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Written by Dr. Ringpfeil

Rashes

The word rash is a general term that can refer to a variety of skin eruptions. The symptoms or lack thereof, the appearance of the rash, location and duration are useful in arriving at a diagnosis.

Is the rash itchy? Typically rashes associated with eczema (atopic dermatitis) and contact dermatitis are known for being very itchy. A classic example of a contact dermatitis is a rash from poison ivy. If you have ever had a rash from contact with poison ivy you know that itching is a predominant feature. Plants are not the only source of a contact dermatitis. You can get contact dermatitis from metals, particularly nickel, from cosmetics and even from some topical medications such as Neosporin Ointment or Bacitracin. Avoiding continued contact with the offending agent is key. Treatment usually involves use of a topical anti-inflammatory agent such as a steroid cream.

Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is associated with a history of dry, sensitive skin. Often there is a personal or family history of asthma or seasonal allergies. Cleansing your skin gently with a soap free cleanser and moisturizing liberally and regularly are key to preventing eczema flares. When flares of itchy red areas on the skin do occur treatment with a topical steroid appropriate to the location on the body is often needed.

skin rash

Rashes for which itching is not a predominant feature include psoriasis, fungal infections and viral exanthems. Psoriasis presents with red patches with silvery scale typically on elbows and knees. While psoriasis on these locations usually does not itch, psoriasis on the scalp can be itchy. Psoriasis often has a hereditary component. Treatment is based on how much skin is involved and can include use of topical steroids and Vitamin D analogues, light treatments, oral or injectable medications.

Fungal skin infections commonly known as ringworm appear as a ring of scaly red skin. Sometimes little bumps can be present along the edge. Itching is often present but not intense. Sometimes a skin scraping has to be taken to confirm the diagnosis. The problem can usually be treated with a topical antifungal medication.

Viral exanthems are rashes caused by a systemic viral infection. They usually are not itchy. These rashes tend to resolve with time without the need of treatment.

Appearance is another important clue in identifying a rash. A poorly defined area of scaly red skin often suggests eczema (atopic dermatitis), well defined thickened scaly plaques suggest psoriasis, scaly ring-like lesions suggest a fungal infection, pus-filled bumps suggest a bacterial infection, small blisters can indicate a viral infection like fever blisters or shingles; insect bites or contact dermatitis. Of course this is just a sampling of the many ways a rash can present and less common causes also need to be considered.

The location on the body provides a valuable clue. Common sites for a fungal infection are the groin and the feet; psoriasis often affects the elbows, knees and scalp; eczema (atopic dermatitis) commonly involves the inside of the elbow and the area behind the knee in children; fever blisters occur on the lips; rashes brought on by the sun affect sun exposed areas of the skin; seborrheic dermatitis affects hair bearing areas, ears and face.

Duration of the rash is an identifying characteristic. New onset itchy rashes may indicate a contact dermatitis whereas rashes that have come and gone over a period of months or years would more likely denote atopic dermatitis, psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis.

These general guidelines can provide some clues to the diagnosis but rashes need to be seen and sometimes felt to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. It is recommended that you make an appointment with a trained skin care provider for assessment of your rash since different rashes can have a similar

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# of surveys: 3816
Last updated: 08/27/2020 2:06 PM

PATIENT RATINGS

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definitely
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probably
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0.02%

Compare our service to other similar practices

excellent
87.9%
very good
10.1%
good
1.8%
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Overall doctor performance

excellent
94.2%
very good
4.89%
good
0.80%
poor
0.03%
very poor
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The doctor listened to you attentively

excellent
93.9%
very good
4.97%
good
1.05%
poor
0.05%
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The doctor took time to answer your questions

excellent
94.0%
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4.66%
good
1.27%
poor
0.02%
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The doctor explained treatment options

excellent
94.3%
very good
4.16%
good
1.25%
poor
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The doctor explained treatment options

excellent
92.0%
very good
5.69%
good
2.18%
poor
0.11%
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Front desk performance

excellent
85.6%
very good
10.2%
good
3.66%
poor
0.31%
very poor
0.08%

Aesthetician performance

excellent
88.6%
very good
7.61%
good
3.39%
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0.24%
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Office comfort

excellent
90.9%
very good
6.93%
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Parking

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14.4%
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15.7%
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2.49%
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0.9%

Friendliness of the staff during appointment

excellent
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What WE DID WELL

(Answers:674)

Bright cheerful offices.

#12011-03-28 15:28:21

I really liked all aspects of my visist. I feel as though I have finally found a dermatologist. She and her staff were willingly to listen and give me their professional opinion and hopefully find a treament that will work longterm.

#22019-09-28

Very efficient!

#32020-06-03

Promptness of being seen by physician, excellent, friendly staff. Dr. really listened and offered a plan to resolve my problem.

#42011-10-17 11:50:17

Appreciated the time the doctor took with me and the fact that she discussed fees in advance of services. Bottom line: excellence in every way.

#52020-09-04

I enjoyed the French music in the reception area.

#62019-10-12

New options! Every dermatologist I've gone to says and does the same things. I'm happy to be trying something new since those other methods didn't work.

#72011-05-19 10:14:50

The Dr treated me as a Person, not a commodity. She talked to me so I could understand what needed to be done and what possible courses of actions needed to be taken. I enjoyed the fact that the Dr. took time to listen to me & took action considering my desires as well.

#82020-01-22

The treatments that are on display in the lobby. Also, the fact that the dermatologist told me the truth about commercial face cleansers.

#92020-05-12

You LISTEN AND YOU HEAR

#102019-12-22

What can we do better?

(answers:373)

everything was great.

#12011-03-18 11:09:57

I had an appointment for a consulation for sun damage. Unfortunately, I need to see either a doctor or PA for my issue and this was not included in my appointment, so I need to make another trip. It is difficult for me to carve time out of my work day to take care of personal needs, so this is creating an inconvenience for me. I would have preferred to had the complete consultation done in one appointment.

#22011-02-14 14:14:53

Magazines in the examining room to read while I waited for the doctor (I get bored easily).

#32020-06-14

No changes recommended at this time.

#42020-02-04

Service was excellent!

#52010-09-30 13:09:12

Only the 30 minute wait time really should be shortened.

#62020-07-07

any information on services provided for enhancing skin apperance

#72020-03-05

you are the best!

#82011-08-10 10:32:44

service was excellent

#92020-05-31

WINE AND CHEESE WOULD BE NICE IN THE WAITING AREA

#102011-02-09 12:32:20
Customer Rating : 4.5

Based on 178 ratings