IS THIS RASH AN EMERGENCY?

Have you been told that if you get red streaks near an area of skin inflammation, you have an infection and need to see a doctor? The patient in the photo reasonably thought that was the case. Red streaks on the skin however represent inflammation of the lymphatic vessels and don’t always mean infection. A ruptured cyst, a foreign body reaction or in this case an insect bite can cause significant inflammation without an infection. Our patient was given a potent topical steroid and cold compresses. Things cleared completely. This would have been a situation where antibiotic use would have been inappropriate.

Used with permission