When to go to Urgent Care for Rashes
If you have a rash that covers more than one-third of your body, is extremely painful or has been getting worse over time, make an appointment with your primary care doctor. If these symptoms are accompanied by dizziness, vomiting or fever, do not wait to see if they go away. These are signs of infection and require urgent medical attention. Rashes caused by sunburns should also be addressed right away. If all rashes fail to improve over a few days and cause ongoing distress, seek urgent care services immediately.
Not all rashes are serious, but some conditions that cause rashes can be dangerous if left untreated. If you have an itchy, raised rash that does not disappear after a few days or one that is accompanied by pain, fever, or other symptoms, you should seek medical attention. Here are signs and symptoms of four conditions that cause a rash and may warrant a trip to urgent care: (1) measles; (2) rubella; (3) chickenpox; and (4) molluscum contagiosum.
If your rash is accompanied by a fever, a rapid heartbeat, abdominal pain or chest pain, or if you have eye inflammation, it’s likely caused by an infection and needs medical attention. Other symptoms that can indicate a more serious issue include weight loss or joint pain. Symptoms like headaches and dizziness are common with allergies and may need treatment, but they aren’t urgent issues that require immediate attention. If your rash doesn’t appear infected—if it has no temperature associated with it—you probably don’t need urgent care. Instead, wait until morning when you can make an appointment with your primary-care physician. Rashes commonly last one to three weeks before fading away on their own; visit your doctor only if yours lasts longer than two weeks.
If you think that you have shingles or chickenpox, it’s a good idea to visit an urgent care center instead of your family doctor. The same goes for any rash that has specific complications such as red streaks leading from your rash down your arm or leg. You should also see a specialist if there is a possibility that you are pregnant and suffering from rashes because it could indicate pregnancy-related issues like cholestasis of pregnancy. Finally, if there is pus draining from any wound on your body, then it is important that you consult with an urgent care center before more serious complications arise.