Mysterious itchy, red bumps on the skin are a telltale sign of a skin rash. Rashes are common skin conditions, and most are mild. However, others can be severe and even life-threatening if undiagnosed and untreated.

At the Dermatology Center for Skin Health, PLLC, our expert staff, guided by dermatologists Dr. Michele Maouad and Dr. Rola Gharib, has 20+ years of medical experience providing treatment for all types of skin conditions, including skin rashes. Continue reading to learn more about when it’s time to seek rash treatment from a dermatologist.


Rashes are abnormal changes in the color and texture of the skin. They are often the result of skin inflammation and can cause the skin to become bumpy, scaly, itchy or red, and irritated. Sometimes, rashes even appear as blotches, welts, or painful blisters.


Common causes of rashes include the following:

Since there are various causes of rashes, you must determine the cause before deciding on rash treatment. To learn more about some common types of skin rashes, check out our related blog, Rashes Are Not All Alike.


Whenever you notice any changes to your skin, like an unexplained rash, it is a good idea to make an appointment with one of our dermatologists at the Dermatology Center for Skin Health, PLLC, in Morgantown, West Virginia. Sometimes, rashes do not go away on their own and can take days or weeks to heal. Our dermatologists can help diagnose your skin rash and determine how best to treat it.

The signs below can indicate it’s time to seek rash treatment from a dermatologist or medical provider. Please keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list. If you have any questions about whether a rash needs medical treatment, you should contact your dermatologist or medical provider.

A rash all over your body could signify a significant allergic reaction or an infection.

If you have a fever, you should visit the emergency room. A fever indicates something is wrong with your body and could suggest an infection or allergic reaction. Scarlet fever, measles, mononucleosis, and shingles are some examples of rashes caused by an infection.

It would be best to go to the emergency room if your rash suddenly appears and spreads quickly because an allergic reaction could be the culprit. If you are struggling to breathe, call 911 immediately. Allergic reactions can be life-threatening.

Skin rashes caused by exposure to the sun or poison ivy can blister, but they often heal on their own. However, if you are sure your rash was not from sun exposure or poison ivy, your rash could imply something more serious, like an allergic reaction, a reaction to a medication, or an autoimmune condition called pemphigus vulgaris.

If your rash looks like large, purple patches or dark bruising, it could indicate an infection, a blood clotting problem, or vasculitis. Vasculitis is a condition in which the blood vessels become inflamed. A dermatologist or medical provider will need to determine what is causing this type of rash and recommend treatment options.

A dermatologist or medical provider should evaluate a painful rash, as the pain could suggest an infection or be a sign of shingles.

A circular-shaped rash resembling a bullseye could suggest Lyme disease. Treatment for Lyme disease typically involves antibiotics, so you will need to visit your dermatologist or medical provider to have it checked out.

Yellow or green fluid, swelling, crusting, pain, warmth in the rash area, or a red streak coming from your rash are all signs of infection. If you notice any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your dermatologist or medical provider.

A rash accompanied by bruises and swelling may have resulted from a poisonous insect bite. If this is the case, immediate medical attention is required, as these symptoms suggest the poison could be cutting off blood flow from the affected area.


Rashes are frustrating conditions to deal with and in serious cases, are life-threatening. That’s why our dermatologists at the Dermatology Center for Skin Health, PLLC, want to do whatever they can to help diagnose and treat your rash.


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