may refer to rashes as atopic dermatitis. Most often, a rash is a temporary disturbance. In some instances, however, a rash may be contagious, progressive, or chronic. Though many rashes will clear up without specific care, some require professional treatment from a dermatologist. Visiting our dermatologist for a rash is beneficial in any instance because it can be difficult to ascertain if a rash is contagious or chronic in nature. If a rash is accompanied by tightening in the throat, difficulty breathing, or a high fever, prompt medical attention should be sought.
A rash may develop in a number of different forms, such as:
- Raised or flat red bumps or spots
- Red welts
- Areas of bright redness, such as on the cheeks
- Patches of dry skin
- Flaky skin
- Diffuse redness and itching
- Sores that ooze fluid
Children and people with immune sensitivity may be more at risk for the development of contact dermatitis, an irritation that develops because of contact with a specific irritant. The list of potential triggers for contact dermatitis is long, including various fabrics, plants, lotions or creams, chemicals, and detergents. Foods and metals can also trigger contact dermatitis. Typically, this non-contagious rash will clear up within a few weeks. However, healing may be accelerated with prescribed hydrocortisone cream.
The appearance of itchy blotches or red welts is indicative of hives, a form of rash that can occur on any part of the body. Hives may be small, individual spots, or may look like one large area of irritation when smaller spots join. Hives are the result of histamine release, which occurs when the body reacts to contact with an allergen like medication, insect bites or stings, food, sun exposure, or even stress.
Dermatological treatment for hives may include specific medication as well as guidance in the recognition and avoidance of triggers.
The team at Washington Dermatology Consultants provides excellent care for patients with rashes and other skin concerns. Contact us today to address your dermatological needs.