Dermatology Information and Resources

Skin Rashes

Rashes are inflamed, irritated, raised areas of the skin that often come on suddenly. Rashes usually accompany a slew of uncomfortable symptoms that can be seen as well as felt on the skin. They can occur on every area of the body from a small, localized presence to an outbreak all over.[1]

Common symptoms: A rash is characterized as red, itchy, bumpy, irritated skin lesions that may be painful. Most people can feel a rash forming in the form of persistent itching, bumps, dryness, a burning or tingling sensation, and general irritation.[2] Some rashes can also form into blisters or patches of raw skin, or form into ulcers on the skin or inside the mouth.

Causes: Rashes can occur as a result of many medical issues:

  • Allergies
  • Dermatitis (eczema)
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Extreme heat or friction
  • Rosacea
  • Genetics
  • Medication use
  • Psoriasis
  • Overexposure to sunlight or UV Rays
  • Ringworm
  • Viruses
  • Bacterial infections
  • Skin fungus
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Underlying medical conditions


Treatment: Since rashes can occur due to a variety of reasons, watching for accompanying symptoms is one of the best ways to determine the cause of your rashes. If you’ve come in contact with a possible irritant and a rash develops on an affected area of the skin, plenty of OTC hydrocortisone creams are available to apply directly on the site for relief of symptoms. In the case of chronic rashes from eczema, keeping the skin moisturized and hydrated will help to prevent recurring outbreaks.[3] Medicated creams such as Eucerin and those containing colloidal oatmeal are highly recommended for rash and itch prevention. If the rashes are allergy related, using an oral antihistamine such as Benadryl can relieve rash symptoms. A doctor can offer prescription-strength hydrocortisone cream to fight off persistent rashes.


For recurring skin rashes or conditions such as psoriasis, a dermatologist can use a variety of therapies to prevent the overproduction of skin cells and resulting rashes. If rashes are viral or bacteria in nature, other symptoms such as fever, sore throat or general malaise may accompany them. In these cases, it is best to seek a doctor’s care to treat the underlying condition. If rashes are a result of an autoimmune disorder, a doctor can prescribe medications that can boost your immune system, keeping skin discomfort at bay.[4]

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