A rash can be pink or red, itchy or stinging, localized or widespread across your body. If you’re experiencing a rash that won’t go away or which has warning signs of not being “just a rash,” you could need to seek medical help.
At Dermatology Associates of Central NJ, with offices in Old Bridge, Freehold, and Union, New Jersey, our team of experienced dermatologists can help diagnose your rash and put you back on the path to unblemished, non-itchy skin.
When to seek medical treatment for a rash
Rashes can be an acute reaction to something in your environment or something you ate or drank, or it could be a chronic condition that is constant or comes and goes over time.
Here’s what you need to know about rashes that indicate a need to see your doctor.
Scaly, itchy skin
Scaly itchy skin can look like a rash, but it could actually be psoriasis. You’ll be able to identify potential psoriasis if skin seems to build up, then flake off. It’s a failure of your body to shed old skin cells fast enough, while new skin cells form too rapidly. Your dermatologists can help treat your psoriasis with creams and/or steroids.
Full body rash
A rash that is harmless is usually localized, meaning it appears on one part of your body and doesn’t spread excessively. A full body rash indicates your body is having a systemic reaction. If you have a full body rash and a fever, you should suspect an infection and seek immediate medical attention from your dermatologist or even the emergency room.
A full body rash with a fever could indicate:
- Mononucleosis (you could also have a sore throat and jaundice)
- Shingles (the same type of varicella-zoster virus that causes chicken pox)
- Measles (rubella)
- Scarlet fever
Sudden acute rash
If your rash came on very quickly, it could mean you’re having an allergic reaction. If you start having trouble breathing, you could be suffering from anaphylactic shock. Seek medical help immediately. If you’re prone to allergy reactions, you might need an EpiPen®.
A rash that blisters and causes open sores is cause for concern. If blisters appear around your eyes, mouth, or genitals, it’s time to head to the doctor’s office.
It’s normal for a rash to feel itchy or hot, but if the rash is causing direct pain, you might need medical attention. If you scratch and open up your skin due to a rash, or your rash starts to seep yellow or green fluid or looks crusty. It could be infected, and you need to go see your doctor. This also applies if red streaks start extending out from the area with the rash, or the entire area becomes very hot.
Worried about a rash? Book an appointment online or contact your nearest location today.