Rash treatment: get relief fast with online medical care

If you need help diagnosing and treating your rash, our virtual appointments make it affordable and convenient to speak to a board-certified primary care doctor. Getting an accurate diagnosis and treatment for your skin issues from a medical professional can empower you to live comfortably and confidently.*

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*Prescriptions are provided at the doctor’s discretion. Learn more about our controlled substances policy and how you can save up to 80% with our prescription discount card. PlushCare doctors cannot treat all cases of rashes. Our primary care physicians can evaluate your symptoms but may need to refer you to a specialist, such as a dermatologist, or for in-person diagnosis treatment. If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

What does a rash look like?

Whether a rash is itchy, burning, bumpy, inflamed or just unattractive, we all wish rashes would just disappear sooner than later. Fortunately, our caring online doctors are available 24/7 to help you treat a rash as soon as you need it. What is a rash, anyway?

In medical terms, a rash is a change in the color or texture of the skin. Many skin rashes may appear dry, itchy, painful, and bumpy. While rashes are commonly described as red, some may appear gray, purple, or white on darker skin tones. In general, they are a sign of irritation, infection, or underlying disease. Some common symptoms of skin rashes include:

  • Itchy skin

  • Raised red welts or small bumps

  • Leathery patches that are darker than usual (hyper-pigmented) on darker skin tones

  • Dry, cracked, scaly areas on lighter skin tones

  • Swelling, burning, or tenderness around the affected area

Various factors cause rashes, including irritants, allergens, infections, or underlying medical conditions. Many rashes are harmless and can be treated at home. If you have a persistent rash that worsens with time, however, consult one of our doctors for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Common rash causes

Skin rashes are often lumped together under the term dermatitis, which just means that your skin is inflamed and overreacting to irritation. Contact dermatitis can be caused by any number of things, such as:

  • Chemicals in rubber, latex, and elastic products

  • Cosmetics, soaps, and laundry detergents

  • Dyes and other chemicals in clothing

  • Poison ivy, poison oak, or sumac

Seborrheic dermatitis is a type that appears in flaky, greasy red and yellow patches around the face and can show up on the scalp. Mild seborrheic dermatitis is known as dandruff. It’s not known exactly what causes seborrheic dermatitis, but things that make it worse include:

  • High stress levels

  • Fatigue

  • Hot and cold extreme temperatures

  • Infrequent shampooing

  • Harsh soaps, lotions, and skincare products

Other common causes of a skin rash include eczema, psoriasis, impetigo, shingles, and common childhood illnesses. Different types of rashes have different causes.

How to treat rashes – prescription and OTC relief

While almost always uncomfortable, rashes come in many forms, ranging from mild irritations to potentially serious conditions.

  • Eczema

    While eczema can show up in different ways, it’s generally defined as an itchy inflammation of the skin caused by allergic triggers. It often appears as thickened dark or red skin with scaling or cracking. It is particularly common in babies and children but can occur at any age.

    Chronic skin conditions like eczema can cause lifelong intermittent rashes and discomfort. It's an ongoing process to notice triggers that might flare up eczema symptoms, such as irritating body products, laundry detergent, outdoor allergens, or even foods that you eat.

    Practical tips to help manage eczema include:

    • Identifying and avoiding triggers

    • Wearing loose cotton clothing

    • Keeping nails short to minimize damage from scratching

    Your doctor can also help prescribe medication that will relieve symptoms and preventatively manage future flare ups.

    Using moisturizers (emollients) daily helps to hydrate the skin and prevent dryness, in turn alleviating symptoms. Topical corticosteroid creams and ointments can also reduce inflammation, itchiness, and swelling.

  • Psoriasis

    Psoriasis is another chronic skin condition which requires lifelong medical management and self-care. Frustrating and sometimes painful, psoriasis symptoms are caused by skin cells building up, forming scales and dry, itchy patches.

    Psoriasis is a common autoimmune disorder often worsened by things like stress, skin injury, infections, and certain medications. Mild cases can usually be treated with a combination of topical corticosteroids and fragrance-free moisturizers.

