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Skin Rashes: Diagnosing & Treating The Different Conditions

Rash Treatment in Birmingham, AL

It can often be difficult to tell the difference between skin rashes without the assistance of a dermatologist. Common rashes are rarely serious, but they can be annoying. Most are not chronic conditions like eczema, although it is possible that you’ll be diagnosed with eczema if you go make an appointment to have a rash examined. More frequently, patients are diagnosed with some kind of contact dermatitis, fungal infection, hives or adverse reaction to a food or drug they ingested. Rashes often last for just a few hours or a day or two and do not recur. However, other rashes can be more persistent or may come back time and again.

Although any rash can look dreadful and may feel awful, most do not present much of a threat to the overall health of the patient. For instance, someone who comes into contact with poison ivy is certainly in for an uncomfortable few hours, but most of the symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter topical ointments or oral antihistamines. A visit to the doctor is almost never necessary.

The situation may be different when the source of the rash cannot be pinpointed. If it persists for more than a day, is particularly severe or recurs, then contact one of our offices to schedule an appointment.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic disease that begins below the surface of the skin in the immune system. Psoriasis causes ongoing discomfort for millions of people. A person with psoriasis comes into contact with something that triggers an overreaction by their immune system, causing inflammation of the skin as well as stimulating the production of new cells. Since the body can’t shed cells as quickly as they are being produced, they begin to build up. This results in red, itchy, scaly patches that dermatologists refer to as plaques.

While no one has pinpointed the cause of psoriasis, the doctors at Shelby Dermatology & Aesthetic Dermatology do have several treatment methods available. After making a diagnosis, your doctor will want to identify triggers that cause the condition to flare up. These triggers could be emotional stress, a prescription medication, an environmental factor or a physical injury. The doctors at Aesthetic Dermatology can help you identify your triggers so you can avoid them, thereby minimizing future flare ups.

Your dermatologist may also recommend one or more prescription medications that may help to control your symptoms. Topical steroid creams and phototherapy are just two of the most commonly prescribed treatment methods. Be certain to ask your doctor about lifestyle changes you can make that would help you avoid psoriasis breakouts in the future. If you’re bothered by itchy, flaky patches of skin, contact one of our offices today. You may have psoriasis, and our doctors can help you treat the symptoms.

Eczema

Approximately 30 million people suffer from the symptoms of eczema in the U.S. Sometimes referred to as atopic dermatitis, eczema usually presents as an itchy rash. It can appear virtually anywhere on the body, and people of all ages seem to be susceptible to it.

People with eczema have symptoms that include dry, flaky skin. Perhaps the most annoying aspect of the disorder is the extreme itchiness. It’s not unusual for sufferers, particularly children, to scratch until their skin bleeds. This sometimes makes the rash worse, beginning a troubling cycle of itching and scratching.

Even mild or moderate eczema can be extremely bothersome. That’s why it is important to bring your symptoms to the attention of a dermatologist. Although there is no cure for eczema, your dermatologist can control your symptoms. That’s good news for people seeking itch relief. Working with your doctor, you’ll identify triggers that seem to send an eczema flare-up into motion, and you’ll know how to handle them when they occur. Many people are able to control the condition by making small lifestyle changes like bathing in lukewarm water and moisturizing frequently. Others with more severe cases may be prescribed oral or topical treatments that are meant to soothe the condition.