What should I Avoid When Treating a Rash?

Hurting, Not Healing

The internet is full of ideas for healing dry, irritated, or rash-covered skin. Though you may be tempted to try home remedies to treat a rash, we (along with most dermatologists and doctors*) recommend avoiding the following 5 things if you want to promote faster healing. 

  1. Don't use rubbing alcohol on rash-affected skin. It stings, dries out your skin, and makes rashes like eczema even worse!

  2. Don't use bar soap. Unless specifically recommended by a medical professional, it's smart to avoid bar soaps while trying to heal your skin. Many can dry out your skin even more.

  3. Avoid Hydrogen Peroxide and bleach. Bleach is never a good healing agent and hydrogen peroxide may help with minor cuts and scrapes, but they can make rashes worse and keep them from healing.

  4. Don't use a triple-antibiotic ointment (TAO) on a rash. TAO doesn't kill the bacteria that cause skin infections. It could actually cause an allergic reaction on the skin (depending on the ingredients.

*This list is based on recommendations by Dr. Walter Barkey, MD, a board-certified Dermatologist, and the Genesee County Medical Society. Dr. Barkey practices in Flint, Michigan

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