When You Visit Your Doctor - Rash


Questions to Discuss with Your Doctor:

  • How long have you had the rash?
  • Where did it start?
  • Has it spread?
  • Is the rash only on parts of your skin that have been exposed to the sun?
  • Does it itch or hurt?
  • Is the rash red, pink, or purple?
  • Is the rash smooth or bumpy?
  • Have you had sores in your mouth, eyes, or other mucous membranes?
  • Have you had blisters on your skin?
  • Have you had trouble breathing?
  • Have you had a fever?
  • Have you symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection (for example, a cold)?
  • Have you had vomiting or diarrhea?
  • Are you taking any prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, herbs, or supplements? Did you start any of them in the past two months?
  • Have you had any new exposures to foods or chemicals?
  • Any exposure to insects?
  • Have you had any recent sun exposure?

Your Doctor Might Examine the Following Body Structures or Functions:

  • Temperature
  • Examination of your skin, mouth, eyes, mucous membranes, lymph nodes, liver, and spleen

Your Doctor Might Order the Following Lab Tests or Studies:

  • Skin scrapings for microscopic analysis or culture (if the rash looks infectious)
  • Complete blood cell count or other blood tests (if you appear sick or have a fever)
  • Skin biopsy

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.