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Rashes and your skin

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How To Deal With Rashes

Rashes on the skin can be caused by a wide variety of different factors, so it is hard to generalize about them, but here is a simple step by step process that will help guide you in your decision making process and help you recover smoothly.

First Step - Determine Urgency

When you first notice that you (or someone else) have a rash, take a note of when it began and what you (or the other person) were doing at the time. If the rash emerges quickly after eating or drinking something, or taking a medication, then it is probably a drug or food allergy. Usually allergic rashes appear as hives, which are small red, raised spots that appear all over the body. If the rash is large and radiates from a fluid-filled blister, a puncture in the skin, or a mark that looks like a cut, then it may be a reaction from an bee sting or spider bite. All of these need immediate medical attention. Call a doctor and bring the patient to the hospital if necessary. If the patient has nausea, dizziness, or difficulty breathing along with the rash, head straight to the emergency room.

Otherwise, call your doctor and get advice about how to proceed.

Second Step - Soothe The Rash

While you’re waiting for the doctor, you can take a few gentle steps to soothe the rash. If it’s itchy, take a mild antihistamine and apply a cold compress to the rash area to soothe the itching. If the rash has bumps or pimples, wash the area carefully and apply a warm compress, without pressure, to see if the bumps will drain. If they do, wash the area again to prevent recontamination of the skin. Don’t squeeze or press on anything that looks like it contains fluids; this can lead to bruising or scarring, and redistributing pus or fluids can spread an infection.

Third Step - Heal the Skin

Once you have had appropriate medical attention and the rash has subsided, your job continues! Until the skin has been normal for a week or more, you should check it daily to ensure that the rash hasn’t returned, wash gently, and avoid touching the area except to cleanse and moisturize it. The skin will be vulnerable for a while, and the best way to keep it healthy is to be gentle with it while it repairs itself.

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