When to See a Dermatologist for a Rash


Most people will develop a rash at some point in their lives. Rashes can be caused by many different factors and so, they are hard to avoid. But when one hits, it can be uncomfortable, irritating and confusing. Where did this rash come from? Why is it so itchy? Should I see a dermatologist?

Any time you have a skin concern, it is best to consult with your dermatologist. Your doctor will know better than the Internet or your mother the cause of the rash and how to effectively treat it. If you have an unexplainable rash, there are some surefire signs that you should seek medical attention.

At Buckhead Dermatology in Atlanta, we specialize in treating a variety of skin conditions in skin of color. Dr. Straughn is known in the area as one of the leading dermatologists. When you schedule an appointment at our Atlanta or College Park office, we will help you get down to the root of your skin condition, including rashes, so that you can begin treatment right away.

Common Causes of Rashes

It can be hard to pinpoint exactly why a rash develops. In some cases, however, it is relatively easy. Contact with irritants such as poison ivy, rubber, latex, fragrances or medications can result in a rash. There are many other internal reasons why a rash could develop, including an infection or immune system disorder. 

There are also chronic conditions that can cause rashes: 

Rosacea is a condition that presents as rosy, flushed cheeks. In more severe cases, it can be accompanied by acne type bumps, thickening of the skin, visible blood vessels and red, sensitive or swollen eyes. Rosacea can be triggered by things such as cold or hot temperatures, wind or spicy foods.

Psoriasis results in red, scaly patches on the skin that frequently appear on the elbows and knees or the scalp. The patches can be very itchy and even painful. There are different types of psoriasis depending on the symptoms.

Eczema is an extremely common skin condition that involves itchy, scaly and red rashes on the skin. It is commonly linked to allergies. 

Should you see a doctor for your rash?

As a rule of thumb, it is best to seek medical treatment anytime you see a concerning change in your skin or when you have a symptom that is impacting your quality of life. As we mentioned earlier, most people will develop a rash in some form during the course of their lives, many of which are rather mild and may not require treatment from a dermatologist. If you are experiencing a rash with any of the following characteristics, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist right away.

  • The rash appears and spreads quickly. 
  • The rash is accompanied by a fever. 
  • The rash covers the majority of your body. 
  • The rash is extremely painful. 
  • The rash is accompanied by blisters. 

The chronic conditions mentioned above such as psoriasis, eczema and rosacea should be examined by a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis. Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor can help you get on an effective treatment plan to help minimize the appearance of the rashes and dry, scaly patches.

Rash Treatment Atlanta

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for rashes because they can appear different from person to person. They can also be caused by many different underlying factors. Dr. Straughn will meet with you to get a complete medical history so she can better understand your symptoms and possible triggers for your rash. Through evaluation and possible lab testing, she will be able to help you identify the underlying cause so that she can recommend the most effective treatments and lifestyle changes to help you avoid this rash in the future.

If you have a rash that is increasing in intensity, painful or widespread, you should consider seeing your doctor. These symptoms indicate that the rash may require medicine or advanced treatment and should not be left to go away on its own.

Buckhead Dermatology of Atlanta and College Park is one of the leading dermatology offices in the area, specializing in treating a variety of skin conditions in people of all skin types, especially patients with darker skin tones. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment.