What causes a rash on kids? There are numerous causes and reasons, which usually account for their appearance. In addition, they can be on any part of the child`s body, for instance, it can occur on face, chest, neck, back, and bottom of a baby.
Due to their many causes, treatments should be with the help of a pediatrician or a dermatologist unless you are certain on causes. Learn how to cure kid’s rash, what causes them, and more.
In a medical context, a rash is defined to be a skin condition that will alter the normal skin texture, color, and appearance. Various triggers can result in a similar-looking one since our skin usually have limited reaction types. Normally, a baby skin rash is just a minor problem or may be part of ailment that will vanish of its own.
It may be caused by contact with substances outside the body, diseases such as measles and scarlet as well as the disorder of internal organ (such can be very serious). Viruses, bacteria and fungi can all cause a rash on a child.
A number cases in babies and young children’s body caused by viruses usually clear up of their own. According to Webmd.com, “After a child has had a rash caused by a virus, his or her body generally builds an immunity to that virus. This immunity protects the child from getting that specific viral illness and rash again”.
However, not all virus linked ones will clear on their own easily, some viral childhood rashes may have serious or life-threatening symptoms.
Finally, toddler rashes look alike hence complicating the diagnostic tests, therefore, you should visit your medical service provider to carry out a diagnostic test for you.
Common skin rash in kids and their causes
In this section, we are going to dwell on the most common ones and their causes. Go through them to find out whether there is one that matches your child’s case, as well as be able to identify various types of toddler rashes.
This a bacterial infection of the skin that begins as a tiny red spot which later turn into blister which rupture and then produce a discharge.
Their common symptoms include runny nose and red and irritated skin under the nose. This condition is common in among children aged 2 years or even those who are younger than that age.
The rash can appear anywhere in the body but it is common around the mouth and nose. It can itch or not itchy. It is accompanied by circular rashes that may vary in size.
Hives (also known as nettle rash, wheals, and urticaria) on your baby skin are raised, swollen area on the baby`s skin that are extremely itchy. It can show up on any parts of the kid`s body.
Their distinct characteristics is that they come and disappear within few hours or few days. “Hives are common, particularly in young children. One in five people will have the condition at some point in their lives.” [babycentre.co.uk].
The most common triggers of hives include viral infection, exposure to heat and cold and allergic reaction among others.
Antihistamine medicine can be used to relieve swollen and itchy rash. Corticosteroids tablets can also be used when your baby has very serious hives.
3. Pityriasis rosea
This is a quite common skin condition that results in childhood rash that only lasts for a shorter while. The is accompanied by raised, red scaly patches. This condition is common in older children and young adults. The resultant kid’s skin rash can be very itchy and in most cases, it will clear up without medication in 2 to 12 weeks. In some rare cases, it can last more than twelve weeks.
What causes Pityriasis rosea is not clear but it has been linked to viral infection. This condition is not contagious so, there is no need to avoid people suffering from this condition. Treatment involves moisturizers, antihistamines and steroid creams.
4. Chickenpox rash
Chickenpox is a viral infection that usually attacks many children under 10 years of age. It shows up along a rash of itchy spot that turns into a fluid-filled blister. Some babies will have only a few spots while others may have spots on the entire body. Common places you will find it in children include face, ears, scalp, underarm, chest, belly, arms and legs.
So far, there is no specific cure for this infection but paracetamol, calamine lotion and cooling gel can be used to hasten the relief of swelling and itching.
5. Keratosis pilaris
Keratosis pilaris or “chicken skin” is a prevalent and humble skin condition that usually occur on the upper arms, bottoms, thighs, forearms and upper back. This misfortune begins in childhood and become more severe during puberty stage and can disappear of its own in adulthood.
Specific treatment for keratosis pilaris is not yet known but t usually gets better on its own. You can visit your GP to recommend suitable remedies that may help you relieve the resultant symptoms
6. Molluscum contagiosum
This is another viral infection rash that triggers clusters of small, firm, raised spots that develop on the baby`s skin. It is a common condition affecting young children of age 1 to 5 years.
This condition is contagious. Therefore, some children can get from their fellows (adults are resistant to the virus causing this condition). It also usually painless but can have very itchy.
Treatments may be very painful hence only recommended for older children. Example of such medications include liquids, gels or creams that are applied topically to the skin. Cryotherapy can also be applied. In case the spots become infected with bacterial infections, antibiotics can be applied.
7. Heat Rash (Prickly Heat)
Heat rash (prickly) also, called miliaria is an itchy rash occurring alongside small, raised red spots that result into burning sensation on the affected skin. It comes into being when the sweat ducts in the epidermis are blocked. It can occur anywhere in the body including neck, face, back, chest or thigh.
Unusual sweating in infants can trigger heat rash on a toddler. This can depend on the climatic conditions. It is not urgent condition and rarely needs any specific medication.
According to Nhs.uk, “ringworm is a highly infectious fungal skin infection that causes a ring-like red or silvery patch on the skin that can be scaly, inflamed or itchy.” It very common in children but it is also affecting adults. It can occur in any part of the body. Antifungal medications are the best and effective medication for this condition.
This is another contagious condition that can result to very itchy kids rashes on baby`s skin. It is caused by tiny mites that burrow in an individual’s skin. In babies or children, scabies normally spread when there is long period of skin-to-skin contact with infected child or adult. This can be during playing, hugging or even breastfeeding.
