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Skin Rashes Are Often Benign, But Sometimes Require Immediate Treatment

It’s hard to go through life without developing a skin rash or two. From heat rashes to stress rashes, they can pop up at any time, bringing along uncomfortable symptoms. You can often treat them at home with calamine lotion, cortisone cream, and antihistamines. However, sometimes, they’re accompanied by serious symptoms, including high fevers and infections. If you have these symptoms, you should visit the emergency room for treatment that can include steroids and other medications to alleviate your symptoms.

Do You Need to Go to the ER for a Heat Rash?

When you’re hot, your body sweats to cool down. The sweat is supposed to flow out of your pores, but if the pores are clogged, it will get trapped. Then, you’ll develop a heat rash. You can expect itchy red bumps and blisters. Also, you might experience a burning or stinging sensation on your skin.

You can likely treat the condition at home. However, go to the ER if one or more of the following is true:

  • It hasn’t improved within a few days.
  • Your skin hurts.
  • It’s oozing puss.
  • The area has bright red marks coming from it.
  • You also have a fever.
  • You are having trouble breathing.

Do You Need to Go to the ER for a Stress Rash?

When you experience stress, your body releases adrenaline. Unfortunately, the burst of adrenaline can cause you to develop hives, which is a sign of a stress rash. The hives resemble mosquito bites and typically appear immediately.

Fortunately, stress rashes typically only last for 30-60 minutes, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Because they go away so quickly, they rarely require medical care. However, if it doesn’t go away or develops in a sensitive area, you should visit the emergency room.

Do You Need to Go to the ER for a Poison Ivy Rash?

If you’re like 85 percent of the population, you’re allergic to poison ivy. That means you’ll develop a poison ivy rash if you come into contact with the plant. You skin will be red, swollen, and itchy and can form blisters.

Calamine lotion, cortisone cream, and antihistamines can help control the itching and swelling. Then, it will run its course in about three weeks.

You need to treat it as an emergency if:

  • It is severe and affects a large portion of the body.
  • The affected area continues to swell.
  • It hasn’t improved after treating it at home for three weeks.
  • It is in a sensitive area, such as the eyes or mouth.
  • It is accompanied by a fever of 100.1 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

If you have a mild to moderate skin rash, try at-home treatments such as cortisone and antihistamines to relieve your symptoms. However, visit the ER you don’t respond to treatment or if you have additional symptoms, an ER physician can alleviate the symptoms while treating the skin condition.