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Minor Rash Evaluation

Minor rash evaluation is when a medical provider determines the cause of a rash. There are several causes of rashes, such as:

  • Infections: bacterial (staphylococcus, meningococcus), fungal (diaper rash with candidal infection), and viral (viral exanthem, chickenpox, erythema infectiosum, measles)
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Seborrhea
  • Irritants
  • Drug hypersensitivity

Evaluation of rash

Rashes are typically evaluated using the criteria below.

History:

  • History of presenting illness: Helps determine the relationship between  the rash and other possible diseases or events.
  • Systemic review: The body’s major systems are reviewed to determine if the rash is linked with another systemic disease.  For example, a fever may indicate a viral infection.
  • Past medical history: Helps determine if this is a known recurring problem, or if previous problems might be contributing to the current situation
  • Associated symptoms:  Symptoms such as fever, pain, itching, or drainage may help with diagnosing the cause of a rash

Physical examination:

As in most cases, the physical exam for a rash begins with evaluating vital signs such as temperature and pulse rate. The main focus of the physical exam will be determining the type of skin lesion involved.  Some types of lesions are vesicles, blisters, petechiae, urticaria, and purpura.  It is also important to determine the location of the rash, as some rashes have distinct patterns.  The physical exam may also look for signs of:

  • Stiff neck – along with a rash, this may be indicative of meningitis
  • Body and joint pain may indicate psoriasis
  • Mucosal inflammation (such as inside the mouth) could indicate viral diseases such as measles
  • Rash with hair loss can be a sign of ringworm

Testing:

Testing is rarely needed to determine the cause of a rash.  Sometimes, a sample of skin is taken and sent to a pathologist to determine the cause of the rash.  This is called a biopsy.  In the case of more systemic illness, blood work or other tests may be done.  These include:

  • Blood culture
  • Complete blood count
  • Stool test
  • Renal (kidney) function test

Treatment

Treatment of rash is focused on eliminating the cause of the rash as well as addressing the symptoms of the rash.

  • For candidal rash, antifungal creams are used.
  • For diaper rash, the main goal is to keep the diaper dry and clean. Change the diaper frequently and wash the skin with water and soap. Some ointments containing vitamin A, D, and zinc oxide can act as a barrier ointment.
  • Antibacterial medications in ointments and creams are used to treat skin rashes due to bacterial infections.
  • Antihistamine drugs are used for hypersensitivity-induced rashes.

    Contact us

    In case of urgent medical care assistance, AfterOurs Urgent Care offers immediate telemedicine services, where medical providers are available to offer assistance. Anyone who experiences signs and symptoms requiring urgent medical attention can simply book their appointment with AfterOurs Urgent Care to directly talk to an expert. If your medical issue is not appropriate for telemedicine, we will let you know and refer you to an in-person facility.

    When to visit a doctor:

    When signs and symptoms of minor rashes are not controlled with over-the-counter medications and ointments, then a visit to a health care provider may be necessary.

    Minor rash evaluation is available at AfterOurs Urgent Care. 

    For more information on minor rash evaluation, see the following website:

    https://www.afteroursinc.com/