    Severe psoriasis requires a more in-depth treatment plan. Your doctor may recommend oral medication and lifestyle changes in addition to topical prescription and over the counter creams. Our board-certified primary care doctors may refer you to a dermatologist for in-person care of severe psoriasis.

  • Allergic rash

    If you’ve had an allergic rash, you know how quickly your skin erupts, seemingly out of nowhere! It can be tricky to figure out the cause. Something as seemingly subtle as a common food additive, a new cosmetic or body care product, or a common outdoor allergen could be the culprit.

    The best long-term solution for allergic rashes is to identify and avoid the allergen. An example of an allergic rash is the amoxicillin rash, characterized by pink or purple bumps on the skin. Over-the-counter oral antihistamines like loratadine and steroid creams like hydrocortisone relieve itching and inflammation. Moisturizing creams help keep the skin hydrated.

    Home remedies such as staying hydrated and taking lukewarm oatmeal baths can help alleviate skin irritation. Topical hydrocortisone cream and oral antihistamines offer relief from itching and redness. If you have a persistent rash, it’s important to talk to a doctor to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.

  • Contact dermatitis

    Contact dermatitis is an itchy skin rash that can be triggered by just about any irritating substance. Common dermatitis culprits include plants like poison oak and ivy, cosmetics, fragrances, rubber gloves, jewelry, and particular soaps.

    Treatment for mild contact dermatitis typically involves over-the-counter medications like hydrocortisone to alleviate symptoms, but more severe reactions may require prescription treatment.

    Treatment begins with identifying and avoiding the allergen or irritant. Keeping the skin hydrated with moisturizers and using fragrance-free soap and warm water to cleanse the affected area can help alleviate symptoms. Over-the-counter mild steroids like hydrocortisone cream can provide relief from itching and inflammation. Additionally, barrier creams like petroleum jelly can protect the skin from further irritation.

    For severe cases of contact dermatitis, you may need a topical or oral prescription medication to help get your symptoms under control.

  • Hives (urticaria)

    A specific type of allergic rash, hives, can appear seemingly out of nowhere, spreading like wildfire over your body. They usually appear as red, itchy raised bumps on the skin. Sometimes it’s impossible to track down the trigger; most commonly they are caused by everyday substances like medication, pollen, latex, certain foods, and stress.

    How to treat hives depends on severity. Sudden flare-ups cases often resolve on their own with home remedies and staying away from triggers. Mild hives also generally clear up on their own. It can be helpful to wear lightweight, breathable clothing, use cold compresses and gentle non-fragrant aps. Avoiding irritating cosmetics, detergents and body care products.

    Chronic hives may require over-the-counter antihistamines like loratadine along with self-care treatments such as cool compresses. If your hives are persistent, a doctor can help you with a treatment plan to get lasting relief.

  • Bacterial rash

    Bacteria on the skin cause bacterial rashes such as cellulitis or impetigo. Antibacterial skin ointments are usually recommended for a mild bacterial rash. If the rash affects a larger area, oral antibiotics might be prescribed. It’s important to see a doctor right away if concerned about bacterial rashes, as these can spread quickly and become quite serious.

  • Diaper rash and skin irritations

    There are a lot of things that can be done to help prevent diaper rash, such as changing your baby’s diaper frequently, applying a gentle barrier cream on clean skin, avoiding chemical baby wipes, and using cloth or fragrance-free diapers. However, even with our best efforts, just about every baby gets diaper rash at some point.

    Diaper rash shows up as redness or irritation in the diaper area. Things like friction, prolonged exposure to moisture, diarrhea, allergies, or infection tend to make it worse. Once a rash shows up, it’s extra important to promptly change wet or soiled diapers, regularly ceanse the affected area with mild soap and water, and gently pat it dry. Applying diaper ointments or creams containing zinc oxide or petroleum can provide relief. Consider allowing diaper-free moments to promote drying of the affected area.

    Ongoing diaper rash may indicate a yeast infection, characterized by a slightly raised, spreading red rash. Treatment involves using antifungal creams like clotrimazole or nystatin, along with attentive care.

