A rash is any irritation or inflammation of the skin.  Rashes can be caused by illness, allergy, heat, poison ivy, bites, and sometimes by emotional stress.




  • Contact with anything new that can irritate your skin, including poison ivy, soaps, shampoos, lotions, jewellery, latex gloves or other objects;
  • Consuming a new type of food or drink;
  • Taking new medication;
  • Recent stress;
  • A spreading rash;
  • An itching rash.


If you are exposed to poison ivy, oak or sumac, wash your skin with dish soap and water within 30 minutes. This will remove the irritating oil from your skin. Apply cold, wet compresses. Leave the rash exposed to the air. Avoid products that can cause rash. Use preservative-free or hypoallergenic detergents and lotions.


When to see a doctor


  • If signs of infection develop, including pain, swelling, discharges of pus and fever;
  • If you suspect a medical reaction may have caused the rash;
  • If the rash occurs with fever, joint pain or a sore throat
  • Any time you are worried about a rash.