Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Are skin rashes like hives?"
How are the two different? I got a rash out of nowhere today.
Skin problems are common and can be quite a nuisance. A rash is a general term for an eruption or outbreak anywhere on the skin. Hives (also known as urticaria) are a type of rash that is usually caused by an allergic reaction.
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They appear as raised itchy wheals of varying size and shape. About 20% of people will get hives at some point in their lives. A rash can be anything from a few red spots to large blisters on the skin and there are a multitude of causes. There are some questions to ask whenever you get a new rash with no clear cause. Try to remember if you were exposed to anything new including new foods, detergent, perfume, clothing, jewelry or a new pet. Did the rash start on just one part of your body and then spread? Is the rash itchy or painful in any way? Does anything you do make the rash better or worse? Is the rash staying the same or is it changing. It is important for you to see your primary care provider or your dermatologist to examine the rash and discuss your diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
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