    If the rash persists despite treatment, consult a doctor. They may recommend stronger medications to help it clear up. For adult diaper rash, a similar approach is needed, including keeping the area clean and dry, along with the use of zinc oxide creams, petroleum jelly, and over-the-counter barrier creams to protect and soothe the skin.

  • Drool rash

    A drool rash occurs when a baby's skin is exposed to saliva for extended periods, resulting in irritation. To treat a drool rash, gently cleanse the baby's face with warm water and a soft cloth, then pat it dry. Apply a protective barrier cream like petroleum jelly or a healing ointment such as Aquaphor.

    To keep the affected area dry, use a clean tissue or an absorbent bib, and change them frequently. This helps prevent further irritation and promotes healing.

  • Heat rash (sweat rash, miliaria)

    A heat rash, also known as a sweat rash, miliaria, or a prickly heat rash, occurs when sweat becomes trapped beneath the skin or sweat ducts become blocked. During hot and humid weather, a heat rash can show up as blisters or red lumps, typically in areas where sweat accumulates, such as under the breasts, armpits, back, and groin.

    For heat rash relief, opt for lightweight, breathable clothing that promotes airflow and consider using fans or staying in air-conditioned environments. Taking a cold shower and allowing the body to air dry can also provide relief.

    For adults on bedrest, frequently changing positions, clothing, and bedding helps prevent heat buildup and reduce the discomfort of a heat rash. Anti-itch creams like calamine can soothe itching, while medications like paracetamol may be helpful if a fever is contributing to sweating. Corticosteroid creams such as 1% hydrocortisone cream can reduce irritation and itching associated with heat rash.

  • Sunburn

    Most of us have suffered from a sunburn at some point. The best short-term relief for a mild sun rash is to apply cool compresses to help alleviate burning and irritation. Wearing lightweight clothing promotes airflow and using moisturizers prevents dryness and further irritation.

    If the sunburn is severe, talk to a doctor. They may prescribe stronger antihistamines, corticosteroids, or painkillers to provide relief from discomfort. Some common medications and OTC supplements may make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

  • Road rash

    A road rash, commonly referred to as a friction wound, often occurs during active sports accidents, resulting in skin abrasions, particularly on areas like the knees, elbows, and hands.

    Always gently clean the wound to remove debris and prevent infection. Applying an antibiotic ointment aid in healing and reduces the risk of infection. Cover the wound with a sterile bandage, such as Tegaderm™, or gauze protects it from further harm. Be sure to monitor for signs of healing or infection.

  • Hot tub rash

    A hot tub rash, caused by exposure to contaminated water, can lead to uncomfortable inflammation and itching. Treatment involves applying 1% hydrocortisone cream to soothe discomfort and reduce inflammation. Additionally, using antibacterial ointments can prevent infection and promote healing.

  • Underarm rash

    An underarm rash, often a result of blocked sweat ducts, can be managed with over-the-counter calamine lotion to ease itching and discomfort. Hydrocortisone cream is effective in reducing inflammation and promoting healing.

  • There are several types of rashes caused by viral infections. Some common viral rashes include:

    • Chickenpox

    • Shingles

    • Fifth disease

    • Hand, foot, and mouth · Measles

    • Scarlet fever

    Viral rashes are typically managed through supportive care to alleviate symptoms and aid in recovery. Treatment may include:

    • Symptom relief: Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) can help reduce fever and relieve discomfort associated with the rash.

    • Hydration: Encouraging adequate fluid intake helps prevent dehydration, especially in cases where fever is present.

    • Rest: Getting plenty of rest supports the body's immune system in fighting off viral infection and promotes healing.

    • Skin care: Keeping the affected areas clean and dry can help prevent secondary bacterial infections and promote healing. Calamine lotion or oatmeal baths may provide relief from itching and discomfort.

    • Medical attention: In some cases, especially with more severe symptoms or complications, medical intervention may be necessary. Your healthcare provider can prescribe, antiviral medications or other treatments as needed.

    If you suspect you or your child has a viral rash, it's important to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and guidance on the best course of treatment.

