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Baby Medical Q&A, Issue #080 Childhood Skin Rashes
June 01, 2013

Welcome to another edition of Baby Medical Q&A News.

Skin Rashes

This month I'm going to talk about skin rashes in infants and toddlers.

These are a common cause of concern to parents but most skin rashes are benign. It is important, however, to know what features might mean a skin rash is more to worry about.

Describe what you see and then check the skin rash page to find out what common childhood rashes look like that, so decide whether the rash:

  • is red or pink in color
  • is dry and iritated looking
  • has raised bumps
  • is itchy and has wheals (raised areas that may look pale)
  • has fluid filled lumps that then crust
  • has been there since birth or shortly after

then go to the Skin rash page and follow the links to see what the rash could be.

A quick approach to a skin rash

  • Is the rash red or pink? - if yes, then do the glass test and see if you can still see the rash through the glass. If so, this is potentially a worrying skin rash and you should seek medical attention
  • If the rash is red or pink and the glass test is negative (so the rash disappears on pressure) then the most likely thing is that this rash is caused by a virus
  • If the rash has crusts that are yellow or gold in color, then impetigo is the likely cause and antibiotics will likely be necessary
  • If the rash has some fluid filled lumps, some crusts and some pink spots all at once, then chicken pox is a possibility, so avoid contact with children outside your family
  • If the rash is itchy and particularly if there are wheals which are raised areas that may look slightly pale, then this is urticaria and is an allergic reaction. A common cause of urticaria is a viral infection and the rash may change a bit every day but may last a few weeks in total
  • If the rash has been there since birth or shortly after, this is likely a birth mark even if it is seems to be changing or getting bigger. Strawberry nevi are a common cause of concern to parents as they get bigger over the first few months but there is nothing to worry about - to read more and see pictures, click here

  • Is the rash dry or does the skin look irritated? - this is probably eczema, which is also known as atopic dermatitis. The treatment for a dry skin rash is to keep the skin moist!. You can read more on the eczema page

If you are still not sure, take a photo as this will help your doctor identify what the rash may be. Go to the Skin rash page and follow the links to see some of the photos I have on the website.

One of my favourite websites with great pictures and descriptions of skin conditions is DermNet

I hope you find this helpful. Rashes are such a common cause of concern for parents. Most are benign.

Please feel free to share this ezine with family and friends.

Till next time,

Dr Maud

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