When Is a Skin Rash a Medical Emergency?

Most often, a skin rash will be nothing more than a minor irritation that will clear up with the right first aid and soothing skincare products. There are, however, some types of rashes that are much more serious and should be treated in the hospital right away. Below, you will see some of the signs that might indicate that your rash could be much more serious than hives or contact dermatitis. If you notice any of these symptoms, head to the ER immediately to get the care you need for your skin.

The rash is a reaction to medication.

A rash that develops after taking a new medication can be a medical emergency, because adverse reactions to certain drugs may cause very serious complications without immediate medical intervention. Some of the medications most likely to trigger a rash and allergic reaction include penicillin, gout medications, NSAIDS, and anticonvulsants.

The rash is accompanied by other symptoms.

If you have an unexplained rash that is accompanied by swelling of the throat, bleeding or bruises beneath the rash, joint pain, headache, red streaks, or fever, you should not hesitate to go to the emergency room. In children under five, there is a risk for staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome, which will be characterized by widespread blistering that causes the skin to appear as if it has been scalded by hot water.

The rash has caused a secondary infection of the skin.

Any time a rash leads to blisters, pus, or open wounds, an infection that could cause much more extensive damage is likely. Visiting the ER will help to manage infections and reduce the threat of permanent damage to the skin and muscle tissue.

When you are in doubt of where you should turn for medical care, the nurses of Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center can provide help anytime. To speak with one of our Las Vegas nurses about your medical care , dial (702) 880-2700.

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