  • Fungal rash

    Fungal rashes, like ringworm, are common in both children and adults. They are treated using antifungal creams, gels, solutions, or shampoos. Common antifungal drugs include nystatin, clotrimazole, and miconazole, among others. Discuss with your doctor to discuss the best management.

  • Insect bite reactions

    Insect bites can also cause painful and comfortable skin symptoms. There are no shortage of biting bugs, with common culprits including mosquitos, wasps, bees, stings, tick bites and flea bites. Treatment typically involves soothing the affected area with calamine lotion and applying 1% hydrocortisone cream to alleviate inflammation and itchiness.

    Scabies and bed bug bites, as insect-like parasites, can also trigger similar skin reactions. Treatment typically involves prescription medications to get rid of the parasites and alleviate symptoms, along with environmental control measures to prevent re-infestation. Scabies rashes can frequently show up in between your fingers, and bed bug rashes are itchier at night and can show up

  • Autoimmune rash

    An autoimmune rash may appear in several ways due to your underlying condition, including psoriasis, lupus, Sjögren’s Syndrome, and vasculitis. The main treatment for these rashes it to address the underlying disease. Mild to moderate symptoms may be treated using over-the-counter or prescription corticosteroid creams to help reduce inflammation. For a severe rash, consult your doctor who can refer you to specialists like dermatology and rheumatology who prescribe immunosuppressants.

  • Chronic rash management

    Chronic rash treatment requires a detailed examination by a physician to find the cause of the rash. Treatment is based on the cause.

When to see a doctor in-person immediately for a rash

Your rash may be serious if it comes with any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Increasing size, pain or discoloration of the rash despite treatment

  • Joint pain

  • Severe head or neck pain · A tight, itchy, or sore throat

  • Red streaks or tenderness

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Swelling in your face or limbs

  • A high fever

  • Confusion

  • Dizziness

  • Vomiting or diarrhea

  • A recent tick or animal bite

Your health and well-being are our top priority. Seek medical attention or call 911 immediately if you experience any of these severe symptoms with your rash.

Effective prescription rash cream

When you have a rash, you want relief quickly. Our qualified online doctors are available for same-day appointments to diagnose your rash and prescribe the best skin treatments to get relief quickly or guide you to the best in-person providers should direct treatment not be safe or effective.

  • Corticosteroids

    Corticosteroids are available in various forms over-the-counter and prescription such as creams, ointments, shampoos, gels, and sprays, each tailored to specific affected areas. For instance, shampoo may be prescribed for scalp conditions, while a gel may be more suitable for hairy areas. Prescription strength corticosteroids come in varying strengths, as well, which your doctor will choose based on your symptoms and condition.

  • Antibiotic topical treatments

    Examples of antibiotic topical treatments include mupirocin, bacitracin, and neomycin. These are used to address bacterial infections like cellulitis or folliculitis by killing bacteria or hindering their growth.

  • Calcineurin inhibitors

    Belonging to the class of immunosuppressants, calcineurin inhibitors target the enzyme calcineurin, which activates immune cells responsible for itch, inflammation, and other symptoms of eczema. Examples include Protopic ointment (tacrolimus) and Elidel cream (pimecrolimus).

  • Phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4) Inhibitors

    Phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4) inhibitors work by reducing inflammation and itching associated with certain types of rashes.

  • JAK inhibitors

    JAK inhibitors work by targeting the Janus kinase (JAK) pathway to reduce inflammation and symptoms associated with various types of rashes.

Online healthcare for rash diagnosis and treatment

Many of us struggle to go to the doctor even for annual check-ups. When you or someone you love is suffering from a frustrating and painful skin condition, the last thing you want is to spend hours trying to get a doctor appointment or risking getting sick in an urgent care center.

While most rashes aren’t dangerous, it’s still important to get them checked by a doctor and to get a healing treatment plan. Our board-certified doctors are experienced in all kinds of primary care treatment, including all common skin conditions.

