Toddlers and rashes seem to go hand in hand. You may notice a reddish area on your child’s bottom while changing her diaper, or her cheeks may appear flushed. A wide range of rashes are common in toddlers. Most are usually nothing to be worried about and will clear up on their own.
Rashes vary in their appearance, according to Dr. Sears. A rash may be raised and bumpy or completely flat. They can resemble a piece of lace or look solid. Some rashes consist of several large welts. Hives are a common rash in toddlers that is made up of several welts that can appear and disappear all over the body. Other common rashes in toddlers include hand-foot-mouth disease, roseola and fifth disease.
Rash symptoms vary depending on the type of rash. Hand-foot-mouth disease usually appears as a series of blisters on the child’s hands, foot or inside his mouth. If your toddler has roseola, he may have a rash made up of a series of pink dots, usually on his chest and back. The rash from roseola usually follows a fever, according to the Mayo Clinic. The rash from Fifth disease usually starts as a bright, red blotch on the face, according to Kids Health. It may look as though your toddler’s been slapped, according to Dr. Sears. As the disease runs its course, the rash will move to the chest and limbs and will begin to look lacy.
Viruses cause many rashes in toddlers. Parvovirus B19 causes Fifth disease, while certain types of the herpes virus can cause roseola as well as chicken pox. Yet another virus, coxsackievirus A16, causes hand-foot-mouth disease. Outside irritants, such as chafing clothing or diapers or strong soaps, can also cause rashes. Some toddlers get a rash when they become overheated as well. Bacteria and fungal infections can also lead to a rash.
Treating a Rash
A specific treatment doesn’t exist for most rashes caused by a virus. If your toddler has rash from roseola, Fifth disease or hand-foot-mouth disease, the best you can do is to wait for the rash to clear up. Rashes caused by the heat can be treated by cooling your baby down. Treat diaper rash by changing her diaper often and keeping the area dry. Anti-itch ointment may help soothe your toddler’s skin. You may want to try a new detergent or avoid fabric softener if you think that is bringing on the rash.
Cause for Concern
While most rashes in toddlers are a part of growing up, Dr. Sears advises that you should see your doctor right away if your toddler has one specific type of rash, known as petechiae. Petechia appears as several round, red dots on your child’s skin and is a result of bleeding just beneath the surface. When you press on the dots, they will remain red. Many serious conditions, such as leukemia, measles and rubella can cause petechia. Scurvy and vitamin K deficiency in infants can also cause the rash, according to the Mayo Clinic.