How Can You Tell If a Skin Rash is Serious?

May 22, 2018
poison ivy

Rashes can come in many forms, depending on the cause. While most are minor issues, some rashes can signal serious infections that require timely medical care, and oftentimes it can be challenging to tell the difference when you are dealing with an uncomfortable skin condition. We’ve outlined how to help determine whether your rash is a minor nuisance or major concern.

Typical Rash & Skin Irritation Causes

The term "rash" refers to any type of inflammation or discoloration that changes the skin's normal appearance. A number of ailments can cause the skin to break out in blotches, blisters or welts. Among the most common include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Poison ivy or oak
  • Eczema
  • Fungal or parasitic infections, such as ring worm or scabies
  • Psoriasis
  • Viral and bacterial infections, such as staph, shingles or chickenpox

When to Visit PhysicianOne Urgent Care for a Rash

Most of the time, rashes will get better on their own. In some cases, however, a rash can be a sign of an underlying health issue. If you notice any of the following, it's important to visit your nearest PhysicianOne Urgent Care for an expert evaluation.

  • A rash covering your entire body
  • A rash that occurs along with a fever
  • A rash that appears suddenly and spreads rapidly
  • A rash that begins to blister
  • A rash that causes pain

Sometimes, a rash can point toward a serious health issue, requiring immediate medical intervention. If you experience any of the following, visit your local emergency room:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • A blistering rash that spreads to the genitals, mouth or the skin around your eyes
  • Signs of a serious infection, including green or yellow fluid, crusting, pain, swelling or a red streak spreading from the rash

Getting Proper Care
When a rash points toward serious complications, an ER facility can provide life-saving care. That said, for minor rashes, it's not always practical to sit for hours at an emergency room. At PhysicianOne Urgent Care, you can get timely, walk-in treatment for a fraction of what the average ER charges.
Contact us at 1.855.349.2828 or visit the nearest PhysicianOne Urgent Care for treatment of rashes and other non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses.

father and daughter hugging
The overall care I received was excellent! I also appreciate your affiliation with Yale New Haven Hospital.
Derby, CT
  • 5.0
  • 4.6