Proud Winner of Best Clinic UK at the 2024
Laurel Wreath for AwardsAesthetics Medicine AwardsLaurel Wreath for Awards

Articles

What are common skin rashes in children?

When a child develops a rash, it can be quite alarming. In many cases, these rashes are not serious and many will go away on their own.

Tagged: Beauty & Skin Care

Author: Dr. Susan Mayou, BSc FRCP

Date: 21st April 2022

Medically Reviewed by:  Dr. Susan Mayou (GMC: 2405092)

Last reviewed: 10th January 2024

What are common skin rashes in children?

When a child develops a rash, it can be quite alarming. 

In many cases, these rashes are not serious and many will go away on their own. However, sometimes they will require treatment to alleviate itching and discomfort and to help get rid of the rash, lessening the likelihood of scarring. Treatment also reduces the chance of the illness being passed on.

Here we will look at a list of the different types of common skin rashes in children.

Slapped cheek syndrome: A bright red rash appearing on one or both cheeks is the main characteristic of slapped cheek syndrome. A similar rash may appear on the body after a few days. Symptoms also include a high temperature, headache, sore throat and a runny nose.

Chickenpox: Most children will contract chickenpox during the first few years of their life. Chickenpox starts as small red or pink spots, which can appear anywhere on the body, including inside the mouth and on the genitals, which can be extremely painful. The spots then turn into itchy blisters which may burst before scabbing over. 

Impetigo: Impetigo starts with red sores or blisters which burst to leave behind crusty, golden-brown patches. These patches may be itchy and sometimes painful. Impetigo can also spread to other parts of the body. It is highly contagious.

Hand, foot and mouth disease: Painful ulcers appear in the mouth and raised red, pink or dark spots on the hands and feet, although these may also appear on the bottom and thighs too. The spots turn into painful blisters. It usually gets better in seven to ten days.

Measles: Measles starts with cold-like symptoms, followed by the appearance of white or grey spots in the mouth. The characteristic blotchy red or brown rash appears on the skin a few days later, starting on the face and behind the ears before spreading to other parts of the body. You must see a doctor if you suspect your child has measles as it can lead to serious complications. Measles rash can be harder to spot on brown and black skin.

Scarlet fever: Scarlet fever usually starts with a white coating on the tongue, a sore throat, headache and temperature. The illness is characterised by a red rash that looks like pinpricks. This rash feels rough to touch, like sandpaper. Scarlet fever requires treatment with antibiotics.

Scabies: A red, raised rash, accompanied by intense itching, is characteristic of scabies. The condition is caused by tiny mites burrowing into the skin and is highly contagious. Everyone living in the same household will need to be treated.

Hives: Hives are itchy red, pink or white raised bumps that can appear anywhere on the face or body and last anywhere between 24 hours and six weeks. Hives are an allergic reaction. If your child keeps getting them, you should take them to a dermatologist to help identify what your child is allergic to.

Ringworm: As the name would suggest, ringworm presents as a dry, itchy, ring-shaped patch on the skin. It may be red, pink or silver in colour, or just generally darker than the surrounding skin.

Eczema: Eczema is one of the most common skin rashes in children. With eczema, the skin appears red, flaky, scaly, blistering and there is usually a red rash. On brown or black skin, the rash may look purple, grey or darker than the surrounding skin. It can be very itchy. Eczema is usually found in elbow creases, behind the knees and on the fingers and hands, although it may appear anywhere on the body.

Heat rash: Also known as prickly heat, heat rash causes raised red patches which are usually itchy. Heat rash disappears on its own within a few days. It may be less noticeable on darker skin tones.

Milia: Milia are tiny bumps that appear on a newborn baby’s face. They may be white or yellow, depending on the baby’s skin tone. They usually go away on their own after a few weeks.


Erythema toxicum: This is a common rash that is seen in full-term infants shortly after birth. The raised red, yellow and white spots usually appear on the face, body, upper arms and thighs. The rash can disappear before reappearing, but generally, it goes on its own after a few weeks without treatment.

Molluscum contagiosum: This viral skin condition presents as small, firm, raised spots, with a small dimple in the middle, which generally appear in small clusters. The spots are not painful but can be itchy. They can appear anywhere on the body, but particularly in the armpits, behind the knees and around the groin. It may take over a year for the spots to go on their own.

Baby acne: Baby acne is characterised by tiny red or white bumps or pimples that appear on a newborn’s skin, most commonly on the nose, cheeks and forehead. 

Seborrheic dermatitis (cradle cap): This form of dermatitis is usually found on oily parts of the body such as the face, scalp and chest. It is also commonly found in babies, with the yellow or white scaly patches on the scalp commonly known as cradle cap. It usually gets better within a few weeks or months. Seborrheic dermatitis is not itchy.

Nappy rash: Sore red patches on a baby’s bottom is usually nappy rash. Sometimes this can be accompanied by spots or blisters. A simple over-the-counter cream can help, but you may need to see a doctor if it is particularly sore or painful.

If your child has a skin rash that does not fade when you press a glass against it, this can be a sign of meningitis. Meningitis is a medical emergency and you should call 999 or go to A&E immediately. If your child has meningitis they may also be experiencing some of all of the following symptoms; a stiff neck, photosensitivity (sensitivity to light), confusion, high temperature, breathing difficulties and a pale blue, grey or blotchy tongue.

 


Treatments mentioned in this article



Trustpilot

Laurel Wreath for Awards

2024

Aesthetics Medicine Awards

Clinic of the Year

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2024

Aesthetics Medicine Awards

London Region’s Clinic of the Year

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2024

Aesthetics Awards

Best Clinic London

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2023

Aesthetic Awards

Highly Commended Best Clinic in London

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2021

Aesthetics Awards

Highly Commended

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2021

My Face My Body

Best Clinic Winner

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2020

My Face My Body

Best Clinic Winner

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2019

My Face My Body

Winner

Laurel Wreath for Awards

0207 901 8500

Get in touch Sign Up