Clinical Dermatology

Rash Evaluation

Redding Derm is known for its ‘rash decisions’. It’s not that we are abrupt or spontaneous. Rather, it means that we specialize in rashes and bring a wealth of experience to the table with the evaluation of skin rashes. Skin rashes can be very challenging to diagnose and manage. It helps to have a seasoned rash ‘detective’ on the case.

Rash Evaluation

Rashes occur frequently in people of all ages. Some rashes are very common while others are exceedingly rare. Some are easy to diagnose and others require the dermatologic equivalent of a Sherlock Holmes. Similarly, treatment of most rashes is straightforward but, for others, it can be challenging. Rashes have many different causes including allergic reactions, irritation from excessive dryness, or contact with irritants such as harsh chemicals.

Rashes have many different causes including allergic reactions, irritation from excessive dryness or contact with irritants such as harsh chemicals.

Allergic contact dermatitis causes itching and blistering after contact with an allergen, a substance that causes an allergic reaction; poison oak is the most common cause. Other common causes include metals such as nickel, rubber, cosmetics, preservatives, and fragrances. Atopic dermatitis and dry skin eczema are common in young and old respectively. These rashes (especially atopic dermatitis) are often thought of as ‘an itch that rashes’.

In addition to the common dermatitis rashes, many other skin disorders – from psoriasis to shingles and everything in between – also present with a rash. The key for patients is to see a dermatology professional for successful rash diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis of rashes is generally straightforward but can sometimes be challenging and, rarely, almost impossible. For unusual rashes, biopsies and other tests may be suggested. Sometimes, treatment may be started even when the exact clinic diagnosis remains partially hidden. In many of these cases the actual diagnosis becomes clear as time goes by.

Effective treatment of rashes depends upon the nature of the specific rash findings or diagnosis. For dry skin eczema and atopic dermatitis, for example, a multifaceted treatment plan including medication, proper skin care, trigger avoidance, and coping mechanisms may be suggested.

Skin rashes are sometimes deceptively tricky to diagnose and treat. Dermatology professionals have much to offer in the diagnosis and management of skin rashes and are best qualified to help patients make ‘rash decisions’.