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Common Causes of Skin Rashes and When to Seek Treatment

Rashes come in many shapes and forms. You may experience itchiness, irritation, or a change in the color or texture of your skin. 

A rash isn’t an actual diagnosis. Instead, it’s a symptom of something going wrong with your body. If your rash persists more than a few days, it could be a sign of an underlying condition, exposure to allergens, side effects from medications, or a bacterial infection. 

If you want to find out what could be causing your skin problems, read on. We asked Dr. Rakesh Chugh about what can cause a rash and when to seek medical help.

Insect bites 

Few insect bites lead to a rash on their own. What triggers the rash is an allergic reaction to the venom. Even mosquitoes can cause rashes in people who are allergic to them. 

However, if you don’t know what bit you, it’s wise to seek medical help as some species of spiders carry life-threatening venom.

Viral infections

There are many infections that can cause rashes, including measles, chickenpox, roseola, and dengue fever. A rash that’s caused by a viral infection is typically accompanied by fever, body aches, and fatigue.

You can fight off some viral infections by drinking plenty of liquids and getting adequate rest. However, a viral infection can lead to serious complications if you have a weakened immune system and medical attention is advised.

Reaction to plants and weeds 

Plants don’t want to be eaten or destroyed, but they don’t have legs to run or fangs to bite.  The way plants protect themselves from being eaten by animals and humans is by secreting harmful substances that attack the immune system, the digestive system, or the skin. 

Poison oak, poison sumac, and poison ivy are some of the many plants known to cause skin rashes. 

Side effects of medication 

Rashes are a common side effect of many medications. However, the highest incidence of rashes occurs in patients who are prescribed antibiotics or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. When the rash is accompanied by swelling, hives, and itchy skin, it could be a sign of an allergic reaction.

Get your rash diagnosed and treated 

Aside from being an aesthetic concern, rashes are a sign that your body is fighting something. It could be an allergic reaction, a bite from an insect carrying venom, or an underlying condition. 

If you have a rash that’s accompanied by swelling and difficulty breathing, seek emergency care immediately. It may indicate an anaphylactic reaction, which is a life-threatening condition that occurs within seconds or minutes of contact with an allergen.

If your rash won’t go away on its own, contact our office in Tinley Park, Illinois, by phone or online to schedule an appointment to get a diagnosis and treatment for your rash.

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