Childhood Skin RashesSkin rashes come in all forms and sizes. Some are raised bumps, others are flat red blotches. Some are itchy blisters; others are pathes of rough skin. Most rashes are harmless and clear up on their own within a few days. A few may need medical attention. The skin is one of the first areas of the body to react when exposed to something you or your child is allergic to. The chart that follows lists information on some common skin rashes.

Condition or Illness Causes What rash looks like Skin area(s) Affected Other symptoms
Diaper Rash Dampness and the interactioon of urine and the skin. Small patches or rough skin, tiny pimples. Buttocks, thighs, gennitals. Soreness, no itching
Cradle Cap Hormones that pass through the placenta before birth Scaly, crusty rash (in newborns) Starts behind the ears and spreads to the scalp Fine, oily scales
Heat Rash (Prickly Heat) Blocked off sweat glands Small red pimples, pink blotchy skin Chest, waist, back, armpitts, groin Itching (may be a result of fever)
*Roseola Herpes virus type-6 Flat, rosy red rash Chest and abdomen High fever 2-4 days before rash – child feels only midly ill during fever
*Fifth Disease Human parvovirus B19 Red rash of varying shades that fade to a flat, lacy pattern (rash comes and goes) Red rash on facial cheeks, lacy-like rash can also appear on arms and legs Mild disease with no other symptoms or a slight runny nose and sore throat
Eczema Allergens Dry, red, cracked skin, blisters that ooze and crust over, sufficent scratching leads to a thickened rough skin On cheeks in infants, on neck, wrist, inside elbows, and backs of knees in older children Moderate to intense itching (may only itch first, then rash appears hours to days later
*Chicken Pox** Varicella/herpes zoster virus Flat red spots that become rasied resembling small pimples. These develop into small blisters that break and crust over Back, chest and abdomen first, then rest of body Fatigue and mild fever 24 hours before rash appears – intense itching
*Scarlet Fever Bacterial infection (streptococcal) Rough, bright red rash (feels like sandpaper) Face, neck, elbows, armpits, groin (spreads rapidly to entire body) High fever, weakness before rash, sore throat, peeling of the skin afterward (especially palms)
*Impetigo Bacterial infection of the skin In infants, pus-filled blisters, and red skin. In older children, golden crusts on red sores Arms, legs, face and around the nose first, then most of body Sometimes fever – occasional itching
Hives Allergic reaction to food, insect bites, viral infection, drug or other substances Rasied red bumps with pale centers (resemble mosquito bites), shape, size and location of spots can change rapidly Any area Itching- in extreme cases, swelling of throat, difficulty breathing (may need emergency care)
Posion Ivy, Oak, Sumac Interaction of oily resins of plant leaves with skin Red, swollen skin rash and lines of tiny blisters Exposed areas Intense itching and burning
Lyme Disease Bacterial infection spread by deer tick bite(s) Red rash that looks like a bullseye: rasied edges surround the tick bites with pale centers in the middle. Rash starts to fade after a couple of days Exposed skin areas where ticks bite, often include scalp, neck, armpit and groin No pain, no itching at time of bite. Fever-rash occurs in the week following the bite(s)

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