Rashes form from many different causes. Dermatology expert and licensed dermatology nurse practitioner, Kristen Stirling, RN, APRN, will diagnose and treat these conditions through Tennessee Telederm’s telehealth appointments. Learn more about rashes, causes, symptoms, and treatment through online dermatology appointments. We serve Nashville dermatology patients, as well as patients in Franklin, Knoxville, and the rest of Tennessee.

What Causes Rashes and How are They Treated?

A rash is an outbreak on the skin that is red, bumpy, scaly or itchy. In some cases, there can even be welts and blisters on the skin. Rashes may be small and in one area or cover large areas of 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 develop this skin issue. 

Most skin rashes are caused by a variety of common daily irritants including irritating chemicals, fragrances, skin infections, allergic reactions, bite reactions, parasites and fungus. Many patients are affected by skin rashes and will need to visit a dermatologist or derm expert for proper treatment.  In Tennessee, rashes can be treated online at Tennessee Telederm. 

Treatment for rashes may be as simple as removing the irritant, but when that isn’t enough, your dermatology provider can prescribe medication to relieve symptoms. Kristen Stirling, Nurse Practitioner, and founder of Tennessee Telederm can diagnose them through telehealth appointments and if needed, write prescriptions to treat them. So you don’t have to waste time visiting a doctor’s office or dealing with Nashville traffic.

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

Common Rash Causes

Rashes are typically caused by an allergic response to common products and irritants that you come in contact with every day.

Common causes of rashes:

  • Bites
  • Clothing dye
  • Fragrance
  • Poisonous plants
  • Chemicals, even latex or rubber in bandaids
  • Medication
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Fungi
  • Autoimmune skin conditions

Each of these rashes may look a little different. Some are dry and scaly, others weepy, and some can even resemble a sunburn.  It is common for rashes to be itchy and red.

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 on any part of the skin. As mentioned before, rashes can develop from an allergic-like response to chemicals on the skin (plants, grasses, dye, fragrance). Skin rashes may also develop from underlying medical conditions (thyroid, diabetes)  or a one-time trigger (bacteria, virus, friction/rubbing).  Seeking treatment when necessary is recommended and Tennessee Telederm makes it easy if you live in Nashville, Franklin, Memphis, or anywhere else in TN.

Examples of each of these adult rashes include, but are not limited to:

  • Viral infection with Herpes Zoster/Shingles causes a painful and/or itchy rash that can last weeks. If left untreated, it can cause blindness, pain, itching, and numbness that persist for life.
  • Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease that causes chronic rashes and sharply defined silvery, scaly patches that can be itchy or asymptomatic.
  • Athletes’ foot is a fungal skin infection that also causes an itchy, patchy rash that spreads if not treated.
  • Rosacea is a chronic skin disease that causes flushing, redness, dry skin, skin sensitivity, and itchy, raised red bumps on the face.
  • Impetigo is a rash caused by a bacterial infection of the skin. This rash can spread superficially across the skin as honey-crusted patches until treated with antibiotics.  
  • Other skin conditions that may present as a rash include folliculitis (razor bumps), eczema, and seborrhea (dandruff).  

When Is a Rash Dangerous?

Some rashes are mild and will disappear on their own.  Others may require prescription treatment to alleviate symptoms or treat the underlying cause. However, there are some rashes that signal a deeper problem that could become dangerous. If you have a rash and develop any of the following symptoms, it is important you see a medical professional immediately.

The rash covers your whole body: This may signal a variety of emergent problems, especially if it is fast-spreading, such as infection or an extreme allergic reaction to medication or other substance and should be assessed immediately.

You also have a fever: Rash with fever is a medical emergency and should be assessed in the Emergency Room.

The rash is spreading suddenly and quickly: A rash like this may be from an allergic reaction and breathing may become dangerous if the airway becomes blocked.  

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. 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. 

If you have a rash that lasts more than a few days, you should seek help from a derm expert. 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 and more effective dose from a licensed dermatology professional.

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.

During your appointment, your dermatology provider will ask you questions, utilize video examination and photos to diagnose and treat the skin rash. Following your appointment, you will receive a summary of your diagnosis and treatment plan. You will also receive instructions for any prescription medications prescribed during 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
  • Oral steroids
  • Antibiotics
  • Antivirals

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


Antihistamines block the histamine released by the body’s immune system to reduce inflammation and itching from a variety of rashes including eczema, bug bites, and contact allergies.

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 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 for skin protection and soothing.

What Other Common Conditions Do You Treat?

At Tennessee Telederm, we provide treatment for all types of dermatology conditions, including:

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

We treat all types of dermatology conditions that affect the skin, hair and nails. We can also help identify and recommend treatment for concerning skin lesions.

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