Rashes can be caused by a variety of irritants, all resulting in inflamed, itchy spots on the skin's surface. They can be unsightly, uncomfortable and can interfere with your sleep and daily routine. If you suffer from frequent rashes, here are some tips for avoiding them from the dermatologists at Advanced Desert Dermatology in Peoria, AZ.
Determine the Cause of Your Rashes
If you are prone to developing itchy patches of welts on your skin, you may have an allergy. If the cause isn't immediately apparent, make an appointment at Advanced Desert Dermatology to have a patch test. Drs. Mackey and Chan will place a series of allergenic substances on a small area of skin to see how it reacts to each one. Latex, detergents, pet hair, and various metals are all common irritants. Once the allergy is determined, you will be advised to avoid whatever is causing it. Your Peoria dermatologist may also prescribe topical or oral medication or suggest vaccinations to keep your rash at bay.
It's important to wear loose-fitting clothing made of breathable materials, especially during hot weather. Anything that clings to your skin and doesn't allow air to pass through will trap sweat and puts you at risk for a rash. For warmer months, Drs. Mackey and Chan suggest choosing cotton and linen garments; lightweight wool, such as merino, is a good option for staying warm but comfortable in the winter.
Avoid Toxic Plants
You may enjoy taking walks in wooded areas, but familiarize yourself with the plants that can cause rashes to develop on the skin they touch. Poison ivy is the most common of these plants; its oil can cause an extremely itchy, blistering rash even when the leaves are dead. Poison oak, poison sumac, hemlock and stinging nettle can also cause rashes to develop. Wear long pants and shirt sleeves and bring along alcohol-based sanitizer to dissolve the oils in the event you do come into contact with one of these plants.
If you have a persistent rash, contact Drs. Mackey and Chan at Advanced Desert Dermatology in Peoria, AZ for an evaluation.