Baby or Toddler Skin Rash?

Wondering what to do about that toddler skin rash?

Want to know if that baby skin rash is something to be concerned about?

This page will help you understand your baby or toddler's skin rash.

This page will help you navigate to the appropriate skin rash page by guiding you through a list of options depending on what the toddler or baby rash looks like. If you know what the rash is already and want more information, you can put the diagnosis in the site search box below to go to that page.

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If you don't know what is causing the baby or toddler skin rash, use the list below to go the section that best describes the type of rash your infant has.

To read about rashes in newborn babiesclick here.

If you still can't find what you want on this page, look at the Diagnose My Skin Rash page.


Red or Pink Skin Rash

- does your baby or toddler skin rash blanch (go pale or white when pressed)? 

Press a glass on the rash - you will be able to easily see if the rash goes pale

  • Rash doesn't blanch on pressure (you can still see the red rash through the glass as you press) - this is a petechial or purpuric rash - read more.

    Seek medical attention urgently especially if the rash is appearing before your eyes or your child has a fever.

    Not every petechial rash is serious but it could be a serious condition like meningococcal infection, so if your baby or toddler has a petechial rash, it's best to get it checked out immediately.
  • Rash blanches on pressure - this is an erythematous rash and is not usually an urgent problem.

Erythematous skin rashes may be caused by

  • diaper (nappy) rash - read more
  • eczema - read more
  • erythema toxicum - a rash seen in newborn babies.Read more
  • hand foot and mouth disease which starts with red spots that blister - read more
  • heat rash - read more
  • measles - an infectious disease that is not so common now that children are generally immunized against it. Read more
  • seborrheic dermatitis, which includes cradle cap - read more
  • slapped cheek disease - read more
  • thrush - read more
  • viral skin rash - read more

Back to list

Petechial rashPetechial rash
Purpuric rashPurpuric rash
Viral rash backViral rash back

Dry skin that is red at times

- the most common cause of dry skin in a baby or toddler skin rash is eczema - read more.

- if your child has eczema and scratches a lot or has thickened skin from scratching, you may be interested in using wet wraps. Wet wraps are wet bandages applied over moisturizers with dry bandages on top. They can be effective in moderate to severe eczema when used intermittently. Read more

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Raised spots

- if the spot is pearly and the center is depressed, the most likely diagnosis is molluscum contagiosum - read more. This common toddler skin rash is caused by a virus and will eventually disappear without treatment (but this may take months).

-if the spots are very itchy, don't forget that insect bites can look like this.

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Raised blisters that crust

If your child has fluid-filled blisters that are grouped together and the fluid inside them looks a golden color or the crusts look golden, this could be impetigo - read more (sometimes called school sores) particularly if they on the face. This rash is very contagious. Your child will need antibiotics.

If there are blisters on the lips or inside the mouth, your child may have cold sores (herpes simplex virus) - read more.

If your child starts to get blisters on the body or face or limbs that then crust as new blisters appear, this is probably chicken pox - read more.

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Raised red itchy rash with wheals

A raised itchy red rash with a central white area is urticaria - read more. It is usually an allergic response. If this is the first time your child has had this type of rash, it is unlikely you will ever find out what caused it. Don't worry, just treat the symptoms - anti-histamines will help the itch and sometimes steroids are prescribed as well to calm the inflammation.

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Hand Foot Mouth rashHand foot mouth rash
Strawberry nevusStrawberry hemangioma
Mongolian blue spotMongolian blue spot


Babies can have birthmarks such as:

  • strawberry hemangioma (nevus) - it looks just like a strawberry and will eventually disappear
  • stork mark or salmon patch - red mark on the forehead and/or nape of the neck and it will disappear by the first year. It becomes more prominent when your baby cries or is hot like after a bath.
  • Mongolian blue spots - look like bruises but will fade with time

To read more on birthmarks, click here

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Still not Sure???

If you are still not sure what has caused your baby or toddler skin rash, or if you have a rash and you want to know what it is, see the Diagnose My Skin Rash page.


To go to the top of the Baby or Toddler Skin Rash page, click here

To read more about infant skin rash syndromes and birthmarks, click here

To go to the Eczema page, click here

To read about Wet Wraps for Eczema, click here

To go to the Diagnose My Skin Rash page, click here

To return to the Home page, click here

Last reviewed 24 August 2011

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Dr Maud MD

Dr Maud MD (MBChB, FRACP, FRCPCH), a specialist pediatrician, provides health information and medical advice for parents of babies and toddlers. Read more about Dr Maud.

We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

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