Rashes may show up at any point in your life and for a wide variety of reasons. If you notice that you have a rash popping up, it’s a good idea to talk to a doctor about it. Most rashes are not dangerous and don’t mean you’re very ill, but some definitely require medical attention.
You should talk to a dermatologist immediately if:
It Covers Your Body
Harmless rashes tend to remain on one area of the body, such as the leg or the arm. If your rash has spread all over the body, you could be suffering from an allergic reaction or something more serious.
You Also Have a Fever
A fever along with your rash can mean something is very wrong. In some cases, a fever joins the rash because of an infection, such as with measles or scarlet fever. It may be relatively harmless, such as shingles, but you need to get checked out as soon as possible.
The Rash Hurts
Painful rashes need to be checked by a doctor, as they could be a sign of infection or something else. Shingles, for example, are quite painful, but you will need a doctor to tell you exactly what is going on.
It Looks Infected
If your rash has become infected, you need to talk to a doctor immediately. Infections may occur when you scratch an itchy rash. Watch for signs of infection, such as heat in the rash area, crusty discharge, yellow or green pus emerging from the rash, or swelling and redness beyond what the rash previously showed. If there is a red streak coming from the rash, you need to go to A&E immediately.
The Rash Consists of Blisters
Any rash that has started to blister should be checked by a doctor. Blisters tend to pop and this can lead to an open sore and cause an infection. It’s particularly important to talk to a doctor if you have a blistering rash in the mouth, on your genitals, or near your eyes.
It Appears and Spreads Immediately
Fast spreading rashes are often the result of an allergic reaction and the rash may not be the only symptom. You may need to call an ambulance, as this could result in difficulty breathing and even death if left untreated. Sudden rashes are rarely a good sign and while you may be able to recover without medical help, it’s best to be near a hospital if you find yourself struggling to breathe.
Not sure if your rash is something to worry about? Err on the side of caution and speak to a dermatologist. With NHS GP, you can see a dermatologist online and they will assess the rash and give you further instructions.