Over-the-counter rash creams

Rash creams and lotions are formulated to soothe irritated skin, reduce inflammation, and provide a barrier to protect affected areas. They often contain ingredients like hydrocortisone, calamine, aloe vera, or zinc oxide to alleviate discomfort and promote healing. While OTC creams provide some immediate relief, persistent or chronic rashes should be seen by a doctor. You can schedule a convenient virtual doctor appointment anytime with one of our board-certified physicians.

  • Hydrocortisone cream

    This is a low-potency topical steroid cream that reduces inflammation, pain, swelling, itching, and redness caused by eczema, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, or allergic reactions.

    Hydrocortisone cream comes in two strengths. Over-the-counter (OTC) versions are usually 0.5% or 1% strength, and used short-term, while prescription versions are usually stronger (2.5% strength or more) and are used for more persistent or severe conditions.

  • Antihistamine creams soothe skin reactions caused by an allergy, insect bite, or sting. It works by reducing inflammation in your skin, easing rashes, itching, and other symptoms of an allergic reaction.

  • Moisturizing cream

    A moisturizing cream can reduce dryness, roughness, flaking, itching, and irritation of the skin. As a result, it produces a soothing effect, reduces inflammation, and promotes healing.

    A moisturizing cream can be used to treat conditions like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and other skin conditions that cause dryness. Its ingredients may include glycerin, petroleum, or ceramides. These ingredients lock in moisture and protect the skin barrier.

Home remedies and natural treatments for rashes

Home-based remedies may offer relief for mild to moderate rashes, alleviating symptoms such as dryness, itching, and swelling. These include:

  • Vaseline: Otherwise known as petroleum jelly, it helps alleviate discomfort and dryness associated with rashes by locking in moisture and promoting skin recovery

  • Cold compresses: Reduce pain, swelling, and itching of rashes

  • Oatmeal baths: Soothe and hydrate dry skin caused by rashes

  • Aloe vera gel: Treats mild skin rashes by moisturizing the skin, acting as a barrier, and providing antimicrobial protection

It is crucial to consult a doctor if you experience any severe symptoms or a persistent rash that doesn’t go away with these treatments, as your rash may need medical intervention or prescription treatment.

Rash Treatment FAQs

  • How do I get rid of my rash?

    To effectively address your rash, it's important to understand that different types of rashes require different treatments. Therefore, the best course of action is to consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment recommendations tailored to your specific rash. Seeking medical advice ensures that you receive appropriate care and management strategies to effectively alleviate your symptoms and promote healing.

  • Can I put Vaseline on a heat rash?

    Yes, applying Vaseline to your rash may help relieve discomfort, itching, and pain. It also acts as a sealing barrier between skin cells. This locks in moisture that speeds up the skin’s healing from dryness. Avoid applying Vaseline to your rash if you’re allergic to any of the ingredients.

  • Is Vaseline good for a poison ivy rash?

    Yes, Vaseline can be beneficial for soothing a poison ivy rash. It helps alleviate discomfort and itching by creating a protective barrier over the affected area, allowing the skin to heal. However, individuals with allergies to any components of Vaseline should refrain from using it on their rash.

  • What is the fastest way to get rid of a rash?

    The fastest way to alleviate a rash depends on its underlying cause and severity. Seeking medical advice from a doctor is often the most effective approach towards healing. Our board-certified primary care doctors can provide personalized treatment recommendations tailored to your specific rash, ensuring swift relief and proper management of symptoms.

  • What is the best medicine to stop a rash?

    The optimal medication to alleviate a rash varies depending on the type and cause of the rash. Antihistamines, corticosteroids, and topical treatments are commonly used to relieve itching, inflammation, and discomfort associated with rashes. However, the best medication for your specific rash should be determined by consulting a physician for personalized treatment recommendations.

3 simple steps to get treated for rash symptoms today

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Step 1

Book a rash treatment appointment.

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Step 2: Visit with a doctor on your smartphone

Step 2

Talk to your medical provider regarding your rash symptoms.

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Step 3: pick up at local pharmacy

Step 3

Pick up a prescription for your rash.

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Related conditions to rashes

Rash treatment pricing details

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  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

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Initial visits are $129.

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