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Many rashes are the result of allergies to skin contacts, food, drugs, or environmental allergens (allergic dermatitis). Rashes can also be caused by insect bites or parasite infestations. Many people with allergic dermatitis have a personal or family history of allergic rhinitis or asthma. Always take an infant or toddler with a rash to the doctor, who can evaluate rashes with blisters or those accompanied by severe itching or fever.
Hives may cause significant itching and are often accompanied by swelling of the lips, face, and hands. In more severe cases, the patient may experience wheezing, rapid closing of the airways, and a sudden collapse in blood pressure (anaphylaxis). Seek a doctor’s attention immediately for more intense rashes and reactions.
Treatment of Simple Allergic Rashes
- Avoidance is always best. After determining the cause, including foods, drugs, infections, or even stress, avoid exposure whenever possible.
- For relief of itching, take Diphenhydramine (25–50 mg three to four times a day) or any of the antihistamines listed in MedToGo’s pharmaceutical guide.
- To reduce rash, take Cimetidine 300 mg or Ranitidine 150 mg twice a day.
- If you think the cause is allergic, apply 1–2.5 % topical hydrocortisone cream to simple rashes to relieve itching and redness.
People with a history of severe rashes and allergic reactions should anticipate possible problems and speak to their doctor prior to travel. The Epipen is a portable, prescription form of epinephrine that can be injected for immediate relief of severe wheezing that may accompany a strong allergic reaction.
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