Acute Rashes

Symptoms & treatment for skin rash

Acute rashes, also known as urticaria, hives, wheals, or welts, are raised, itchy patches of skin that appear suddenly, either localised or spread out over larger areas.
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You will most likely discover that you have a rash because the skin will be itchy. The itchiness is usually accompanied by redness in the area, with raised splotches or bumps, & the skin texture may be different.

Other symptoms of acute rashes include:

  • Dry, scaly or crusty skin
  • Leathery or rough texture
  • Blisters

If your rash is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, please seek immediate medical attention.

Main causes of an acute rash

  • Allergic reaction (to an environmental allergen or food allergy, for example)
  • Insect bite (e.g. mosquito, flea, tick)
  • Medications, e.g. over-the-counter painkillers (NSAIDs) or antibiotics
  • Exposure to cold or heat
  • Viral or bacterial infection (cold or ’flu)
  • Fungal infection
  • Unknown trigger – sometimes the cause of a rash is not obvious

The rash is created by the body’s release of histamines & other chemical messengers into the skin, in response to a trigger (allergen, infection, temperature change, or medication). The skin responds by opening up the blood vessels & releasing fluid into the tissues.


  • Increasing pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Facial swelling
  • Fever
  • Mental confusion
  • Head or neck pain
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea

What to do next?

We have specialist dermatologists on our clinic's medical team who can diagnose your skin rash & give you the best possible advice on treatment options. Please give us a call or use our online booking system to make your appointment.

020 7323 1023
Harley Street Area, W1
020 7101 0355
City of London, EC2N