When your skin reacts to a substance your body is sensitive to, it can cause a rash. You can treat most rashes at home by keeping the skin clean and dry. Many rashes may get better on their own within 2 to 3 days. You may need medical attention if your rash itches, drains, or hurts, particularly if the rash is getting worse.


How can I control itching and skin damage?

  • Take soothing lukewarm baths in a colloidal oatmeal product. You can buy this at the drugstore.
  • Do your best not to scratch. Clip fingernails short, especially in young children, to reduce skin damage if scratching does occur.
  • Use moisturizing skin lotion instead of scratching your dry skin.
  • Use sunscreen whenever going out into direct sun.
  • Use only mild cleansing agents whenever possible.
  • Wash with mild, nonirritating soap and warm water.
  • Wear clothing that breathes, such as cotton shirts or canvas shoes.
  • If fluid is seeping from the rash, cover it loosely with clean gauze to absorb the discharge.
  • Many rashes are contagious. Prevent the rash from spreading to others by washing your hands often before or after touching others with any skin rash.

Use medicine

  • Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine can help control itching. But use with caution because they can make you drowsy.
  • Using over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream on small rashes may help reduce swelling and itching
  • Most over-the-counter antifungal medicines can treat athlete’s foot and many other fungal infections of the skin.
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Treatments for Rash

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Symptoms and Screenings for Rash

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Causes and Preventions for Rash

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What can cause a skin rash?

  • Sun poisoning, caused by too much exposure to the sun.
  • An irritant or allergic reaction to a certain type of food, plant, or chemical, such as shellfish, poison ivy, and or cleaning products.
  • An infection caused by a fungus (ringworm), virus (chickenpox), or bacteria (strep).
  • Bites or infestation caused by insects or pests, such as ticks, lice, or mites.
  • Dry skin, which is often seen during the winter months and in older people

Education and Resources for Rash

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Check with your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider if:

  • You were told that you have a fungal infection on your skin to make sure you have the correct type of medicine.
  • You have questions or concerns about medicines or their side effects.

Support groups for Rash

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Learn More about Rash

Vidant Health can connect you to health care professionals to help you understand your condition and guide you through the treatment process. Let’s chat.

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