In general, most noninfectious rashes are usually treated
symptomatically and often with cortisone creams and/or pills.
Infection-associated rashes are frequently treated by addressing the underlying
- Tinea or ringworm infections of the skin,
hair, and nails are treated by topical and or oral antifungal medications like terbinafine.
- Candida infections ("yeast") are treated with topical antifungal
medications like clotrimazole and sometimes with oral antifungal drugs like fluconazole.
- Atypical fungal infections including cryptococcosis, aspergillosis,
and histoplasmosis are generally treated with an oral or intravenous course of
special antifungal medications.
- Herpes infections are usually treated with oral or intravenous
antiviral medications, including acyclovir, famciclovir, valacyclovir,
ganciclovir, and cidofovir. Depending on the severity of the individual
infection, specific antiviral treatment may not be required.
- Vaccination is an
effective prevention measure to help ward off infections with the herpes zoster
virus, which causes chickenpox and shingles.
- There is no currently vaccine
available for herpes simplex.
- HIV infections are treated with a special
combination of antiviral medications designed specifically for this virus.
- Many other viral infections are self-limited and often may clear even without
- Staphylococcus infections are typically treated with penicillin
and cephalosporin antibiotics. Topical treatment may include mupirocen cream or
- A resistant form of Staphylococcus called methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is treated based upon specific antibiotic testing.
Common antibiotics for treatment of MRSA infections include doxycycline,
sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim, and vancomycin.
- Streptococcus infections are
typically treated with oral or injectable antibiotics, including penicillin and
- Pseudomonas infections are treated with oral or intravenous
antibiotics, including ciprofloxacin or ofloxacin.
- Treatment of a rash due to a drug allergy includes
stopping the responsible drug. Sometimes, a short course of oral steroids may be
required in severe cases to help clear the rash.
- Therapy for contact allergic
dermatitis includes withdrawal of the offending topical agent and use of topical
steroids creams like clobetasol or hydrocortisone cream.
- Treatment for eczema
or atopic dermatitis includes a wide variety of skin-care measures, including
lubrication and topical steroids, as well as oral antihistamines like diphenhydramine (Benadryl) for itching.
- Hypersensitivity or allergic
dermatitis from poison oak and poison ivy is treated by washing off the plant's
oily resin from the skin, clothing, and objects like golf clubs or shoes and
applying steroid creams to the rash two to three times a day. Severe cases may
require oral steroids like prednisone.
- Irritant dermatitis is treated by skin
lubrication, avoidance of harsh soaps and chemicals, use of petrolatum
(Vaseline), and topical steroids like hydrocortisone.
- Autoimmune conditions
such as lupus (SLE) are treated by addressing the overactive immune reaction.
Often oral and topical steroids are used to help control symptoms. Additional
medications include hydroxychloroquine.
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