Got a rash?
The term rash covers a huge variety of different conditions that irritate the skin, causing a change of colour or texture. Rashes may involve simple reddening, raised bumps and spots, or form scabs and scales. They may be itchy and painful, or they may not bother you at all beyond the change in your appearance. Rashes can appear anywhere on the body, from your face and hands to your armpits even in your mouth.
Are rashes dangerous?
A huge number of conditions can cause a rash, and ranging from the mild irritation of a heat rash, to the life threatening infection of meningitis. Most rashes are harmless, and are simply a reaction to changes in your environment, or an allergic reaction to something like medication, new cosmetics or other chemicals. These will normally go away on their own once you have identified and removed the cause.
Some rashes can be the result of a bacterial of viral infection of the skin, and these too can be easily resolved with the appropriate treatment, such as antibiotics, antivirals and often the addition of steroid creams.
However, some rashes are an indication of something much more serious. Several infectious diseases can cause rashes, and some of these, such as measles, Lyme disease and meningitis require urgent treatment to avoid complications.
Which kind of rash have I got?
Because there are so many different kind of rashes, it can be difficult to identify the cause. Some rashes, such as ringworm, a fungal infection on the skin, can also be identified by direct observation, however it is rarely that easy. Your dermatologist will work with you to discuss any recent changes in your habits or lifestyle, talk about where you have been in recent days that may have brought you into contact with an irritant, and discuss any other symptoms you may have. This will help them to narrow down the possible causes, reach a diagnosis and offer an effective treatment.
Long term rashes
Conditions such as eczema and psoriasis can be a long term, or chronic, problem. That means that your rashes will come and go, regardless of what other factors you are exposed to. These conditions are often hereditary. Fortunately, eczema and psoriasis tend to be more prevalent in the childhood years and most people grow out of them by the time they reach their twenties.
There are, in fact, a number of rashes that are more common in babies and children and which rarely occur in adults. Most childhood rashes are harmless and will clear up quickly either on their own or with over the counter medication from your pharmacy. However, if there are any accompanying symptoms, such as fever or flu-like symptoms, you should seek professional help as soon as possible just to be sure.
“As a family friendly practice, we have vast experience of dealing with childhood rashes and can quickly put your mind at rest if you are worried, or take prompt action if this is necessary.”