Call Us Today! 252-633-4200

Skin Rashes: 7 Reasons to Call the Dermatologist

Woman with Skin Rashes in the Elbow — New Bern, NC — East Carolina Dermatology and Skin Surgery, PLLC

While many skin rashes are nothing to worry about, others may indicate something more serious than typical skin irritation or sunburn. A number of external and internal factors can result in, or even exacerbate, rashes on your skin, but you may struggle to tell if a rash is simply harmless or a symptom of a more serious problem.

All rashes may look troublesome in one way or another. Keep reading to learn about a few crucial warning signs that a rash may need medical attention.

1. It’s Widespread

Large rashes that spread over sizable regions of the body are typically due to an internal cause. Any rash that spreads to larger areas of the body, no matter what its color or texture, deserves a second look.

A widespread rash may take over multiple parts of the body, or it may appear in one large area. In either case, widespread rashes could indicate an intense allergic reaction, an adverse medication response, or a viral infection.

2. You Have a Fever

If a rash is accompanied by a fever, you shouldn’t wait on any other symptoms. A fever alone is a sign your body is fighting off a potential infection or reacting to a food or substance your body considers invasive.

If in addition to a fever you’ve also spotted any unusual redness or sores, your body could be fighting off a more serious illness, such as measles, scarlet fever, or shingles.

3. It Appears Suddenly

Minor irritants can cause acute rashes, but they can also indicate a serious allergic reaction. A significant rash that appears within a short duration of time should prompt you to get in touch with a doctor right away.

If you have a sudden rash that seems the least bit unusual, have a professional examine it to ensure that it isn’t something serious, as illnesses like hepatitis can cause sudden rashes.

4. It’s Painful

Many rashes involve some degree of unpleasantness and irritation. Some, however, are severely painful. Various bacterial and viral infections can cause painful rashes, and some diseases, which can be quite serious, can cause painful rashes as well.

It’s hard to tell at home whether your rash is something to be concerned about, but when a rash goes from minorly tender to too painful to ignore, you should get a professional diagnosis.

5. It Has an Unusual Color

The large majority of skin rashes will be various shades of pink or red, so if a rash starts to take on another hue, it’s typically cause for concern.

A drug addiction can create rashes with a purplish color, or even signal that something is amiss with your blood’s clotting abilities. Purple spots on the skin are always cause for concern and require immediate medical attention, so head to the emergency room if a bruise-like pattern of spots appears on your skin.

6. It Won’t Go Away

If you’ve tried various creams and over the counter solutions and your rash persists or worsens, call your dermatologist. From common irritations to other underlying causes, a dermatologist can properly intervene and diagnose and prescribe treatments to soothe a stubborn rash.

Not only would a persistent rash indicate it could be something beyond a typical rash, but a skin rash that won’t seem to lessen or subside can easily become infected the longer it’s left untreated.

7. Something Doesn’t Seem Right

Often, rashes don’t always feature the aforementioned symptoms, and yet something may still feel very off. When in doubt, listen to your gut and make an appointment to get examined.

Even when a rash is no cause for concern, you should take the safe road and make sure it’s something short-lived and treatable and not a critical health condition.

If your rash seems out of the ordinary, contact our office to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. The specialists at East Carolina Dermatology and Skin Surgery, PLLC, can examine and diagnose any potential rashes and provide the treatment you need to begin healing your skin.

Leave a comment