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Learn about your red rash, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your red rash 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.

Red Rash Checker

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Your Red Rash May Also be Known as:
Sunburn
Sunburnt

Top 8 Red Rash Causes

  1. 1.Sunburn

    A sunburn is inflammation (a reaction by your body's immune system) caused by too much UV (ultra-violet) radiation, which is part of the sunshine. While the symptoms eventually go away, the cells of the skin are permanently damaged, and over time, the risk of skin cancer is higher. Further, the damage reduces the skin's ability to repair itself, speeding up the formation of wrinkles and other signs of aging.

    Although there is not much clinical evidence to support its effectiveness, moisturizers like aloe vera and oil-based lotions, creams, and ointments provide a protective layer on the damaged skin, speeding up healing. Cool compresses are also useful. Ibuprofen or other similar NSAIDs are effective in reducing inflammation and pain. Wearing sunscreen when going back out in the sun is also key to reducing further damage.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    painful rash, red rash, itchy rash, warm and red rash, swollen rash
    Symptoms that always occur with sunburn:
    painful rash, red rash
    Symptoms that never occur with sunburn:
    fever
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.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
  3. 3.Skin Infection (Cellulitis)

    Cellulitis is a common and possibly dangerous skin infection if left untreated. It is typically caused by bacteria living on the skin getting into the skin itself.

    You should visit your primary care physician within the next 24 hours to examine the infection and possibly provide antibiotics.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    moderate fever, painful rash, feeling confused and not making sense while talking, red rash, abnormally high heartrate
    Symptoms that always occur with skin infection (cellulitis):
    red rash, painful rash
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Perianal Skin Infection

    Perianal Dermatitis is caused by some irritant or allergen that causes the area around the anus to be burning/stinging.

    You can treat this diagnosis at home by keeping the area dry and away from any allergens or irritants.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    rectal bleeding, rectal pain, genital skin changes, itchy rash, red rash
    Symptoms that always occur with perianal skin infection:
    rash, red rash, rash
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch

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  5. 5.Chickenpox (Varicella)

    Chickenpox is an infection is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) and can now be vaccinated against. It spreads very easily from one person to another by direct contact with an active rash.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own using over-the-counter pain medications. Topical lotions containing calamine can be used on the rash or blisters and may be soothing.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    loss of appetite, fatigue, moderate fever, abdominal skin changes, itchy rash
    Symptoms that always occur with chickenpox (varicella):
    rash resembling chickenpox, red rash, itchy rash
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  6. 6.Interstitial Nephritis

    The tissue of the kidneys can become inflamed for many different reasons, ranging from medications to infection to our own immune system

    You should go to your primary care physician(PCP) tomorrow for a sick visit.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, loss of appetite, joint pain, fever, side pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (Over 5)

    Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) is a disorder that usually occurs when an infection in the digestive system produces toxic substances that destroy red blood cells, causing kidney injury.

    You should seek immediate medical care at an ER, where blood tests may confirm the diagnosis. Treatment varies depending on severity of damage, but needs to be done as soon as possible. This is a life-threatening event!

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps)
    Symptoms that always occur with hemolytic uremic syndrome (over 5):
    being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  8. 8.Job Syndrome

    Job syndrome is a genetic (inherited) disease of the immune system. People with this condition tend to have frequent bacterial infections of the lungs (pneumonia). Recurrent skin infections and an inflammatory skin disorder (eczema) are also common in this syndrome. This disease can also affect other parts of the body, including the bones, teeth, and the spine.

    You should visit your primary care physician to discuss treatment. There is no cure for this disease, and management usually consists of controlling infections (with antibiotics) when they occur.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    groin skin changes, constant skin changes, neck skin changes, itchy rash, crusty rash
    Symptoms that always occur with job syndrome:
    cheek skin changes, crusty rash, itchy rash, scalp skin changes, pus-filled rash, constant skin changes
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Red Rash

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Is your rash:
  • Q.Are there bumps on your rash?
  • Q.Does the rash have a clearly defined border?

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

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Red Rash Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced red rash have also experienced:

    • 11% Warm and Red Rash
    • 10% Painful Rash
    • 5% Fever
  • People who have experienced red rash had symptoms persist for:

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

    • 13% Irritant Contact Dermatitis
    • 6% Sunburn
    • 5% Skin Infection (Cellulitis)

Red Rash Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having red rash.

Take a quiz