A rash, also called “dermatitis” by dermatologists, is a generic term used for inflammation of the skin due to any number of reasons. Rashes are a popular reason to visit the dermatologist, who attempts to establish the exact diagnosis for the rash.
Although rashes may all appear similar to the untrained eye, the diagnosis of a skin rash can be a complex and challenging process of data gathering and interpretation, requiring numerous years of specialty medical training. Diagnosis is a complex synthesis of available medical history verbalized from the patient, physical examination, and sometimes a biopsy or other test procedure. Fortunately, there are also certain rashes in which the diagnosis is more straight-forward with no need for additional testing.
Because there are hundreds to thousands of different rashes, depending on method of classification, different rashes have different features, symptoms, causes, severity, treatments, and prognoses. Rashes can vary from a minor cosmetic nuisance to a life-threatening condition. If you are experiencing a rash, it is important for you to visit your dermatologist for an evaluation. The diagnosis of the rash will be more easily made if the rash is present during the time of the visit with your dermatologist.