From a sunburn to an allergic reaction, there are many situations in which your skin can become red or irritated. It may be because extra blood rushes to the skin’s surface to fight off irritants and encourage healing. Your skin can also become red from... Read more
From a sunburn to an allergic reaction, there are many situations in which your skin can become red or irritated. It may be because extra blood rushes to the skin’s surface to fight off irritants and encourage healing. Your skin can also become red from exertion, such as after a heart-pounding exercise session.
It’s not always cause for concern, but skin redness can be irritating and uncomfortable. It can also be accompanied by other symptoms. Figuring out its underlying cause can help you treat your skin and keep it from happening again.
What are the symptoms of skin redness?
The main symptom associated with skin redness is varying colors of redness on the skin. The redness can occur in varying degrees and on different portions of the body. Here are some examples of symptoms that you may have along with red skin:
What are the causes of skin redness?
Causes of skin irritation vary drastically and can include irritants, the sun, and insect bites. Examples of skin conditions associated with skin redness include:
- atopic dermatitis
- diaper rash
- heat rash
- medication allergy
- scarlet fever
- skin burns
- skin infections
Skin redness can be a temporary, or acute, condition. It can also be a chronic condition that constantly reappears.
When do I seek medical help for skin redness?
You should get immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms associated with skin redness:
- a burn that’s twice the size of your palm
- difficulty breathing
- extreme pain
- loss of consciousness
- the redness is near or on your eyes and is affecting your vision
You should also get medical attention if you have an animal bite, even if you’ve had a tetanus shot.
See a healthcare provider or dermatologist for other symptoms that aren’t considered a medical emergency.
How’s skin redness diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider will examine your skin redness. If your symptoms come and go, they’ll listen to your description of them. They’ll ask you a few questions. These could include:
- What activities were you engaging in before you noticed the skin redness?
- Are you taking any new medications or using any new skin care or cleaning products?
- Do you have a family history of any skin conditions?
- Have you experienced this skin redness before?
- Were you around others who may have a similar rash?
These and other questions can help your healthcare provider figure out what may have caused your skin redness.
Ask your healthcare provider if your skin condition may be contagious and about steps you can take to prevent its spread. This can ensure that you don’t pass on the skin redness to someone else.
How’s skin redness treated?
Treatments for skin redness depend on what’s causing it. Examples can include avoiding the irritant or allergen that caused your skin redness in the first place.
Other treatments for skin redness can be:
- cleansing the affected area with soap and water
- medications like antihistamines to minimize irritation
- topical skin care applications like calamine lotion to reduce skin redness
Keeping the affected area clean and dry can usually help reduce skin redness. If an infection is the cause of your skin redness, your healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics to reduce the infection’s symptoms.