In many cases, a rash or skin irritation can be treated at home. Common, non-emergency causes may include:

  • Minor allergic reactions to plants (such as poison ivy and poison oak)
  • Hives from soaps, detergents or shampoos
  • Heat or cold rashes
  • Reactions to stress or embarrassment 

Although rashes like those described above can be treated at home, some reactions can indicate a more serious problem. Use the guidelines below to decide when to seek emergency care for a rash. 

A rash accompanied by other symptoms can become serious

Seek care at a Denver ER if your rash is combined with any of the following: 

  • Fever
  • Joint pain
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness or swelling in the throat
  • Areas of tenderness
  • Streaks of red
  • Peeling skin
  • Blisters in the mouth
  • Abnormal bleeding or bruises under the rash 

Reactions to medication

If you think your rash is caused by medication, stop taking the medication and call your doctor immediately. 

If the rash persists, call your doctor

If possible, you should make an appointment with your primary care physician to seek medical treatment as this may indicate a skin condition (such as eczema or psoriasis) or an ongoing allergic reaction. If the rash is recurring, persistent or rapidly spreading, you may need to go to the ER. 

Severe rash treatment at one of the best ERs Denver has to offer

As a Level IV trauma center, Rose Medical Center offers close-to-home Denver ER care and treats everything from severe rashes to abdominal pain and orthopedic injuries. We treat a comprehensive list of ailments and injuries, and hold special accreditation for the treatment of chest pain and suspected stroke. Our fully dedicated group of OB hospitalists also treats numerous pregnancy-related issues. With a commitment to beat the national average wait time, our goal is to see you in our care and on the mend as quickly as possible.