Categorized | Child Health Issues, Health

How To Spot and Treat Childhood Rashes

Rashes are very widespread during childhood. Since children have sensitive skin, exposure to elements can instantly trigger all sorts of itchy infections. Here is a guide to help you recognize and treat the most common childhood rashes.

Chickenpox

Also known as varicella, chickenpox is a transmittable disease that starts off with a few itchy, red fluid-filled bumps (often mistaken as insect bites). During the first few days, a toddler with chickenpox will have fever, a headache, feel exhausted and lose his appetite. The spots will turn into blisters that break open then crust over. It can appear all over his body, including the scalp, ears, mouth, throat and groin. Chickenpox typically lasts 5 to 10 days.

Treatment

Keep your toddler at home until he has fully recovered to prevent him from transmitting the disease. You can give him acetaminophen to reduce the fever and ease his discomfort. Control his scratching by giving your child a proper dose of OTC antihistamine (oral Benadryl). Bathe him in warm water every 3 to 4 hours and add baking soda or oatmeal to bath water to further relieve itching. After bathing, apply calamine lotion to the itchy bumps. Keep his fingernails short to keep your toddler from scratching which can cause scaring.

Diaper Rash

A toddler’s diaper area will appear red and irritated and skin will look swollen and warm when you touch it. This often occurs when a toddler is exposed to a wet or soiled diaper, chemicals in diapers or has had a bout of diarrhea (when toddler is taking antibiotics).

Treatment

Change your toddler’s diaper often. Clean his bottom by washing it with warm water instead of diaper wipes and air dry the area. After which, apply a small amount of diaper rash cream (choose one with zinc oxide) to protect his skin. You may also leave your toddler’s diaper off to expose the area to air which speeds up healing.

Impetigo

An infectious bacterial illness that look like small, delicate bumps that penetrate through a bug bite, wound or an open cut.

Treatment

Gently clean the scabs with antiseptic soap and warm water. Dab a thin coat of antibiotic cream and cover it with a gauze bandage.

Measles

Small, rough brownish-red spots that appear on a toddler’s face and neck and spreads down to the body and legs. Measles is also accompanied with fever, severe runny nose, cough and red eyes. If left untreated, it can lead to meningitis, ear infection, pneumonia and in some cases, brain problems.

Treatment

Give your toddler acetaminophen or ibuprofen to alleviate fever and pain. Cool compress his eyes. Make sure he gets adequate rest. Sprinkle oatmeal to his bath water to relieve itching. Have him drink plenty of fluids, particularly water. Give him vitamin C to boost his immune system.

Molluscum

Looks like tiny, flesh, pink or white-colored puffy spots with a dimple in the center that is spread by skin-to-skin contact or through contaminated toys, clothes, towels and pool water.

Treatment

Molluscum does not require treatment as it goes away on its own. However, you should wrap the bumps with clean gauze during daytime to keep your toddler from nicking them.

Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac

Also known as contact dermatitis, exposure to poisonous plants can cause inflamed, itchy rashes (with blisters) on the face, arms and legs.

Treatment

This childhood rash has no cure. You just have to wait it out until it goes away. But, you can help ease your toddler’s discomfort by washing the area with soapy water, bathing him in water with baking soda or Epsom salts, cool compressing his skin and rubbing ice cubes to the affected area for 10 minutes, twice a day.

Prickly Heat

Prickly heat or heat rash looks like red rashes with small blisters that appear on the forehead, lower back, trunk and in skin creases due to overheating.

Treatment

Dress your little one in lightweight, loose-fitting clothes made from breathable fabrics such as cotton to allow proper air circulation which will keep your toddler fresh. Cool compress the affected areas and apply cornstarch (not baby powder) to relieve the rashes.

If you are still clueless about your toddler’s rash, the best thing you should do is to call the doctor so appropriate diagnosis and treatment can be given.

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