How to Treat a Rash


It is a swollen area of skin that is irritated. The rash can be in various patterns, and different shades of brown, red or purple. Some rashes may be harmless while others could indicate a serious condition. They can also be a side effect of many medications, and they are very irritating. Symptoms usually disappear with home remedies, but for some they require long-term treatment. 

They can be smooth or bumpy. They can also be dry or itchy. Rashes can cover a large or small area. Some rashes can be a sign of a serious disease and require medical attention. Others are caused by allergies or drugs.

Some rashes can be caused by direct contact with something irritating to the skin such as poison oak or poison ivy. Contact dermatitis is the name of these rashes that develop hours or even days after skin has come into contact with a poisonous plant. Some rashes can be caused by medication, an allergic reaction to a food (such as milk or eggs), or exposure to chemicals and dyes. Some rashes are caused by chronic conditions such as eczema or inflammatory disorders such as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.

Most rashes can be treated at home with simple, effective measures. Avoid scratching the rash and use cool compresses. This is especially important if there are blisters. Use a wet cloth or an ice pack to treat the rash until itching and swelling stop. To relieve itching, take an antihistamine such as diphenhydramine or loratadine. Calamine lotion can be purchased to reduce itching.

Speak to your doctor if the rash is painful. The doctor may prescribe a cream, like hydrocortisone to relieve the itching and soothe the rash. In severe cases, your doctor may prescribe you pills that reduce inflammation or suppress the immune system.

Consult your doctor if your rash doesn’t improve or worsen after two weeks. Tell your doctor about the home remedies you’ve tried, how long it lasted, and whether or not it got better. Your doctor will then diagnose the rash to determine its cause. A doctor may need to perform blood tests or a biopsy to determine the cause. He or she might recommend that you see a dermatologist for further evaluation and treatments. Call ClinicALL to speak with one of our doctors.