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Itchy Skin: How to Treat a Rash

Itchy, flaky, red, irritated skin — otherwise known as a rash. This nonmedical term covers a lot of conditions that affect your skin, so there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment. But each type of rash has unique characteristics that differentiate it from others, so you can make the right decisions when it comes to treating yours.

Our team of professional dermatologists at Chappell Rosso Dermatology and the Laser & Aesthetic Center, including Dr. Ritchie Rosso Jr. and Dr. Robert Chappell Jr., specialize in identifying various types of skin conditions and treating them quickly and effectively, so you can go back to a life without constant scratching. 

Although there are too many rashes to cover here, our team has compiled a list of some of the more common types and the ways you can treat them at home as well as under our care.


Dermatitis is the word doctors use for a general rash. Within this category, there are several types.

Atopic dermatitis

Also known as eczema, atopic dermatitis is a common condition that generally runs in families. It’s recognizable by its red, itchy, plaque-like, flaky patches of skin that may develop oozing spots. 

What causes eczema is unknown, though it’s thought that an abnormal immune response might be at work. Certain things can trigger it to flare up, such as stress, extreme temperatures, and things to which your skin is sensitive, like perfumes, dyes, soaps, etc.

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is an allergic reaction to things that touch your skin, and it generally stays localized in the place that came into contact with the material or substance. Diaper rash is a common type of contact dermatitis.

Seborrheic dermatitis

Better known as dandruff (or cradle cap in babies), seborrheic dermatitis can also occur on other places where you have hair on your body, like your chest, back, and face — especially in men. This type of dermatitis feeds on the yeast that’s abundant in oily areas (like your hair). 

The best way to calm your dermatitis is to keep your skin hydrated and away from things that trigger it. Over-the-counter itch creams and medications also work well. Try warm baths, and apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp.

If these don’t work, we can offer you steroids or laser treatments that have proven successful at reducing symptoms.


Psoriasis is another umbrella term that covers several conditions. In this case, it’s an autoimmune problem that affects your skin. It may be hard for you to tell the difference between psoriasis and eczema, because they both give you red, itchy skin that comes and goes and can affect you throughout your whole life. 

But psoriasis has a signature characteristic that eczema doesn’t — silvery, white scales. That doesn’t mean that scaly skin is always present with psoriasis, but it is unique to it. 

Like dermatitis, psoriasis includes several variations that affect different body parts, like your nails, scalp, genitals, even your joints. By talking with you about your symptoms and observing the characteristics of your rash, our team lets you know what kind of psoriasis you have:

Often, psoriasis symptoms can be managed with creams and oral medications, but when you need a little more help, we offer an ultraviolet light therapy that helps many psoriatic patients.

Heat rash

True to its name, heat rash occurs when you’re in hot, humid conditions. Your sweat glands become clogged, and the perspiration can’t escape. Your body responds with a red, tingly rash, also known as prickly heat rash.

Over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams and sprays can do wonders for calming heat rash, which generally resolves itself even without treatment. To stop the itch, an antihistamine may be all you need. But if your heat rash turns into blisters that become infected, come see us for an evaluation — you may need an antibiotic.

Other types of rashes

As we mentioned, there are many types of rashes, and most have overlapping characteristics, symptoms, and triggers. Here are just a few of the myriad rashes you might encounter:

The best way to know for sure what type of rash you have and how to treat it is to call or request an appointment online and come see Dr. Chappell or Dr. Rosso. We can put your mind at ease and your symptoms to rest.

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