Red, bumpy, itchy skin can be irritating, painful and, at times, embarrassing. Rashes can be caused by many things, including an allergy to a plant or medication, a food allergy or an illness.

If you aren’t sure what the red, bumpy spots on your skin mean, our AFC Urgent Care Chattanooga team is here to help you feel more informed about the state of your skin!

What Causes an Allergic Rash?

An allergic reaction occurs when a person’s immune system becomes overly sensitive to a typically harmless substance or allergen. Once an allergen enters or comes in contact with the skin, it can trigger an inflammatory response, which can cause a rash.

Almost any substance in the environment can trigger an allergic reaction with a rash, but plants like poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac are some of the most common causes. We’ve listed a few more common substances that cause allergic rashes below.

Common Allergic Rash Causes

  • Chemicals. These include latex and rubber, hair dyes, adhesives, and types of fragrances.
  • Medications. Things like certain types of antibiotics, aspirin and birth control pills can cause a rash.
  • Foods. The most common rash causes are peanuts, soy, wheat, milk, and fish or shellfish.

How Can I Treat an Allergic Rash?

The best thing you can do is not scratch your rash. Scratching can cause the rash to become infected, which can cause further and more severe medical problems.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) says that once an allergic reaction starts, it may take 14–28 days to go away, even with treatment. There are some ways you can treat your rash at home, which we’ve listed below, but don’t hesitate to visit our AFC center to get treatment as well!

At-Home Allergic Rash Treatments

  • Apply cold. Whether you choose a cold compress, cool showers or a damp cloth, cold water can bring immediate relief and can help stop swelling, ease itching and slow the progression of a rash.
  • A powdered oatmeal bath. Oatmeal works as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant to relieve skin itchiness, dryness and roughness. Studies show that the oils in oats work together to help repair skin.
  • Coconut oil. Coconut oil has been used for centuries as a cooking oil and skin moisturizer. It’s high in saturated fats and has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Allergic rashes can come from anywhere, and your kids are especially susceptible to them at local summer camps. Don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care Chattanooga team today for the general medical care you need!