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Rashes

Getting the expert diagnosis

Not all skin rashes are due to eczema or psoriasis. There are a wide range of causes for skin rashes, and it is key to get the diagnosis right from the start.

Dr Nicole has completed two advanced Medical Dermatology Fellowships in Oxford, UK and Sydney, Australia. She has a specialist interest in treating a wide range of skin rashes and has experience in using advanced medical treatments for them.

  • Assessment and treatment by a Consultant Dermatologist with advanced Medical Dermatology Fellowship experience in Oxford and Sydney
  • Comprehensive skin assessment for accurate diagnosis
  • Investigations such as blood tests and skin biopsy available
  • Comprehensive aftercare programme
  • No GP referral required

Here are some causes of skin rashes:

Urticaria – Urticaria is a common condition, about 1 in 5 people have an episode of urticaria in their lifetime. Urticaria commonly appears as itchy, red hives (or wheals) or deeper swellings (angioedema) within the skin. They can last from a few minutes to a day, and in some cases, up to a few days. When the rashes clear, they do not tend to leave any marks on the skin. They tend to come and go, and can appear on a daily basis in some cases.

Pruritus (itch) – Pruritus provokes the desire to scratch, and can be due to a skin disease, an underlying medical problem or abnormal nerve signals.

Impetigo – Impetigo is a common, superficial bacterial infection of the skin. Skin that is affected by impetigo tend to have honey-coloured crusts or sores and yellow spots.

Fungal infections – Fungal infections can be due to yeasts (candidiasis), dermatophytes (fungal) or mould. Candidiasis tend to affect moist, warm body creases and appear as red, inflamed skin. Fungal infections can affect the skin and cause scaly, red, itchy rashes. Fungal infections can also affect the nails and cause thickened, yellow nails.

Drug (medication) rashes – Drug rashes can be mild or serious. A common type of drug rash is called a morbiliform drug eruption where red spots or patches usually appear 1-2 weeks after starting the drug. If the same drug is taken again, the rash can appear within a few days. The rash tends to be widepsread and affect both sides of the body. As the redness improves, the skin starts to peel. There are also other forms of drug rash such as urticaria, and blistering skin conditions.

Blistering skin conditions – There are many types of blistering skin conditions. A common type of blistering skin condition is called bullous pemphigoid. Bullous pemphigoid is a condition that is caused by the immune system. It is seen commonly in the elderly. It causes itching, red rashes, blisters and sores in the skin.

Lupus – Lupus is an autoimmune connective tissue disease. It can affect the skin and potentially other organs in the body. On the skin, lupus causes a red rash which tends to worsen with sun exposure.

About Dr Nicole

Find Out More About Your Experienced Consultant Dermatologist

Frequently Asked Questions

About Skin Rashes Treatment
    • What is a skin biopsy?

      A skin biopsy is a procedure where a sample of skin is removed to be examined under the microsope by a pathologist. This procedure may be required to help clarify or confirm a diagnosis.

      It is done using a local anaesthetic injection to numb the skin initially, before removing the skin sample. After the procedure, a suture and dressing are usually applied to the site of the biopsy.

    • What blood tests may be required?

      Blood tests may be required in rashes that can potentially impact other parts of the body, or as part of a drug monitoring process.

      If there is a widespread, generalised itching (pruritus) problem, Dr Nicole can perform a pruritus screen looking into underlying causes which can contribute to the widespread itching problem.

      If there is a connective tissue disease problem such as in the case of lupus, Dr Nicole can perform blood tests to rule out other organ involvement, and to check for the presence of autoantibodies in the system.

      If there is a blistering skin condition, there is an autoantibody blood test which can provide information into this.

      In general, blood tests are only recommended if they are deemed necessary.

1 Consultation

At consultation, a detailed history and thorough examination with the use of dermoscopy will be carried out to assess the condition of your skin. Sometimes, when the cause of a rash is not clear-cut, a skin biopsy (taking a small specimen from the rash) may be required to clarify the underlying cause or to exclude any serious cause. Based on the assessment, Dr Nicole then provides an honest opinion on whether further investigations should be carried out.

Getting the diagnosis right from the beginning is important to determine the appropriate treatment plan.

2 The Treatment

A range of treatment options from topical creams, oral medications to injection treatments will be discussed to improve your skin condition. Dr Nicole will recommend the most appropriate treatment option for you based on your treatment goals and lifestyle.

3 Aftercare

A follow-up appointment is generally recommended when a medical treatment is prescribed.

Good aftercare is important to monitor your treatment response and whether you need any changes to your treatment regime.