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Learn about your bright red skin changes, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your bright red skin changes from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Bright Red Skin Changes Checker

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Your Bright Red Skin Changes May Also be Known as:
Red spot
Red spots

Top 9 Bright Red Skin Changes Causes

  1. 1.Non - Specific Skin Rash

    A rash is an area of irritated or swollen skin. Often, rashes are unidentifiable and some variation of normal. For example, scratching one's arm causes it to turn red (which is caused by mast cells releasing chemicals into the local area), but that's completely normal.

    At this time, you do not need treatment for this rash. If it worsens, you may need to consult a physician.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    rash
    Symptoms that always occur with non-specific skin rash:
    rash
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch
  2. 2.Non - Specific Dermatitis (Skin Inflammation)

    Dermatitis is the inflammation ("-itis") of the skin ("derma" is a layer of the skin). It can be caused by any number of causes, from allergies to infections to autoimmune issues. Dermatitis of Normal Variation (also called, "NOS") means that all of those other causes of your rash have been ruled out. This is very common.

    You can treat this at home and the rash should go away on its own. In the meantime, you can use an anti-histamine (both by mouth OR as an ointment), or a topical corticosteroid to treat the itch and/or pain due to the rash.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    red rash, itchy rash, painful rash
    Symptoms that always occur with non-specific dermatitis (skin inflammation):
    red rash
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Ringworm (Tinea Corporis)

    Tinea Corporis is a common fungal infection of the skin. This rash is sometimes called "ringworm" and results in ring-shaped redness that is often itchy.

    Ringworm can be treated with topical antifungal ointment such as Lamisil. Apply the ointment directly to the rash and the surrounding skin, and keep the area as dry as possible.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dry skin, rash, red rash, itchy rash, curved rash
    Symptoms that never occur with ringworm (tinea corporis):
    groin skin changes, fever, scrotal itch, groin itch, facial skin changes, hand skin changes, genital skin changes
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  4. 4.Irritant Contact Dermatitis

    Contact dermatitis is a condition in which the skin becomes red, sore, or inflamed after direct contact with a substance. This condition most often affects skin of the hands, and may occur after repeated and prolonged exposure to substances such as water, detergents (soaps, bleach), solvents (such as gasoline), acids, powders, dust, and soil. The onset of the skin reaction is usually within 48 hours of coming in contact with the substance.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own. The main treatment for this disease is to avoid the substance that triggers the skin inflammation. Moisturizer can also be helpful to provide relief for your inflamed skin.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    rash with well-defined border, itchy rash, red or pink, rough patch of skin, painful rash, red rash
    Symptoms that always occur with irritant contact dermatitis:
    rash with well-defined border
    Symptoms that never occur with irritant contact dermatitis:
    fever, black-colored skin changes, brown-colored skin changes, blue-colored skin changes
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

    Bright Red Skin Changes Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having bright red skin changes.

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  5. 5.Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

    Eczema is a form of skin inflammation that causes skin to be dry, itchy, red, and irritated.

    You should go to your local pharmacy or retail clinic to be treated. The usual treatment for atopic eczema involves avoiding irritants and other triggers, using moisturizers to prevent inflammation, as well as steroid creams and ointments when the inflammation flares up.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    trouble sleeping, feeling itchy or tingling all over, dry skin, scalp itchiness, flexor surface rash
    Symptoms that never occur with eczema (atopic dermatitis):
    fever
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  6. 6.Pityriasis Rosea

    Pityriasis rosea is a common skin condition with no known cause. It is not contagious and does not usually lead to any dangerous complications. It most often appears as a larger "mother" patch which comes first, surrounded by smaller "daughter" patches which appear soon after.

    If the rash itches, an antihistamine such as Benadryl can help relieve symptoms. Otherwise, Pityriasis rosea does not require any treatment.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    rash, itchy rash, curved rash, rough patch with red spots around it
    Symptoms that always occur with pityriasis rosea:
    rash
    Symptoms that never occur with pityriasis rosea:
    blue-colored skin changes, black-colored skin changes, brown-colored skin changes
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  7. 7.Psoriasis

    Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes itchy or sore patches of thick, red skin with silvery scales. The patches mostly affect the elbows, knees, scalp, back, face, palms and feet.

    There are many over-the-counter creams that could help which you can first try to see if your symptoms get better. However, psoriasis is a diagnosis that should be made by a physician and might need longer term follow up.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    itchy rash, red or pink, rough patch of skin, rash with well-defined border, painful rash, scaly rash
    Symptoms that never occur with psoriasis:
    fever, black-colored skin changes, brown-colored skin changes, blue-colored skin changes
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Hives

    Urticaria are itchy, temporary rashes that rarely become swollen. It is often referred to as "hives."

    You can safely treat this condition on your own as long as you does not develop trouble breathing. Any antihistamine (like Zyrtec, Clarinex, etc) works.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    red or pink, rough patch of skin, itchy rash, curved rash, insect bite or sting, hives, red swollen bumps or patches with a pale center
    Symptoms that always occur with hives:
    red or pink, rough patch of skin
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  9. 9.Strep Throat Requiring Throat Swab

    Strep throat is a bacterial throat infection that can make the throat feel sore and scratchy. Only a small portion of sore throats are the result of strep throat. And, if you do not show enough signs of a true strep throat, testing may be needed before treatment is begun.

    You should visit your primary care physician within the next 24 hours, where a diagnosis can be made via a "rapid antigen test" (it's a throat swab). Treatment with simple antibiotics would be given only if the test is positive. It is important to get treatment, however, because of the possibility of getting a disease called "rheumatic fever" after the strep throat infection.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, nausea, sore throat, fever, rash
    Symptoms that always occur with strep throat requiring throat swab:
    sore throat
    Symptoms that never occur with strep throat requiring throat swab:
    general weakness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Bright Red Skin Changes

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Is your rash:
  • Q.Is your rash raised or rough when you run your hand over the area of skin?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our bright red skin changes symptom checker.

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Bright Red Skin Changes Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced bright red skin changes have also experienced:

    • 6% Red - Colored Skin Changes
    • 4% Fatigue
    • 2% Feeling Itchy or Tingling All Over
  • People who have experienced bright red skin changes had symptoms persist for:

    • 35% Less Than a Day
    • 25% Over a Month
    • 23% Less Than a Week
  • People who have experienced bright red skin changes were most often matched with:

    • 28% Non - Specific Skin Rash
    • 21% Non - Specific Dermatitis (Skin Inflammation)
    • 6% Ringworm (Tinea Corporis)
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Bright Red Skin Changes Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having bright red skin changes.

Take a quiz