What Does It Mean If I Have a Rash?

Many of us have had a rash before. We all know that they’re itchy, uncomfortable and sometimes painful, but what are our bodies trying to tell us when we develop a rash?

Our AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte team has some answers, so keep reading!

Why Do We Develop Rashes?

Rashes can be caused by many things, including exposure to certain plants (poison ivy, for example) and allergic reactions to a medication or a certain type of food. Rashes can also be caused by an illness like measles or chickenpox. Additionally, rashes can be caused by blocked pores that trap perspiration under the skin (heat rash), which is especially common during the summer months.

These types of rashes are developed when your immune system emits antibodies to fight a harmful substance trying to enter your body. The cells then emit histamine and other chemicals which cause an allergic reaction, such as a rash.

More Common Rash Causes

  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Impetigo
  • Shingles
  • Childhood illnesses, such as chickenpox, measles, roseola, rubella, hand-foot-mouth disease, fifth disease and scarlet fever
  • Insect bites or stings

Will a Rash Go Away on Its Own?

Typically, yes, but some rashes are longer-lasting and will require long-term treatment to keep the rash under control. Most rashes, however, will usually disappear within two to four weeks after they develop.

If you or your child develops a rash, however, it’s a good idea to visit our AFC center, to be safe. Some rashes can become infected if left untreated for too long, and some can get worse quickly. If your rash shows any of the symptoms that we’ve listed below, don’t hesitate to get medical care.

When to Seek Medical Care

  • A rash is all over the body. A rash that covers the body could indicate something problematic, such as an infection or allergic reaction.
  • A rash is accompanied by a fever. This also could be caused by an allergic reaction or an infection. Examples of rashes caused by infection include scarlet fever, measles, mononucleosis and shingles.
  • The rash is sudden and spreads rapidly. A common cause of this is an allergy to a medication. If breathing becomes difficult, go to the emergency room or call 911.
  • The rash is painful.
  • The rash is infected. If you have an itchy rash and you scratch it, it may become infected. Signs of an infected rash are yellow or green fluid, swelling, crusting, pain, warmth in the rash area, or a red streak coming from the rash.

Has your child developed a heat rash at a local summer camp, such as Queens Sports Camp? Don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte today!