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Persistent or Recurring Rash? We Should Talk

A rash can be a frustrating little problem. The itching, irritation, redness, and swelling that come with the average rash could be triggered by any number of things, from temperature to allergens and even by stress. Sometimes, a rash indicates that there is something more going on, such as eczema. If you have a rash that returns or persists, your dermatologist can help you determine its true cause.

So, what is eczema, exactly?

Eczema is a kind of dermatitis, or rash. It is a condition that causes the skin to look red and bumpy and to feel itchy. At first glance, eczema may look no different than a normal rash. It isn’t. Eczema is an ongoing problem that will return periodically. For this reason, it is a type of rash that needs to be managed.

Facts About Eczema

  • More than 18 million adults have this condition, equaling approximately 7% of the adult population.
  • More than 9.5 million, or approximately 13% of children have eczema.
  • Eczema favors nooks and crannies, such as the bends in knees and elbows.
  • Itching begins before visible symptoms. The rash comes after the itch.
  • Itching causes the skin to become crusty and scaly.

Is Heat Rash Eczema?

Heat rash and eczema are not the same thing. In fact, heat rash is not considered a form of dermatitis at all. This condition, in which skin irritation occurs in a heat-sensitive area such as the groin or neck, relates to the sweat glands. When the body becomes extraordinarily hot, some sweat glands may become blocked. Without an exit, sweat permeates the tissue around the blocked gland where it causes inflammation.

Are all rashes eczema?

Many of the rashes that occur are a form of contact dermatitis. This means that irritation and itching are caused by something that has touched the skin. Common triggers of contact dermatitis include:

  • Detergents including laundry soap, body soap, and shampoo.
  • Prolonged time in a wet diaper or even a bathing suit can cause a rash.
  • Fabric softener.
  • Chemicals in cleaning or grooming products.

Schedule a Consultation for a Persistent Rash

If a rash continues, becomes severe, or periodically returns, there is good reason to have your skin examined. Most rashes are not a significant concern. However, excessive itching does pose a risk of skin infection or scarring. We’re here to help you understand what may be causing a frustrating rash. Call 206-859-5777 to schedule a consultation and skin exam in our Renton or Seattle office.


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Thank you for choosing Pacific Dermatology & Cosmetic Center, we look forward to providing you with the very best skin care.

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