You can experience red spots and rashes on your skin for several reasons, including allergic reactions, viral and bacterial infections, and contact with irritants. Your rash may be localized to certain areas of the body or may cover the entire body. The expert providers at Dermatology Consultants believe that providing information on important skin conditions is an essential part of keeping our patients happy and healthy. The following article will discuss the causes of many red spots and rashes, treatments that may help, and when you should see your trusted Lynchburg, VA and Forest, VA skin doctor.

Causes of Rashes and Red Spots

Contact dermatitis is probably the most common cause of rashes. It leads to itchy, red, and inflamed skin brought on by irritants such as beauty products, soaps, detergent, clothing dyes, rubber, elastic, latex, and poisonous plants like poison ivy.

Hives are raised, red, itchy welts or swellings that can either be chronic or acute. The triggers for hives are similar to contact dermatitis triggers, but they can also be caused by foods, medications, pollen, and stress.

Tick bites and fleas can cause red spots and rashes. If you suspect you have a tick bite, contact a skin doctor right away because tick bites can transmit disease.

Eczema is an itchy rash that causes the skin to look thick and scaly. This condition occurs more often in people who have asthma or allergies.

Seborrheic eczema is a specific type of eczema that usually affects the scalp, but it can also occur on the ears, mouth, and nose. Babies often get this rash, which is known as cradle cap.

Psoriasis is a scaly, itchy red rash that typically forms around the scalp, elbows, and joints.

Lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease that can produce a rash on the cheeks and nose. This rash is also called the butterfly rash or malar rash.

Rosacea is a skin condition that appears as redness or a rash on the face. The cause of this chronic condition is unknown.

Ringworm is caused by a fungal infection that appears as a ring-shaped rash on the body or scalp, and it also causes jock itch and athlete’s foot.

Scabies is caused by tiny mites that burrow into your skin—resulting in a bumpy, itchy rash.

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin that is red, swollen, and painful to the touch. This infection can become life threatening if left untreated, so you should see your trusted skin doctor right away.

Shingles is a viral infection that most often results in blisters that wrap around the torso. Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the virus that causes chickenpox. It is not typically life threatening, but it is very painful. There is a vaccine that can reduce the risk of getting shingles and/or reduce its severity.

Aside from these conditions, there are other rashes that are more prone to children, including:

  • Chickenpox
  • Scarlet Fever
  • Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
  • Fifth Disease
  • Kawasaki Disease
  • And Impetigo

If your child develops any of these conditions, you should contact your pediatrician for an appointment and/or instructions on how to care for the rash.

Treating Rashes

Most contact rashes can be treated at home to reduce discomfort; however, to be safe most rashes should be seen by a skin doctor, especially if you are not seeing any improvement within a few days. When in doubt, you should contact your Lynchburg, VA, dermatologist!

Taking Care of Rashes at Home

The following guidelines can help ease discomfort and speed up the healing process:

  • Use mild, gentle cleansers instead of scented bar soaps.
  • Use warm water instead of hot water on hair and skin.
  • Pat the rash dry; do not rub it dry.
  • Wear breathable clothing.
  • Don’t use new cosmetics or lotions that may trigger a rash.
  • Apply unscented moisturizing lotion to affected areas.
  • Avoid scratching the rash because it could lead to infection.
  • Apply over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to reduce itching and discomfort.
  • Use calamine lotion to help relieve rashes caused by chickenpox, poison ivy, or poison oak.
  • Take an oatmeal bath to soothe the itchiness associated with the rash.
  • Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) in moderation for mild pain associated with the rash.


There are some rash symptoms that are considered a medical emergency and should be seen by a medical professional immediately including:

  • A rash that occurs suddenly and covers a significant portion of the body.
  • Taking a new medication and then experiencing rashes on your skin.
  • Developing the flu before or after the onset of a rash that covers most of your skin.
  • If your eyes become inflamed and red while you are experiencing a rash on your body.
  • If you have a rash developing on your body in conjunction with not being able to stand without feeling weak or lightheaded.

Make an Appointment with Trusted Skin Doctor Today!

The best course of action when dealing with rashes or red spots is to consult with a dermatologist. Contact us to set up an appointment with the leading dermatology practice in Lynchburg, VA and Forest, VA. Our skilled and experienced skin doctors are ready to help you get rid of the itch and discomfort.