Treating rashes properly depends on a few factors: How is the child's general condition? Does the child have other symptoms or signs of illness? How quickly did the rash appear? Is it localized or is it generalized all over the body? How much does the rash bother your child? Is your child on any medications? Has your child been exposed to any new foods, soaps, or skin products?
For the most part, these are general ways to treat rashes:
- Bacterial skin infections should be treated with a topical antiseptic or antibacterial treatment. Topical treatment is usually sufficient, but oral antibiotics are sometimes necessary. If the lesions are extensive, or spreading, call your child's doctor.
- Give oral antihistamines (such as Children's Benadryl) to decrease the itch and the rash. Give antihistamines before bedtime because the medicine often makes children sleepy. Avoid antihistamine creams because they can irritate the skin and make the rash worse.
- Cool (not hot) baths with oatmeal will ease an itchy rash, and, after your child's bath, apply calamine lotion or a baking soda solution to the rash. For localized itchy rashes, apply 1% hydrocortisone cream if the rash is not a result of fungus, chicken pox, or bacterial infection.
- If your child has just started taking a new medicine, and develops a rash, consult your physician immediately.
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