Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No

Signs You Should Ask Your Doctor About a Rash

Rashes. Almost everyone has had one at one time or another. You know the signs: Your skin may be red and swollen or have small, lumpy bumps in the affected area, and many rashes cause itching. It’s hard to keep yourself from scratching it repeatedly. 

A rash is a symptom of quite a number of medical conditions. Two common causes of rashes are eczema and a form of dermatitis. If you have eczema, you have patches of skin that are dry, itchy, and red. You can be born with it or develop it as an adult, and eczema has a genetic component. 

You could also have contact dermatitis, meaning you’re allergic to something that you’ve come into contact with, which could be ingredients in shampoo, laundry detergent, fabric softener, moisturizer, soap, and more. 

As a member of the American Contact Dermatitis Society, our practice has resources available to ensure you have the best care possible. 

There are many other reasons you may have developed a rash. A good rule of thumb is that if your rash doesn’t disappear in a day or two, it’s time to see a doctor. Some rashes can signal an infection or other serious health issue. As with other medical conditions, early treatment helps prevent complications. 

Our board-certified dermatologists at Seacoast Dermatology see patients with rashes every day. Their expert knowledge can yield a diagnosis quickly that helps us treat your condition and relieve your discomfort. 

Rashes from chronic conditions require medical attention 

Some rashes often recur from chronic conditions, such as eczema, forms of dermatitis, psoriasis, and rosacea. These rashes can flare up after not causing trouble for a period of time.

All chronic rashes need proper medical attention. You may need a refill of a prescription, or there may be a new prescription on the market that wasn’t available previously. 

When does a rash need immediate medical treatment? 

The following symptoms that are present with a rash need immediate attention from your dermatologist or treatment at an emergency room. 

Difficulty breathing 

Proceed directly to the emergency room if you have trouble breathing with a rash. You could be having a life-threatening allergic reaction. 

Covers the body 

If the rash is all over your body, get immediate treatment. You may be having an allergic reaction, or you may have an infection. 


If you have a fever with the rash, get immediate treatment. You have an infection. Possible conditions include Covid-19, measles if you’ve never had it, mononucleosis, shingles, or even scarlet fever. 

A skin rash is a symptom of Covid-19 that has recently been emerging. Rashes are actually fairly common in cases of viral or respiratory infections. 

Blisters and infection

If the rash has a red streak, blisters, or open sores, you could be having a reaction to a medication or have shingles, genital herpes, or another infection. 


Shingles and other medical conditions cause a very painful rash. Make an appointment with us at  Seacoast Dermatology right away; early treatment helps relieve the pain. 

Call us at Seacoast Dermatology for an appointment or use our telederm service for a virtual or phone visit. You can also book a visit through our online system. Our offices are located in Portsmouth, Dover, and Exeter, New Hampshire.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Fillers vs. Botox: Which Is Best For You?

You’re looking for a nonsurgical answer to give your face a more youthful appearance. Would Botox® solve your facial flaws? How about fillers? Learn more about the differences in these treatments and how each could potentially work for you.

5 Foods That Promote Feminine Health

As a woman, you have unique health needs. The food you eat plays a part in your overall health as well as the health of your skin. Here’s what you need to know about foods that promote feminine health.

5 Tips to Protect Your Skin From Sun This Year

Summer’s here and you’re outdoors a lot. Are you taking the necessary steps to protect your skin when you’re in the sun? Just following a few simple reminders can protect you against skin cancer.

Why Your Skin Has so Many Discolorations as You Age

Do you have tan, brown, or grayish spots on your skin that you wish would go away? Many of them are likely the result of aging. Modern dermatology techniques can help eliminate these age spots and other skin discolorations.

Understanding the ABCDE Rule for Suspicious Lesions

Skin cancer is on the rise globally. Learn how you can identify problem spots on your skin that need a doctor’s visit. It’s easy for your dermatologist to eliminate precancerous lesions before they become cancerous.