Almost everyone has experienced a rash at one time or another; that itchy, red patch of skin is unmistakable. However, if rashes keep appearing and you're not sure why, seeing a dermatologist is necessary to determine the rash's cause and the appropriate treatment. At Advanced Desert Dermatology in Peoria, AZ, Dr. Vernon Mackey sees many patients with rashes. Below, he discusses some of their common causes.
What is a rash?
A rash is the skin's reaction to a stimulus. It can change the way the skin looks and feels, but it is often reddish or pinkish colored due to increased blood flow to that area. The characteristics of a rash often help your dermatologist determine its cause. For example, the rash associated with measles starts at the head and spreads downward. It is usually flat and red but surrounded by clusters of small papules, or bumps.
An allergy is present when the body's immune system overreacts to a normally harmless substance. Food, medication, metals, animal dander and various plants can all cause allergic reactions, and exposure to many of these can cause a rash, which may or may not be itchy, to develop in response. Although there are medications that can help suppress immune reaction, your Peoria dermatologist may suggest avoiding that which triggers your allergies as the most reliable solution.
Rashes can also develop as a side effect to certain medications. This is a common occurrence when taking steroids; it often appears as an all-over reddening of the face. There are antibiotics that can also make the skin extremely sensitive to sunlight, increasing the likelihood of a severe sunburn.
Numerous other things can cause rashes: chafing, psoriasis or eczema, even pregnancy. Some people break out in a rash when they're nervous or anxious. The good news is that a quick consultation with your dermatologist can help diagnose most of these causes and they can be easily treated.
The best way to determine what's causing your rash is to contact Advanced Desert Dermatology in Peoria, AZ to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mackey. Call our office today to get scheduled!