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Algonquin doctor understands different skin rash types for effective treatment
Posted by Dr. Vikram Khanna
Treatments for rashes are as varied as the types of triggers or conditions that cause the discoloration and, frequently, itching. It’s important to seek the professional expertise of a Board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Vic Khanna. He has the tools and skill to accurately determine the true nature of your symptoms, which ultimately leads to prompt, appropriate, and effective symptom relief and management or treatment. Furthermore, what looks like a benign rash may be something entirely different that requires fast resolution; for example, sudden bruise-like lesions can be indicative of a clotting disorder like vasculitis.
Here, Dermatology Specialists of Illinois covers some of the types of skin rash commonly seen, and respective treatment options at the Algonquin, IL practice.
You may know this type of condition as eczema, a source of severe itching that often flares at night; red to brownish-gray patches of dryness and scaling; and red, fluid-filled bumps.
Some dairy, nuts, fish, and grains can occasionally be triggers, especially among children. In our climate, extremely low or high humidity is the most common trigger. Other potential allergens include dust and pollen. It’s important to avoid these items whenever possible. Take steps to minimize triggers with special cleaning and lifestyle modifications, including:
Frequent moisturizing, at least twice a day.
Limit bathing to no more than 15 minutes.
Use water that’s not too hot for cleansing.
Choose gentle soaps, which don’t strip natural oils.
Apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp.
Creams help to control itching, reduce inflammation, and repair skin that’s raw from scratching. Systemic drugs may also be prescribed to control inflammation over the short term. If your symptoms still haven’t improved with topical products or if you have flare-ups soon after successful treatment, Dr. Khanna may recommend UVB phototherapy on its own or combined with medications.
It’s common for those with eczema to also have the uncomfortable dry and cracked skin, swelling, redness, and blisters characteristic of contact dermatitis. The most common, non-allergic form of this condition is caused by exposure to a substance that damages the protective layer of skin and produces a reaction. Very strong irritants may cause a reaction after one exposure, whereas repeated exposure to even mild irritants can cause a reaction over time. Some patients may develop a tolerance to substances over time. It’s best to practice avoidance or precautions around identified irritants, which often include:
The allergic form of contact dermatitis is often more itchy than painful. Common allergens include latex, perfumes, dyes, nickel, and some medicated antibiotic creams and oral antihistamines. Many of the same treatments and preventive measures mentioned for the other conditions listed above are applicable to allergic contact dermatitis. Prescription steroid ointments or oral medications can soothe the rash and itching, and prevent bacterial infections.
Also called urticaria, this skin reaction ranges from itchy dots to blotches that are many inches around. A closely related condition, angioedema, produces swelling that affects the deeper parts of the skin. It usually occurs on the face, around the eyes and mouth, and on the cheeks. Even when these symptoms resolve on their own, they typically don’t cause lasting damage to affected areas.
Hives are frequently associated with stress. But there are many other triggers, including:
Several foods - peanuts, shellfish, eggs, milk
Allergens - pet dander, pollen, and venom from stinging insects
Drugs - penicillin, aspirin, blood pressure meds.
If symptoms such as itching, pain, or swelling are particularly severe, disruptive, and persistent, antihistamines, and other prescription medications may help ease the itch, redness, and puffiness. Severe hives and swelling may require an emergency injection of epinephrine. Some patients carry this type of adrenaline as a pen-like device, which allows for self-injection in the event of a severe attack.
Mild cases may benefit from the same healthy skincare that improves the symptoms of other types of rashes, such as wet compresses to cool burning and itchy skin, and to prevent the scratching that can lead to bacterial infections.
Causes are as seemingly innocuous as friction that produces chafing and heat or moisture, to chronic conditions like psoriasis. For the short-term relief and long-term resolution that you deserve, schedule a consultation with Dr. Khanna.