ZocdocAnswersCan whiteheads look like a rash?

Question

Can whiteheads look like a rash?

Do whiteheads ever have the appearance of a rash? I am really trying to avoid getting another poison ivy rash, but after a hiking trip recently I developed a flock of small white bumps all over my legs. If they're whiteheads, I'm not going to worry about them, but is that possible?

Answer

Rashes are one of the most common skin concerns that people bring to their doctors. The doctors who will be well qualified to answer this question include your primary care doctor or your dermatologist. Rashes like poison ivy are always a worry when hiking. Poison ivy is a rash caused by a strong reaction in the skin to irritating plant oils. It is characterized by fluid-filled blisters that are extremely itchy. If your rash is not itching, then it is unlikely to be poison ivy. Another common skin rash after physical exercises is folliculitis. This is a usually minor infection of various hair shafts, usually caused by sweating and clogging of the shafts with dirt particles. Usually it shows up as red bumps with white tips at the base of the hair follicles. It can usually be treated with just good skin hygiene, but some more serious forms may need medications from a doctor. Whiteheads, as found in acne, are unlikely to occur on the legs. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor is recommended if symptoms persist.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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