Many rashes start very suddenly and can be scary. Who wants to have an itchy, bumpy spreading red rash anyway? Rashes are often emergencies. Our staff is trained to ask a few questions and then get you in quickly if necessary.
The term rashes encompasses many things, including poison oak, viral rashes, bacterial infections, shingles, hives and medication reactions.
If you have a rash, we will help you figure it out. On occasion we will biopsy the rash to determine its cause. Starting appropriate treatment while we wait for the biopsy results (if done) can be a real help, too.
It is very important to provide us with a good history, especially of medications. If you keep a list of your medications, please bring it and mark which ones are new. Taking a picture of your medication containers with your phone is another easy way to help us.
A common issue is being allergic to things you put on your skin. It is possible to become allergic to products you have been using for a long time, but it is more common for it to happen with something new. If you are worried about this, stop EVERYTHING you are using and cleanse just with water. Use hypoallergenic lotion (such as Cerave, Cetaphil, or Vanicream). Some over-the-counter cortisone can help too. If you identify the cause of your allergy, stop using the offending product and call if you do not get better in a few days.
Shingles (also called herpes zoster) can be quite frightening. Many older patients are now getting vaccinated against it. We are starting to see patients coming in with very mild forms of shingles who have received the vaccination. Please call for an appointment if you think you may have shingles, and we will get you in as soon as possible. Starting treatment promptly is important.
Cold sores are also caused by a herpes virus. It is a viral infection that usually affects either the lips and lower face or the genital area. Excellent treatment exists, and can make a huge difference in the number of outbreaks and their duration. Please come see us if you would like to get better control of this issue.