Skin Rashes

Skin rashes are inflamed patches of skin the appear as the result of a trigger. They can happen to anyone at any time, and almost everyone experiences a rash in their lifetime. While rashes are extremely common, they vary in appearance, causes, and symptoms from person to person. Many times, a rash will disappear on its own or with home treatment. However, sometimes, rashes will worsen, and medical attention is required.

If you’re concerned about a new or persisting rash on your skin, make an appointment at any one of our three Minneapolis-area offices. We can assess your rash through observation or by taking a sample, provide a diagnosis, and recommend a treatment plan. Often, not knowing the cause is the worst part of developing a rash. We can help you find the trigger.



Causes of Skin Rashes

A rash can be caused by several different triggers, but it is usually a sign of skin irritation. A rash can be a sign of an allergic reaction, or a rash may appear when skin encounters a specific substance or material, such as a poisonous plant, harsh chemicals, soaps, lotions, jewelry (metals), or latex. Insects or parasites can also cause rashes, as well as prolonged exposure to heat and moisture. Certain medicines can also trigger a rash.

A rash also may be a sign of a viral infection, chronic skin problem, or a more serious disease. If you’re unsure of your rash’s cause, a visit to the dermatologist is a good idea. Inflammation may be a sign of something more serious than a common rash.


Skin Rash Symptoms

Depending on the person, a rash can vary in appearance and have different symptoms. A rash may appear red, swollen, cracked, dry, bumpy, or blistered. It may cause itchiness or feel warm to the touch. If you are experiencing a rash that is accompanied by other symptoms, such as shortness of breath or a fever, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.


Types of Severe Skin Rashes

While some rashes have a known cause and disappear on their own, others are more serious. Below, we’ve detailed some of the chronic conditions and serious rashes we see at our offices.

  • Atopic Eczema – This is a chronic form of eczema that flares periodically. The condition makes the skin red and itchy, and it may be accompanied by asthma or hay fever. While there is no cure for eczema, several symptom management treatments exist. Talk to your dermatologist about your options.
  • Psoriasis – This is a bumpy, scaly, itchy rash that flakes (rather than oozing or weepy). It most often appears on the scalp, elbows, and knees. Psoriasis is an immune system reaction, and most cases are chronic. Visit our office to talk about psoriasis management strategies.
  • Seborrheic Dermatitis – This common rash is not generally dangerous, but when scratched, it can easily develop an infection. Caused by cold climates, yeast, overall health, and genetics, this rash consists of pale yellow, scaly patches that can look greasy. When the patches flake off, they reveal reddish skin.
  • Bacterial Infections – Bacterial infections often cause rashes. Some of these patches of inflammation are very common, like folliculitis. Eruptions from bacterial infections are often pustular, and hey can be very painful. Some bacterial rashes will require medical support and antibiotic treatment, such as in the case of spirochetes, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and secondary syphilis.

Skin Rash Treatments and When to See a Specialist

Mild rashes that go away after a few days are probably no cause for alarm, but with severe or recurrent skin rashes, that’s when it’s time to see a doctor. Since the causes and symptoms of rashes can be extremely different, there are many different methods of treatment. This most often includes over the counter and prescription medication (oral or topical). If the doctor suspects that the rash has been caused by an allergic reaction, additional testing may be necessary. If the rash is chronic, like psoriasis or eczema, you may have different treatment options.

If your rash is painful, uncomfortable, or you can’t pinpoint its source, scheduling an appointment with the dermatologist is an excellent idea.


Contact us to schedule an appointment or virtual visit today.

*Results may vary per patient. Services vary by location.