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When does a simple rash turn into a big problem?

May 20, 2015
red scaly rash on a persons toes

You probably remember from grade school science class that the skin is the largest organ of the body, but what you might not know is that it's actually the first line of defense against many of the germs and bacteria that get you sick. Your skin puts up with a lot of abuse from the environment and even the products you use to make yourself look presentable every morning, so is it any surprise that it can get irritated from time to time?

While skin rashes might be embarrassing for adults and uncomfortable for children, the majority of cases don't approach anything close to life-threatening. However, that doesn't mean you can just sit back and let every skin rash play out on its own. Sometimes, the pain or threat of infection can be severe enough to warrant a trip to your nearest CareWell urgent care center.

"Nailing down the cause of your rash can be incredibly difficult."

A rash decision
Because the skin is exposed to a wide variety of materials and solutions, nailing down the cause of your rash can be incredibly difficult. However, it is possible to break down different types of rashes by the way they appear on the skin.

First, there are general rashes, which include any irritations that present with redness and itchiness. Heat rashes also exhibit those symptoms, but with the added features of raised bumps on the upper body that resemble pimples. Hives constitute the third general grouping and appear like larger versions of the smaller bumps in heat rashes. Lastly, blisters are also a form of skin rash, although these are characterized by fluid-filled pockets of skin that are tender to the touch. In some cases, blisters can fill with blood to resemble dark spots on the skin.

What if it won't go away?
Because skin rashes can be caused by an innumerable number of things, it's usually best to wait and see if the problem clears itself up over the course of a few days. Also, keep track of what you've eaten, new makeup or topical creams you've started using and other possible irritants that could've caused the reaction. Since some rashes are a result of an allergic reaction within the body, cutting out the allergen in question is the fastest way to clear up the rash.

There's no use suffering through a rash that won't go away.There's no use suffering through a rash that won't go away.

However, there are some cases where rashes cause too much pain to be ignored. Sometimes, this can be a self-caused problem: If you're a bit too overzealous with over-the-counter remedies, you could irritate your skin more than it was in the beginning. Other times, your innocent-looking rash could actually be a much more serious condition like shingles. You should also keep a close eye on children with painful rashes. They might not have the self-control to keep from scratching, and this can lead to infections if you're not careful.

Whether it's for a medical or purely cosmetic reason, head to your nearest CareWell urgent care center the next time a rash sticks around for a day too long. The sooner you walk into a center, the sooner you'll be back to a clean complexion and bill of health.

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