Rash - Patients ask, Dr. Ringpfeil answers
Please feel free to use the blog below to share information about Rash or to ask Dr. Franziska Ringpfeil a question that might be of interest to others.
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.
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
I’m a 36 year old female. Live in Wisconsin. I donated platelets LAST weekend..last night, the inside of my right elbow broke out in a rash randomly after dinner(prime rib roast with mushrooms and can of brick tea). And tonight BOTH of insides of my elbows have this rash. It is itchy at onset and lasts for about half hour and then stops itching. The itchiness begins at the sites of the double needle donation and spread out in redness. About 4 inches wide left to right and top to bottom. It looks like a baby diaper rash. Its red with blotchy tiny bumps all throughout.
I cant tell if it’s a food allergy, a late reaction to the adhesives hiding needles in place for the donation?
So sorry to hear that. Our blog does not replace the acute care setting. It answers questions of general interest. I recommend that you see your dermatologist tomorrow or go to urgent care.
im african american and i have a small bump behind ear very small rash on back of both knees and on my right thigh
Please note that this blog does not serve as a platform for a personal diagnosis. Please schedule a consultation with a dermatologist.
skin on chest area has small red like bumps not area not dry or all over local to chest area going upward to neck help
Please see you primary doctor for an urgent visit or schedule a short notice appointment with our office. You can call 610-525-5250 during business hours or conveniently book the appointment online on every page of our website.
What is the type of rash in the above photo?
Atopic dermatitis- the bumps were induced by scratching severely itchy skin.
I’ve had this problem for about a week or two. It started on my elbow but now its on the inside of my thighs, along parts of my arm, my armpits, even on my fingers. Its a rash that looks like little white does and they bleed if I scratch them hard. They kinda itch a lot. What should I do!
Please schedule an appointment with a dermatologist if you have not already done so.
skin rask around my neck and down on my privit spot and between my arms
I recommend you make an appointment with a dermatologist at our office. You can schedule the appointment online on our homepage https://www.ringpfeildermatology.com or call 610-525-5250.
how do you know if a rash is caused by scabies or bed bugs and how do you treat this problem
Bed bugs often create a typical line of three bites in a given area of the body, whereas the rash of scabies is often widespread and often in web spaces of the fingers, on ankles and around the genitals. Under the microscope, the distinction can be made if a scabies mite or parts of it was biopsied. A bed bug is too big and does not live in the skin. It cannot be biopsied. The reaction that our body makes around the bite can look similar under the microscope.