Spots and Skin Rashes in Kids: What They Are, What Do They Mean and When To Worry
Parents, here's what you can do before taking the advice of the paediatrician.
Almost every toddler faces some form of skin issue while growing up. Identifying the problem of spots and common skin rashes in children will help your child and relieve your mind of worries.
There is no dearth in the efforts we take to keep the kids healthy and blemish-free. Yet, there will always be a time when a child has skin problems. And those spots and common skin rashes in children, especially toddlers, can cause you as much pain as for your child. It is time to stop worrying and know more about various types of skin spots and rashes. Learn what you can do to minimise stress before you take the advice of the paediatrician.
Types of Spots and Common Skin Rashes in Children
Your baby’s skin may get afflicted by boils, red rashes and fleshy outgrowth. You can identify them by the looks, touch and other related symptoms. Here is a broad idea of the spots on toddler bodies.
Rashes along with fever
- Red cheeks
What is it: Fifth Disease or Slapped Cheek. Rashes start on the cheeks before spreading to other parts of the body. It is preceded by cold-like symptoms.
Why it happens: This spreads through saliva droplets while coughing and sneezing. Kids may touch infected surfaces and then rub their faces.
What to do: Give the child-appropriate dosage of paracetamol for fever. Do check with the paediatrician if unsure. Plenty of fluids and rest will clear up the problem within a week.
- Pinkish red rash
What is it: Scarlet fever. Rashes look like sunburn and feel like sandpaper. Along with fever, it also gives sore throat, swollen tongue and headache.
Why it happens: Group A Strep bacteria causes this disease. Spreads through coughs and sneezes.
What to do: You must visit the doctor at the earliest. Your baby will need antibiotics.
- Flat, red spots on the trunk
What is it: Roseola. Along with high temperature, the child will have sore throat, diarrhoea, cough and runny nose.
Why it happens: Caused by many viruses, particularly the herpes virus-6. Occurs in kids below 4 years.
What to do: Try to control the fever and give plenty of fluids. It is contagious, so keep the child confined at home.
- Blisters in mouth, on hands and feet
What is it: Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. The blisters under the feet may make it difficult for the toddler to move around. The child may suffer from cold too. It is a contagious viral disease.
Why it happens: This is caused by members of enterovirus family, particularly Enterovirus 71, Coxsackeivirus A6 and Coxsackeivirus A16.
What to do: Give fever drops to get the temperature under control. Take the doctor’s advice if the child’s condition does not improve or he/she is in discomfort.
- Reddish-brown spots
What is it: Measles. The child will also have sore eyes and grey spots inside the cheeks. They may become sensitive to light too.
Why it happens: If the child has not been vaccinated with the MMR vaccine, they are at risk.
What to do: Your toddler needs attention of the paediatrician immediately. Give lots of fluids and paracetamol (do take note of the dosage).
- Non-blanching red blotches
What is it: Meningitis rash. Along with high fever, there will be drowsiness, cold fingers and toes, bluish tinge and odd cry.
Why it happens: If the child has not been vaccinated against meningitis, the child is at risk.
What to do: Seek urgent medical help.
Rashes along with itching
- Rashes in hot temperature
What is it: Heat rash. Small, red, prickly rashes that your baby will want to scratch.
Why: The humid heat in the body due to either external temperature or the activities your child is engaged in, causes these breakouts.
What to do: Help cool down the body with fluids, cold swabs and a bath. Dry the areas well.
- Itchy, swollen spots
What is it: Hives or urticaria. Red in colour and appears at specific locations.
Why: It is an allergic reaction to food, medicines or stings and bites.
What to do: Localised cooling creams will clear it in two days. If it is accompanied by a swollen face or breathing trouble, contact emergency medical facilities urgently.
Talk to your doctor if your baby suffers from hives quite often.
- Cracked or scaly red skin
What is it: Eczema. The skin will be scaly, red, cracked and may ooze fluids. Mostly, occurs on the insides of knees and elbows, and behind the neck.
Why: Caused by a trigger such as fabric, detergent or dander.
What to do: Take the kid to the doctor. Your GP or paediatrician will treat this issue. Keep the area moisturised.
- Red round rash
What is it: Ringworm. A big, reddish spot of round or oval shape with a boundary.
Why: It is a fungal infection.
What to do: Get a specific cream or lotion to treat it locally. If it is on the scalp or is not clearing up, talk to the doctor.
- Red sores and blisters around the mouth
What is it: Impetigo. Blisters will burst and give golden, crusty patches. It starts from the face and moves on to hands and body.
Why: Bacterial infection that enters through cuts or scratches.
What to do: Let the doctor have a look at the baby. Impetigo needs medical attention.
- Small bright red blisters
What is it: Chickenpox. Red spots that blister and then form scabs that fall off when dry. Some toddlers may have few spots and some may have them all over the body.
Why: It is a viral infection and very contagious.
What to do: Talk to your GP. Treat the child with paracetamol (do take note of dosage), plenty of fluids and apply a cooling lotion on the blisters.
- Very itchy, tiny spots
What is it: Scabies. Strong urge to scratch particularly at night.
Why: Caused by tiny mites burrowing into the skin.
What to do: Skin creams and lotions to kill the mites are urgently needed.
Rashes without itching or fever
- Pearly, dome-shaped spots
What is it: Molluscum contagiosum. Mostly on the upper body.
Why: It is caused by a kind of pox virus and occurs in children below 5 years.
What to do: Leave them alone. If you touch them, the infection may spread. And if the lesions burst, they may leave scars.
- Pimples on the face and neck
What is it: Baby acne. Red boils with white heads.
Why: There can be many causes of overactive oil glands.
What to do: Do not scrub or squeeze. Keep the area clean and dry. Simply wash baby’s face with water and a mild moisturiser.
- Red patches in the diaper area
What is it: Nappy rash or diaper rash.
Why: Area left wet for too long or scrubbed too hard.
What to do: Clean the area often and gently. Keep it as dry as you can. Consider leaving the child without a nappy for some time to let air dry the surface. Buy cream from your pharmacy to help clear it.
- Yellowish, scaly patches on the scalp
What is it: Cradle cap. Flaky patches that start in infanthood and may continue after the first birthday.
Why: It is a kind of baby dandruff that occurs due to hormones passed on by mother.
What to do: Clean gently and hydrate. Ask the paediatrician for specific shampoos and lotions.
Many other skin issues including common skin rashes in children may trouble your little one such as Lyme disease and warts. Not every skin problem will come as spots on toddler skin. Some of such problems are oral thrush, ear infection and stye. Gentle care and hygiene work well. Follow up your primary care with medical advice.