Rashes in Children: Causes, When to See a Doctor and Treatment

6 August 2013
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6 August 2013, Comments: 0

Rashes in a child connotes that there is a sort of reaction of the skin. It is very common for children and often no serious call for alarm. A rash is often a symptom for an underlying illness and will disappear on its own as the disease is treated. There is a variety of causes for rashes in a child, which will be further discussed in the article. Although it is worthy to note that rashes present all over the body is probably due to a viral infection and is more commonly found in babies and young children rather than in adults. Rashes typically disappear in a few days to a week.

Causes of Rashes in Children

There is a wide range of causes of rashes in children for the similar rashes due to the limited number of possible responses of the skin. Some rashes can go away without treatment, while others can cause serious, even fatal, harm to a child. Symptoms will also vary for every underlying disease. Some of the common causes of rashes in children include:

  • Viral rashes
    • Chickenpox (Varicella)
    • Measles (Regular or Hard Measles)
    • Rubella (German Measles or “Three Day Measles”)
    • Fifth Disease (Slapped Cheeks Disease)
    • Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
    • Molluscumcontagiosum
    • RoseolaInfantum
    • Erythemiamultiforme
    • Coxsackieviruses
    • Other Enteroviruses
    • Bacterial rashes
      • Impetigo
      • Scarlet Fever (Scarlatina)
      • Cellulitis
      • Fungal and Parasitic Rashes
        • Scabies
        • Ringworm
        • Athlete’s Foot
        • Fatal Rashes
          • Fever and Petechiae
          • Meningococcemia
          • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
          • Lyme Disease
          • Kawasaki Disease
          • Toxic Shock Syndrome
          • Rashes in Newborn
            • Milia
            • Cradle Cap
            • Infantile Acne
            • ErythemiaToxicum
            • Miliaria (Prickly Heat)
            • Candidal Rash (fungal infection)
            • Irritant Diaper Rash
            • Others
              • Eczema
              • Hives
              • Allergic reactions
              • Keratosis Pilaris (chicken skin)

When to See a Doctor Regarding Rashes in Children

As previously mentioned, rashes in children can go away on their own, especially if caused by a viral infection. However, if any of these symptoms manifest, it may be better to seek medical help from a general practitioner:

  • Child is younger than six months

    Rashes in children

    Rashes in children

  • Fever
  • Infected rashes with pus oozing
  • Rashes spreading to other parts of the body
  • Rashes that don’t improve after two days
  • Child has lost appetite
  • Child looks unwell
  • Unexplainable bruising

Treatment for Rashes in Children

When rashes in children begin to show, the following steps are recommended to ease the child’s discomfort:

  • If possible, try and identify the cause of the rashes
  • Wash the rash with warm water and mild soap. Be careful to not rub the rashes.
  • Pat the skin dry and do not cover.
  • To ease the pain and itching, put a wet cloth on the rash.
  • To prevent scratching, trim the fingernails and put on soft gloves on the child at night.

To learn how to treat rashes in children and other skin-related injuries, join in Standard Childcare First Aid Training, which is highly recommended for parents and caregivers.

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