Generally, mite like warms places such as under fingernails, around the buttock creases, skin folds between fingers among other warm places in the body. This condition can also lead to blisters on the soles of the feet in infants. It is always not wild but still there is need to treat it. There are creams and lotions that can be applied to stop it. Still your GP can prescribe other medical options.
10. Scarlet Fever
Scarlet fever is bacterial infection which is highly contagious that usually affect children between 2 and 8 years of age. Its symptoms include pink-red rash, which is coarse to touch, and may be very itchy. It begins with sore throat, fever and then headache.
Scarlet fever rash usually occurs on chest and stomach before it could spread to other areas. It usually clears up after about 7 days. Antibiotics can also be used as a remedy for this condition.
11. Other causes o
Apart from the above causes, there are still more causes. Below are causes:
- Slapped cheek syndrome
- Fifth Disease
- Hand, foot and mouth disease
- Erythema multiforme
- Baby acne
- Cradle cap
- Diaper Rash
Signs and Symptoms
Skin rash in babies may have variant signs and symptoms that will usually depend on the primary causes. The linked symptom can be mild, moderate or severe. Below are the summary symptoms associated with this condition in babies:
- A cough in children
- Reddening and swelling of the affected skin
- Small, pink, flat, and raised lesions
- Fever in infants and children
- Constipation in children
- Itchy bumps on the skin
- Fluid filled Blisters
- Raised red scaly patches
- Excessive crying
- Diarrhea in babies
- Vomiting in babies
- Separation and stranger anxiety
It also good to let you know that rashes on kids always seem to be mild but can occur alongside life-threatening symptoms in babies.
Sometimes it may be challenging to diagnose what is the exact cause of rashes on the skin of a baby. Therefore as good parent, you should take your kid for test and examination since the triggers may include disorders of internal organs. Let your doctor know about the very first symptoms of any rash on the kid`s body and if it is infectious, isolate your baby to avoid infecting others.
Types of rashes
Skin rashes occur with different characteristics or symptoms. So in this section, we are going to group them into the following categories which may provide an idea about their causes:
Itchy one in kids
There many factors that cause an itchy rash in kids. Such may have different color, shape or size. The following the types of itchy on kids and their causes:
- Itchy round rash-this can be ringworm that always affects the scalp, face among other body parts of your child. There are creams and lotions that your GP may recommend to treat ringworm.
- Raised red itchy spots – this can be due to hives a condition linked to allergic reaction.
- Red scaly skin/cracked skin – the possible cause of this skin condition may be eczema. It is more common behind knees and elbows as well as neck area. The condition can also appear anywhere in baby’s body.
- Heat rash – it can be caused by heat and sweat. It results to small, red spots also called prickly heat.
Rash with Fever
Some rashes in babies that can occur alongside fever. They include:
- Small spots and blisters caused by chickenpox
- Blisters on hands and feet and in the mouth. This a condition caused by what is known as hand, foot and mouth disease
- Pink-red rash due to scarlet fever
Non-itchy rashes which occur without fever may seem to be nothing much to worry about but we must be very keen when the dealing with them, they may indicate something very serious with the internal organs.
- Small white spots (milia). They don’t need treatments since they usually disappear of their own.
- Pink or skin colored spots caused be molluscum contagiosum
- Red patches on the baby`s buttocks. They are known as a diaper or nappy rash. The may be very sore and feel hot touch.
- Red, yellow and white spots in babies. This could be as a result of erythema toxicum
Treatment and remedies
Treatments for rash in kids will depend on the specific cause, an age of the child (some medication may be strong for younger babies) or symptom of the underlying rash.
Stronger or alternative medications can also be applied depending on the severity of the resultant symptoms. Below are examples of treatments used to cure rash on kids:
- Emollients, steroid creams and antihistamines
- Antibiotics and antifungals medications
- Epinephrine for a serious allergic reaction
- Natural baby rash treatment including cold compresses, oatmeal, aloe vera, coconut oil among other.
Ensure you get a proper diagnostic test that will help to identify various triggers. This will help based on the fact that each rash cause may have a specific treatment. So, on top of the medications highlighted above, your dermatologist still have other wider options.
How can I prevent them?
Many causes can be prevented but the reverse of this can also be true, not all causes can be prevented. Many preventions measures if not all, should be pre-crash control activities carried out before your child suffers this condition. The prevention measures include homes remedies and habitual changes on how the parent/guardian take care of the kid.
Try the techniques below to prevent or to reduce the risk of your child suffering any skin rashes on the body:
- Always change your baby diaper early and often to prevent baby diaper rash
- Try to clean and dry your baby before you put on the diaper
- Limit the number of acidic foods and drinks you give to your baby
- Always use ointments and creams to protect baby skin. This should be done immediately after bath
- Keep the baby fingernail short and clean to avoid spread of infections
- Hot or long bath should be avoided since they take away the skin oil hence leaving the skin dry
- Use loose cotton cloth to help absorb sweat
- Always keep your kid`s body clean and dry
- Try to identify substances to which your baby`s skin can be sensitive to
- Regularly take your baby for medical checkup
When should I contact my child`s healthcare provider?
Please see you child`s healthcare provider immediately if you child develop a rash while taking certain medicine or when the rash occur alongside the following symptoms:
- Fever with rash
- Difficulty in breathing
- Vomiting and Nausea
- Tightness in the chest or the throat of the kid
- Any other severe symptoms