Just thinking of the embarrassment unsightly, bumpy, blister-covered, itchy skin eruptions can cause may make us cringe.

But apart from the cosmetic conniptions caused by the appearance of a skin rash, these signs of inflammation may occur because of viral, fungal or bacterial infections, heat, allergens, immune system disorders, and medications.

Often a rash can disappear without treatment. But if the unpleasant eruption doesn’t go away or show signs of improvement, this is when it’s time to go to the doctor. The same advice holds if the rash is accompanied by other symptoms, such as joint pain, difficulty breathing, fever, headache or body aches, and swelling, or if the rash spreads, is painful and shows signs of infection.

Really, even if none of these symptoms accompanies your rash, if you’re concerned, see a doctor. After all, it’s always better to be safe—not sorry— and totally rash-free too!