Rashes form from many different causes. Our dermatologists will diagnose and treat these conditions through our telehealth appointments at Tennessee TeleDerm. Learn more about rashes, causes, symptoms, and treatment through online dermatology appointments serving Nashville, Franklin, Knoxville, and all of Tennessee.

What Causes Rashes and How are they Treated?

A rash is an outbreak on the skin that is red, bumpy, and itchy. In extreme cases, there can even be welts and blisters on the skin. Rashes may be small and in one area or cover large areas on the body. These skin conditions have no set duration and can clear up in as little as a day, weeks at a time, or crop up chronically. There are many causes of rashes. Causes that create rashes on one person may have no effect on another. Age is also not a factor, adults and children alike can get this skin issue. 

There are a variety of causes for skin rashes we encounter daily. Some may be due to irritating chemicals, fragrances, bodily infections, allergic reactions, parasites, fungus, and even the environment. Millions across the world will be affected by this type of skin outbreak and many will need a dermatologist for proper treatment.

Treatment for rashes may be as simple as removing the irritant, but when that isn’t enough, your dermatologist can prescribe medication to alleviate symptoms. Tennessee Telederm is licensed to write prescriptions for rash medication without you ever coming inside our offices!

A man performing his skincare routine. Get Started with your treatment at Tennessee Telederm. Schedule an online dermatology appointment.

Common Rash Causes

Rashes are caused by many factors you may not think of that you come in contact with every day.  

Common causes of rashes:

  • Clothing dye
  • Frangrance
  • Poisonous plants
  • Chemicals, even latex or rubber in bandaids
  • Medication
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Fungi
  • Autoimmune disease

All of these rashes may look a little different as well. Some are weepy, others resemble a sunburn, and some can be itchy and red.

Rashes in Children

Children are susceptible to rashes and often get them for different reasons than adults. Many of these rashes are harmless and will go away on their own. Babies may have milia, erythema toxicum, molluscum contagiosum, diaper rash, and cradle cap all of which generally go away without treatment. Children may develop heat rash or heat bumps, come into contact with rash-causing plants while playing, or get rashes from bug bites like chiggers and mosquitos.

Some rashes are from disease. If your child seems unwell, has a rash, and a fever you should contact your doctor. Diseases that also present with rashes:

  • The common cold can create cheek rashes
  • Hand, foot, and mouth disease causes blisters, rashes, and may mean your child has a cold
  • Scarlet fever causes a pink-red rash and antibiotics will be needed for treatment
  • Measles will present a red-brown rash and grey spots inside the cheeks

Tennessee TeleDerm treats children over the age of 12.

A man performing his skincare routine. Get Started with your treatment at Tennessee Telederm. Schedule an online dermatology appointment.

Rashes in Adults

For adults, rashes can develop in all the same places as they do for children. Adult rashes may also be caused by irritants like chemicals and disease. In adults, diseases causing rashes are often different types than children experience. Rashes can also become chronic and leave lasting damage. Seeking treatment when necessary is recommended and Tennessee Telederm makes it easy if you live in Nashville, Franklin, Memphis, or anywhere else in TN.

Diseases that cause adult rashes:

  • Shingles cause a rash that can last weeks. If left untreated it can cause blindness, pain, itching, and numbers that persist for life
  • Psoriasis is a disease that often causes chronic rashes. Your doctor can prescribe a treatment plan to keep it under control
  • Athletes foot is a fungal skin infection that also causes an itchy, blistery rash
  • Cellulitis is a rash caused by bacteria. This rash can spread to blood, bones, and muscles so antibiotic treatment is necessary

When Is a Rash Dangerous

Most rashes are mild and will disappear on their own. However, there are some rashes that signal a deeper problem that could become dangerous. If a rash has any of these symptoms, it is important you see a dermatologist immediately or even go to the emergency room.

  • The rash covers your whole body: This may signal an infection or an extreme allergic reaction.
  • You also have a fever: This may again signal an infection or allergic reaction but this warrants a visit to the emergency room.
  • The rash is spreading suddenly and quickly: A rash like this may be from an allergic reaction and breathing may become difficult if the airway becomes blocked.
  • There is blistering: Blisters cause open sores and these sores can become infected or cause scarring.

Rash Treatment Through Online Dermatology Appointments

A man performing his skincare routine. Get Started with your treatment at Tennessee Telederm. Schedule an online dermatology appointment.

In many cases, a rash will go away on its own as long. Removing the irritant and cleaning the skin if it is from an external cause is often enough. You can also apply ice packs and over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream if the rash is itchy or painful.

If you have a rash that lasts more than a few days, you will need to see your dermatologist. There are a number of prescription medications available that treat rashes. Figuring out what caused the rash will determine what type of treatment you need. Some medications are available over-the-counter but you can get a stronger dose from a licensed professional. Medications like antihistamines, corticosteroids, and intravenous immunoglobulin therapy help to clear up more extreme or chronic rashes.

How Our Appointments Work

First, visit the Get Started page for specific instructions for setting up your account through our patient portal. Make sure to fill out your profile completely. We treat patients in Nashville, Knoxville, Franklin, Memphis, and all of Tennessee.

Next, you set up an appointment through your portal. You will be given a prompt to upload photos of your condition before your appointment. Uploading pictures of your rash will help us diagnose and treat your specific type of rash.

Within 24 hours after your appointment, you will receive an email with your diagnosis and treatment plan. You will also receive instructions for any prescription medications given in your appointment.

What Kind of Medicine Will I Get To Help My Rash?

There are several types of medications that are effective for managing rashes.

  • Antihistamines
  • Topical corticosteroids
  • Intravenous infusion of corticosteroids
  • Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy

Topical OTC medications are generally first, but if the patient needs more potent medicine, a prescription oral corticosteroid may be prescribed next.


Topical and internal corticosteroids can reduce inflammations and alleviate itching, burning, and redness caused by a rash.

Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy

Rashes that cause widespread skin blistering may need intravenous immunoglobulin therapy. This medication inhibits immune response to reduce inflammation and rashes.


Similar to some food allergies, antihistamines can be used to help regulate the body’s overactive immune response to reduce inflammation and itching from eczema.

Can I Treat Rashes Naturally?

Prescription medications are usually the most effective treatment for rashes. However, there are some natural homeopathic remedies that many patients find effective.

Removing the irritant that is causing the rash is the first line of defense. This could be from food, medication, plants, or other chemicals. Ice and OTC antihistamines and corticosteroids can be applied to the skin for relief. An oatmeal bath is another great way to calm inflammation and the use of oatmeal has even been FDA approved to protect skin. 

What Other Common Conditions Do You Treat?

We provide treatment for all types of dermatology conditions, including:

  • Contact dermatitis
  • Acne
  • Eczema
  • Fungal infections
  • Poison ivy

Dermatology encompasses all conditions that affect the skin, hair, and nails. We can also help identify and recommend treatment for early skin cancers.

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