Some rashes in children will disappear without treatment, but some need some help healing. Here's how to treat common types of rashes and when to call the doctor for red, itchy skin.

October 16, 2018
Credit: Kwangmoozaa/Shutterstock

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.

When to Call the Doctor for a Rash

Always contact 911 or the doctor immediately if your child:

  • Has a high fever, headache, sore throat, or vomiting in addition to the rash.
  • Has a rash close to the eyes or one that affects the eyes.
  • Has a rash that has become infected with bacteria or fungi.
  • Has eaten food or taken a new medicine before a rash developed.
  • Has a fever as well as purplish patches or tiny red dots that do not blanch, which may be a sign of sepsis and meningitis.
  • Has an intensely red rash that is very tender to the touch, which may be a sign of cellulitis.
  • Has impetigo, which is commonly a secondary bacterial infection of the skin.
  • Has the bullseye rash associated with Lyme disease.
  • Has hives with simultaneous face swelling and breathing or swallowing difficulties, which may indicate an anaphylactic reaction.
  • Has a rash that has persisted for more than three days, regardless of the cause.

How to Prevent Rashes

  • Avoid strong substances (soaps, detergents, perfumes) that may irritate the skin and make it more susceptible to injury and rashes. Avoid letting a child wear tight-fitting clothing that can irritate the skin.
  • With eczema, dry skin is causing the itch. Frequent use of moisturizing creams and oil baths will soften the skin. Cut your child's nails short to prevent scratching injuries and skin damage. Certain foods can aggravate atopic eczema in children, so identify and avoid them if possible.
  • Change diapers frequently and apply good general hygiene to prevent diaper rashes.

Comments (3)

December 20, 2020
I'm here to testify about what DR. OYAGU did for me. I have been suffering from (GENITAL HERPES VIRUS) disease for the past 2 years and had constant pain and inching, especially in my private part. During the first year, I had faith in God that i would be cured someday.This disease started circulating all over my body and I have been taking treatment from my doctor, few weeks ago I came across a testimony of Shayla Bosschart on the internet testifying about a Man called DR. OYAGU on how he cured her from 7 years HSV 2. And she also gave the email address of this man, advise anybody to contact him for help on any kind of diseases that he would be of help, so I emailed him telling him about my (HSV 2) he told me not to worry that I was going to be cured!! Well, I never doubted him I have faith he can cure me too,, DR. OYAGU prepared and sent me Healing Soap, roots and herbs which I took. In the first one week, I started experiencing changes all over me, after two weeks of using his Roots/ Herbs, Oil and Soap, I was totally cured. no more inching , pain on me anymore as DR. OYAGU assured me. After some time I went to my doctor to do another test behold the result came out negative. So friends my advise is if you have such disease or know anyone who suffers from it or any other disease like HPV, HBV, HIV, ALS, HBP, CANCER etc. you can contact DR. OYAGU for help via email} whatsaap him through his mobile} +2348101755322. , Thanks once again DR. OYAGU for making me a happy woman again.
November 24, 2020
I’m recommending Dr Godday to everyone who have herpes virus to get the cure from him. I was diagnose of genital herpes in 2015 and i have been searching and asking questions to see if i could get something to cure the disease because i did not believe what the doctors say that no cure is found yet. I came across a comment on Youtube and the person testify how she was cured from herpes and hpv after using Dr Godday herbal medicine. I quickly contact Dr email and explain my problem to him and he prepare the herbs and send it to me through courier and gave me instructions on how to use it and tell me to go for checkup after usage which i did after two weeks of taken the herbal medicine and my result was NEGATIVE. I waited another month and retested the result was still NEGATIVE and my doctor told me that am completely free from herpes. Am so happy and grateful to Dr Godday for what he has done for me and i will continue to share this for people out there to know that there is cure for herpes. You can contact Dr Godday on email and WhatsApp to get the cure from him. Or Call/What’s-app +1{919}4956404
December 1, 2019
i just read your article thanks for sharing that i learned a lot from it beautifulyhealthy