Do You Need to Go to the ER for a Skin Rash?

Most skin rashes are minor and may be treated at home or with a non-emergent appointment with a family physician, but if discoloration of the skin is accompanied by other symptoms, it may require the attention of an emergency care physician. If you’re ever unsure of whether a child or elderly individual should be seen at the ER for a skin rash , it’s generally best to err on the side of caution. The emergency care physicians at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center are always available to provide prompt care. These are some of the situations in which you should seek emergency care:

The rash appears suddenly.

The sudden onset of a skin rash can be a cause for concern. A skin rash that starts abruptly and spreads rapidly may be triggered by an allergic reaction. An emergency care physician may need to look at it. If small, red, itchy hives develop and a person starts to have trouble breathing, it’s essential to call 911 right away.

The rash covers large areas of the body.

Another possible indicator of an allergic reaction is a skin rash that covers much of the body. Widespread rashes may also be caused by infections, such as measles and chickenpox. Physicians strongly recommend routine measles vaccines for children, but not all parents vaccinate their children. This practice has led to more common outbreaks of measles.

The rash is accompanied by a fever.

A rash accompanied by a fever can be a serious medical problem. An ER physician can evaluate you or your child for measles, shingles, scarlet fever, and severe allergic reactions.

The rash begins to blister or appears infected.

Even if a skin rash appears minor initially, it may later require emergency care. A trip to the ER is warranted if the rash blisters or turns into open sores, especially if the skin around the eyes, genitals, or in the mouth is affected. Skin rashes that itch intensely can be difficult to resist scratching, but this can contribute to infections of the sores. Emergency care is needed for signs of an infection, including swelling, crusting, unusual discharge, increasing pain, and a red streak that emanates from the sore.

For all of your medical emergencies in the Las Vegas area, the emergency care team at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center is available 24/7. From stroke and heart attacks to skin rashes and infections, our emergency care department is fully equipped to handle every medical emergency. You can request a physician referral for non-emergent situations by calling (702) 233-5300.

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