Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD
Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Rash facts
- What are the causes, symptoms, and signs of common noninfectious rashes?
- How are common skin rashes diagnosed?
- Scaly patches of skin produced by fungal or bacterial infection
- What is the treatment for a rash?
- Pictures of Adult Skin Problems - Slideshow
- Pictures of Child Skin Problems - Slideshow
- Gallery of Skin Problems Pictures and Images Collection
- Skin FAQs
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
What is the treatment for a rash?
Most rashes are not dangerous. Many rashes last a while and get better on their own. It is therefore not unreasonable to treat symptoms like itchy and/or dry skin for a few days to see whether the condition gets milder and goes away.
Nonprescription (over-the-counter) remedies include the following:
- Anti-itch creams containing 1% hydrocortisone cream can be effective
- Oral antihistamines like diphenhydramine and hydroxyzine can be helpful in controlling the itching.
- Moisturizing lotions
- Fungal infections are best treated with topical antifungal medications that contain clotrimazole (Lotrimin), myconazole (Mycatin), or terbinafine (Lamisil).
If these measures do not help, or if the rash persists or becomes more widespread, a consultation with a general physician or dermatologist is advisable.
There are many, many other types of rashes that we have not covered in this article. So, it is especially important, if you have any questions about the cause or treatment of a rash, to contact your doctor. This article, as the title indicates, is just an introduction to common skin rashes.
A word on smallpox vaccination in patients with rashes
People with atopic dermatitis or eczema should not be vaccinated against smallpox, whether or not the condition is active. Patients with atopic dermatitis are more susceptible to having the virus spread on their skin, which can lead to a serious, even life-threatening condition called eczema vaccinatum. In the case of other rashes, the risk of complications is much less. Consult your doctor about the smallpox vaccine.
Bolognia, Jean L., Joseph L. Jorizzo, and Ronald P. Rapini. Dermatology. 2nd ed. Spain: Mosby, 2008.
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