8 Rashes You and Your Family Need to Know About
Oh fiddlesticks – is that a rash? Rashes often appear out of nowhere and leave you wondering “is this a serious rash or just a normal rash?” And then there’s the dreaded Google search, or worse still – the Google image search. And now you’ve lost your appetite.
And no wonder it’s so confusing; the American Academy of Dermatology has almost a dozen skin disorder categories – ranging from itchy skin, color changes, and rashes. Rashes can affect you or someone in your family at any age, so it’s good to know the signs of rashes to look for.
It’s also important to recognize when you or your family member needs to seek medical attention for a rash. Some rashes are easily treated with proper medical guidance, and it’s helpful to determine if a rash is contagious or not. Identifying signs of rashes can help keep you and your family safe.
Diaper rash can happen when the skin becomes irritated by your baby’s diaper, and it’s not contagious. It appears in the area around the diaper – buttocks, thighs, and genitals – and is red and tender looking. Your baby may also be a little fussier or act irritated and this can be another sign that their skin is bothering them. Ways to manage diaper rash include frequent diaper changes, using alcohol and fragrance-free wipes, and applying a barrier ointment which contains zinc oxide.
Eczema AKA Atopic Dermatitis
Eczema is a chronic skin condition that can cause a variety of symptoms. Dry skin, itchy skin, cracked or scaly skin, as well as a red patchy rash are all symptoms of eczema. In babies, the rash is more likely to appear on the scalp and face, in older children and adults eczema rashes are likely to appear in the creases of your elbow or knees, or on your ankles and wrists. Certain irritants, materials, and environmental factors can trigger an eczema flare-up. Using a thick cream or ointment to keep your skin moisturized, avoiding triggers, taking shorter baths, and using mild soaps can help reduce the severity and frequency of eczema flare-ups. If your eczema is severe enough, seeing a doctor can help you manage your symptoms more efficiently.
If you notice a red and swollen rash that is warm to the touch, you may have cellulitis. Cellulitis is a skin infection caused by bacteria. It most often appears on a leg or foot. You may even develop blisters. Cellulitis is usually sore and tender and can come with fever, cold sweats, or even nausea. If you think you may have cellulitis it is important to seek medical attention to treat the infection to prevent it from spreading.
If you’re around someone who has a contagious rash, you’re at risk of getting it . Contagious rashes can be caused by bacteria, fungus, or viruses and it is important to identify them quickly to reduce the risk of spreading infection.
Impetigo is a highly contagious skin infection that usually affects children ages 2-5 years old. Impetigo is usually more prevalent in warmer months and in crowded settings such as daycares. Impetigo typically looks like red sores with a honey-colored crusting that appears around the mouth, nose or hands and feet. If you suspect your child has impetigo, they need to be treated with antibiotics from a doctor as well as kept out of school to help reduce to risk of spreading.
Big news here – there are no worms of any kind involved with ringworm. Ringworm is a contagious rash caused by a fungus, one similar to the one that causes athlete’s foot and jock itch (so, still kinda ick). Ringworm rash is usually round and red with a flat center and raised edges. Ringworm rashes can be very itchy, especially at night. Treatment for ringworm includes antifungal ointments or cream prescribed by a doctor.
Measles is a highly contagious rash that develops 3-5 days after exposure to the measles virus. This rash looks like flat red spots that have smaller raised bumps inside the spots. These spots usually appear near the hairline and gradually spread down to the neck, trunk, and rest of the body. Other symptoms associated with a measles rash include high fever, cough, and runny nose. If you or a family member feel you have a measles rash, you may require close medical monitoring as children can become very sick from measles and even require hospitalization. There is no treatment other than supportive measures to address the fever and other symptoms. There is a vaccine available for measles to help prevent obtaining and spreading measles.
Chickenpox starts as a red rash and turns into blisters that open, can ooze, and then scab over. Chickenpox is a viral infection that usually appears on the chest or back first and then spreads to the arms and legs. A chickenpox rash can come with a fever, tiredness, headache, and decreased appetite. Treatment includes symptom management – calamine lotion and cold oatmeal baths to soothe itching. It’s also important to watch for signs of infection from an open blister. You can prevent chickenpox by getting the chickenpox vaccine as well as avoiding people who currently have an active infection.
In addition to chickenpox, shingles is another contagious rash to be aware of. Shingles is the result of the chickenpox virus reactivating later in life. Shingles is more prevalent in adults 50 years or older rather than in children. As opposed to chickenpox where you get a rash all over your body, a shingles rash usually only affects one side of your body such as the side of your chest or back. The rash can start out as a red area and then turn into fluid-filled blisters. A shingles rash can be very painful and cause nerve-type tingling pain and skin sensitivity. Some people feel the nerve pain prior to actually seeing a rash. There is a shingles vaccine that can help reduce your risk of developing shingles and may help lessen symptoms if you happen to still get a shingles rash. If you think you have shingles, seeking medical attention is important as starting anti-viral medication can help you heal faster.
Urgent Care in the Austin, Texas
If you’re in the Austin, Texas area and you or a family member have a troubling rash, Remedy’s here for you. At Remedy, we help you identify what is causing your rash and help you manage your symptoms. We can educate you on the signs of rashes and what to look for. We’re able to connect with you – typically within minutes – by starting one of our convenient 24/7 telemedicine Video Visits. Our 24/7 telemedicine Video visits are statewide in Texas and California. We also accept most major insurance plans.
Our in-person clinic and house calls, as well as our virtual telemedicine services, will help you come up with a plan as well as follow up to help treat your rash. If you’re in the Austin area and need help today, click here to set up an appointment or call 844-REMEDY-5.
We look forward to helping you!