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Check Your Health: Rashes — What Are The Causes And How Can You Treat Them

August 31, 2012 by john

Check Your Health_6.jpgCheck Your Health is a web-only feature being offered monthly by The Cheshire Herald. Each month, a professional from MidState Medical Center will offer advice on a different issue pertaining to health.

Skin is the body’s largest organ and is a vital barrier and buffer to the external environment. The most common ailment associated with the skin is a rash. Rashes generally result from some type of irritation to the skin and are most-commonly temporary; however, chronic rashes are also possible and do impact a portion of the population.
What Does A Rash Look and Feel Like?
There are many different types of rashes with many different causes. Some rashes remain confined to one region of the body, whereas others appear all over the body. A rash may include any of the following:
Swelling
Redness
Blisters
Itchiness
Bumps
Purple spots

If you are also experiencing shortness of breath or a fever, contact your healthcare provider immediately, as this may indicate an allergic reaction or infection.
What Causes A Rash?
There are a number of reasons people get rashes. The following list includes some causes:
Contact with irritating substances like detergents, cosmetics, perfumes, or lotions
Contact with a poisonous plant such as poison ivy or oak
Contact with latex for those allergic
Herpes
Sexually transmitted infections
Yeast infections
Exposure to a parasite
Chronic skin problems such as eczema or psoriasis
Side effect of a medication

What Can I Do to Treat A Rash?
Many rashes, although not all, can be treated at home and will heal themselves rather quickly. Some rashes persist or are severe enough to warrant medical attention. Because rashes vary in type and cause, there is no one right way to treat a rash. Therefore, you should contact your primary care doctor to discuss your skin or rash concerns.

Marat Gitman, DO
MidState Medical Group Primary Care & Walk-In Center

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