How Can I Tell If a Rash Is Serious?

If a rash pops up on your or your child’s bodies, it can be natural to write it off as something that will clear up in a matter of days. While this can certainly be true, rashes can also be a sign of something more serious.

Our AFC Urgent Care Knoxville team explains why below, so keep reading!

What Is a Rash in the First Place?

A rash is an area of irritated or swollen skin. Many rashes are itchy, red, painful and irritated, while some can also lead to blisters or patches of raw skin. Most rashes aren’t life-threatening, but some can be signs of something more serious.

Rashes are a symptom of many different medical problems, such as allergies and other illnesses. Also, certain genes can make people more likely to get rashes. We’ve listed some of the most common reasons you could be dealing with a rash below.

Common Causes of Rash

  • Eczema
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Heat rash
  • Allergy rash (from a plant, food or medication)
  • Psoriasis
  • Shingles

How Will I Know If I Need Medical Attention for a Rash?

Like we said previously, most rashes aren’t at all life-threatening; however, in some cases, rashes can be signs of a more serious illness.

If you experience any or all of the symptoms that we’ve listed below, see a board-certified dermatologist or go to the emergency room immediately.

Serious Rash Symptoms

  • You have a rash that covers the body. This indicates something concerning, such as an infection or allergic reaction.
  • You have a fever with the rash. If this is the case, go to the emergency room. This could be caused by an allergic reaction or an infection.
  • The rash is sudden and spreads rapidly. This could be the result of an allergy to a medication, and some medication allergies can be serious. If breathing becomes difficult, go to the emergency room or call 911 ASAP.
  • The rash is painful. Painful rashes should quickly be evaluated by a physician.
  • The rash is infected. If you have an itchy rash and you scratch it, it may become infected. Signs of an infected rash are yellow or green fluid; swelling, crusting, pain and warmth in the area of the rash; or a red streak coming from the rash.

Skin rashes aren’t uncommon, especially among children! If your child gets a rash after a local summer camp, don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care Knoxville team today to get the necessary treatment.