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Skin Rash: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: May 20, 2024

What is the treatment?

There are no synonyms.

How is the treatment done?

Rashes are usually caused by skin inflammation, which can have many causes.There are many types of rashes, including eczema, granuloma annulare, lichen planus, and pityriasis rosea. Treatment differs according to what rash a patient has been diagnosed with. Common rashes can be easily remedied using steroid topical creams (such as hydrocortisone) or non-steroidal treatments.The problem with steroid topical creams i.e. hydrocortisone; is their inability to penetrate the skin through absorption and therefore not be effective in clearing up the affected area, thus rendering the hydrocortisone almost completely ineffective in all except the most mild of cases.

Eczema is a general term that describes several different conditions in which skin is inflamed, red, scaly, and itchy.Eczema is a common skin condition, and atopic dermatitis (also called atopic eczema) is one of the most common forms of eczema.Eczema can occur in adults or children. The condition is not contagious. Atopic eczema can be treated with medications, including over-the-counter creams and ointments containing the steroid hydrocortisone (for example Dermarest Eczema, Neosporin Eczema). These products may help control the itching, swelling, and redness associated with eczema. Prescription-strength cortisone creams, as well as cortisone pills and shots, are also used for more severe cases of eczema.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

For people with mild-to-moderate eczema, topical immunomodulators (TIMs) can help. TIMS including brand name products Protopic and Elidel work by altering the body's immune response to allergens, preventing flare ups. However, in 2005, the FDA warned doctors to prescribe Elidel and Protopic with caution due to concerns over a possible cancer risk associated with their use. The two medications have an FDA "black box" warning on their packaging to alert doctors and patients to these potential risks. The warning advises doctors to prescribe short-term use of Elidel and Protopic only after other available eczema treatments have failed in adults and children over the age of 2.

Other drugs that might be used for patients with eczema include antibiotics (to treat infected skin) and antihistamines (to help control itching).Phototherapy is another treatment that helps some people with eczema. The ultraviolet light waves found in sunlight have been shown to benefit certain skin disorders, including eczema. Phototherapy uses ultraviolet light, either ultraviolet A (UVA) or ultraviolet B (UVB), from special lamps to treat people with severe eczema.Risks associated with phototherapy include burning (usually resembling a mild sunburn), dry skin, itchy skin, freckling, and possible premature aging of the skin. Your health care professionals will work with you to minimize any risks.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

The appearance of eczema can vary from person to person. In adults, eczema occurs most frequently on the hands and elbows, and in "bending" areas such as the inside of the elbows and back of the knees. In young children, eczema is often seen on the elbows, knees, face, neck, and scalpThe cause of atopic eczema is not known, but the condition often affects people with a family history of allergies. Many individuals with eczema also have hay fever and/or asthma or have family members with those conditions.Symptoms of atopic eczema are, Formation of small, fluid-filled blisters that might ooze when scratched,Infection of the areas where the skin has been broken.

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Are there any side effects?

If you notice an itchy or painful rash on your skin, think twice before going to the drugstore and getting some cream if you don’t know the cause. The creams that you buy can produce problems that make your original problem even worse. Because rashes can be caused by many different things bacteria, viruses, drugs, allergies, genetic disorders, and even light it’s important to figure out what kind of dermatitis you have.If you have any significant rash, you should see a dermatologist.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

An occasional complication of dry skin and itching is secondary bacterial infection. Infections may be mild and resolve spontaneously or may be more severe and necessitate antibiotic treatment. Severe itching leads to repeat scratching of lesions, hence the "itch-scratch-rash-itch" cycle. Because of the persistence of this itch-scratch cycle, the skin may become much thickened in these areas from rubbing. Repeat skin rubbing in the same area may lead to two localized chronic skin conditions called lichen simplex chronicus (LSC) and prurigo nodule.

How long does it take to recover?

Avoid offending or irritating agents like harsh soaps and cleansers if one has contact dermatitis. Patch testing with special allergens should be done if there is suspicion for topical allergies. Keep the affected area moist with cream/ointment or emollients.Avoid infected people, especially with active chickenpox. Some viral infections can cause harm in pregnancy to the unborn fetus. Bodily fluids such as blood, respiratory droplets, and saliva also should be avoided to prevent infection.Hand washing and proper hygiene are very important in prevention. Avoid shaving with dirty razors. Use special precautions in public facilities, including gyms, showers, and pools to help prevent infections.

Do not keep razors in the shower; the warmth and humidity encourages bacterial growth.A cool compress or shower can help calm a fiery rash. Gently pat dry and then moisturize.Colloidal oatmeal is oatmeal ground to a powder, so it mixes well with water. It can calm inflamed skin for some people. But other folks can have reactions to it. To try it, use lukewarm water. If it’s too hot, it can irritate and dry your skin.Over-the-counter hydrocortisone or calamine lotion may relieve itching.Don’t wear tight clothes. They can irritate your rash. Play it loose and cool.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

How long a rash lasts depends on its cause. However, most rashes usually disappear within a few days. For example, the rash of a roseola viral infection usually lasts 1 to 2 days, whereas the rash of measles disappears within 6 to 7 days. Rashes caused by an antibiotic allergy may last 3 to 14 days, whereas diaper rash almost always clears up within 1 week (if diapers are changed frequently).Rashes resulting from lupus or dermatomyositis may last for an extended period of time.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Most ointments cost around 100-150 INR

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

The outlook for rash depends on the underlying cause. The prognosis of clearing a superficial fungal infection is very good while a patient with psoriasis or eczema may not clear completely despite aggressive therapy. Most rashes are short-lived and easily resolve. There are some chronic rashes that are not curable, such as psoriasis. Medical monitoring is often necessary to watch the progression of more resistant or recurrent rashes. Any persistent rashes or rashes that are refractory to appropriate treatment may warrant a skin biopsy to rule out cancer.Hand washing and proper hygiene are very important in prevention. Avoid shaving with dirty razors. Use special precautions in public facilities, including gyms, showers, and pools to help prevent infections.

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Written ByDr. Ganesh Avhad MD, DNB, FIDP, FILDermatology
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