Rashes can appear anywhere on the skin in a variety of colors, textures, and patterns. They may be localized to a small area or may spread across large portions of the body. Skin rashes can be difficult to diagnose, as rashes have a variety of causes. A skin rash may be a temporary irritation that resolves on its own, or it could indicate an allergy or disease. In order to treat a skin rash, an accurate diagnosis is usually needed. Our NYC dermatologists frequently see patients with a variety of skin rashes. Based on our years of experience and training, we work to identify the cause of the rash so that we can recommend a treatment that will provide relief.
A rash can be described as a change in the skin’s normal color, appearance, or texture. A rash can be localized or effect the entire body. Some rashes can itch or be painful, while others only involve a change in color or texture. The skin may feel warm or bumpy. Some rashes cause the skin to become dry and cracked. Rashes have a variety of causes. Some individuals develop rashes in response to emotional stress, such as embarrassment or frustration. Extreme weather conditions (dry air, cold weather, and heat waves) can also cause rashes. Many rashes are caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. Shingles (herpes zoster), chicken pox, yeast infections, impetigo, and some sexually transmitted infections are common causes of rashes on the skin. Rashes can also be a symptom of a chronic skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, or acne. In some cases, a rash may indicate a more serious disease, such as cancer.
Contact dermatitis is one common cause of rashes. It occurs when the skin comes in contact with an irritating substance, typically resulting in a rash within 48 hours. It usually manifests as mild redness and small red bumps, but in more severe cases can cause swelling, pain, redness, and larger blisters. Some plants, such as poison ivy, oak or sumac, cause irritation in nearly all people. Other people are particularly sensitive to ingredients in everyday products, such as laundry detergent or shampoo. In most cases, avoidance of the irritating substance will resolve contact dermatitis; however, it can be difficult to identify the cause of the contact dermatitis. Our doctors, with convenient locations in Westchester County and Suffolk County, can help you identify the irritant so you can avoid it in the future.
Since rashes can vary so dramatically, there is not one specific treatment for a skin rash. Rather, your doctor will need to understand your medical history, recent exposure to any irritants, and incidences of a similar rash within your family. Not all rashes require medical treatment. Your doctor will take other symptoms into consideration when determining what, if any, treatment is required. If you are concerned about a rash or other skin problem, please contact one of our offices today. We have several conveniently located offices in the New York area, including Queens and Bergen County.