Rashes You Should Be Concerned About

Rashes are usually minor irritations, but sometimes they can signal underlying medical conditions or allergic reactions that require immediate treatment. 

Our board-certified dermatologists here at Seacoast Dermatology are expert skin diagnosticians who get to the root of your discomfort quickly and provide the necessary medical treatment to eliminate your rash. 

Following are rashes that require prompt medical attention. 

Hives: A sudden rash all over your body 

An all-body rash may signal a potentially severe allergic reaction, which could be not only serious, but life-threatening. 

If you or a loved one has difficulty breathing, nausea, and/or vomiting along with your rash, call 911 immediately. You likely have anaphylaxis, which causes your body to go into shock. It’s a life-threatening condition. 

If you have hives without other life-threatening symptoms, you should still see a doctor. Hives itch and may disappear by the time you get to our office but then reappear elsewhere later. Your hives could have come from a food allergy you didn’t know you had. 

We help discover the cause of your hives and provide soothing treatment. 

Fever or pain with a rash

Whenever you have a fever, your body is sending a signal that it’s fighting an infection. Pain is another important signal your body sends you that something is amiss. Call our office for an appointment. 

A purple rash all over your body 

If you have an all-body rash that looks purple, you could have a serious bacterial infection or a condition called vasculitis, which inflames your blood vessels. Untreated bacterial infections can lead to sepsis, and untreated vasculitis damages your blood vessels and potentially your heart and/or lungs. 

Rashes that blister your skin 

A rash with blisters requires immediate attention by a dermatologist. It could be from poison ivy or poison oak, a new drug you are taking, or an autoimmune disease. 

If you had chickenpox as a child or have been vaccinated against it, you can develop shingles later on. Shingles is very common in people over age 50. This blistering rash can be very painful, and you need treatment right away. 

Rash across cheeks and nose 

If you have a rash across your cheeks and nose and/or a red, flaky or scaly rash on other parts of your body, you should be checked for lupus, an autoimmune disease. Lupus requires consistent medical treatment. 

Bruising or swelling with the rash

If the skin around your rash starts to bruise or swell, contact us right away. It could be the result of a poisonous insect bite, which can stop blood circulation to that area of your body.  

Skin discoloration with a rash 

If your skin becomes discolored along with a rash, seek medical treatment. If your skin looks yellowish, you may have liver disease; if your skin turns dark, it could mean you have diabetes. 

Contact us at Seacoast Dermatology if you’re concerned about a rash and for all of your skin care health concerns. We have offices in Portsmouth, Dover, and Exeter, New Hampshire. We offer telederm appointments if you can’t come to one of our offices.

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