Diagnosing Skin Rashes on Toddlers


Is your toddler visibly uncomfortable with red, oozy bumps on his skin? Have you found him scratching inconsolably? Interestingly, most rashes on a baby or toddler may not bother him, hence not really requiring action on your part, as they typically go away on their own. In such cases, you can just make sure you keep your baby as comfortable as possible while the rashes are still visible, and wait until the skin will come back to its smoothness again. However, when it is visibly annoying him, it may be time to take notice.

The following are good ways to determine the cause of your toddler’s rashes:

1. Does the rash appear on the diaper area? If so, then it is only diaper rash. Your doctor may prescribe you a diaper rash cream, or you may consider the way you change his diapers. Perhaps you have left the diaper on for too long; if that’s the case, you can decide next time to allow shorter intervals between diaper changes. If you know that you are religious at your diaper changing, then you can look into the possibility of changing diaper brands, or possibly putting your toddler on cloth diapers during the day. The good news about this is that your toddler will soon be potty trained, and you just need to keep the diaper area as comfortable as possible until then.

2. Does the rash come with itching and chapping? If it does, then it is likely caused by dry skin. In that case, make sure you moisturize your toddler’s skin regularly, preferably after every bath or shower. Your doctor can recommend a good moisturizer.

3. Does the rash come with a fever for around two to three days, and comes on after the fever disappears and there are no other symptoms? In this case, it is likely caused by roseola, particularly if it happens during the springtime.

4. Does the rash come on after your toddler eats a new food? Does it come with a swollen face or possibly, trouble breathing? If so, the rash is likely caused by a food allergy. Take note of which new food you offered him, and avoid giving it again for the next few weeks or months. Sometimes you can try offering it again, but typically, doctors would recommend you to put off offering the food trigger until maybe when the child reaches preschool age.

5. Does the rash come with a sore throat or strep throat that your paediatrician diagnoses? Then it may be caused by scarlet fever. Be sure to consult with your doctor in this case.

6. Does the rash appear all over your toddler’s body, on his feet, hands, and around his mouth? Does it last for two to three days and come with a fever? This is likely caused by a virus, and will disappear when the virus has run its course. You can ask your doctor for possible treatment of the rash and the fever, but it will generally go away after the virus has run its course.

7. Does the rash come with a fever and ulcers in your toddler’s mouth? Do the red bumps turn into blisters and crust over, while new bumps continue appearing? Did the rash begin on the back and head? This is possibly chicken pox. Be sure to head over to your paediatrician.

8. Does the rash come with itching around the affected area? It may simply be hives, sunburn, an insect bite, or a reaction to poison ivy.

9. Is the rash red and circular and comes with a center colored like skin? Is it itchy and scaly? This may possibly be caused by ringworm, particularly if the rash appears on your toddler’s scalp.

10. Does the rash come with a runny nose, cough, fever, pinkeye, and has your toddler recently travelled outside the country or spent time with someone who has? If the rash appeared a few days following the appearance of the other symptoms, it may be caused by measles, a tropical country disease.

11. Is the rash shaped like a bull’s eye, and came on between three days to one month of having been bitten by deer tick? If so, it may possibly be Lyme disease.

As you can see, skin rashes in toddlers can be brought about by a myriad of causes. The best thing for you to do, when something seems amiss, is to consult your paediatrician, as he will be the best person to give you the correct diagnosis.

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