Common Rashes in Children

Care Advice

  1. What You Should Know About Localized Rashes:
    • Most new localized rashes are due to skin contact with an irritating substance.
    • Here is some care advice that should help.
  2. Avoid the Cause
    • Try to find the cause.
    • Consider irritants like a plant (such as evergreens or weeds). Also, chemicals (such as solvents or insecticides). Irritants also can include fiberglass or detergents. A new cosmetic or new jewelry (such as nickel) may also be the cause.
    • A┬ápet may carry the irritant, as with poison ivy or oak. Also, your child could react directly to pet saliva.
  3. Do Not Use Soap
    • Wash the red area once with soap to remove any remaining irritants.
    • Then, do not use soaps on it. Reason: Soaps can slow healing.
    • Cleanse the area when needed with warm water.
  4. Cold Soaks for Itching:
    • Use a cold wet washcloth or soak in cold water for 20 minutes.
    • Do this every 3 to 4 hours as needed. This will help with itching or pain.
  5. Steroid Cream for Itching:
    • If the itch is more than mild, use 1% hydrocortisone cream (such as Cortaid). Put it on the rash.
    • No prescription is needed.
    • Use it 3 times per day.
    • Exception: Do not use for suspected ringworm.
  6. Try Not to Scratch:
    • Help your child not to scratch.
    • Cut the fingernails short.
  7. Return to School:
    • Children with localized rashes do not need to miss any child care or school.
  8. What to Expect:
    • Most of these rashes go away in 2 to 3 days.
  9. Call Your Provider If:
    • Rash spreads or gets worse
    • Rash lasts for more than 1 week
    • You think your child needs to be seen
    • Your child becomes worse

Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it. Please call the office if you have further questions regarding the above information or concerns for your child.

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