Identifying a rash
When your little one breaks out in a rash it helps to know the reason so that you can deal with potential problems immediately. 

"Baby measles " (Roseola Infantum)

  • This appears as a light pink rash on your baby's neck and the top of his back that spreads to his body and limbs.
  • This is a mild viral infection and normally affects babies between the ages of 6 and 24 months.
  • Luckily it is more irritating than harmful and the virus could last for about four days.
  • Your baby could also experience a slight swelling aorund the eyes and you may notice swollen lymph glands on the back of his head.


The ailment usually heals without treatment, but in exceptional cases the child may have a febrile convulsion from a high temperature. Medication can be used to prevent the temperature from getting too high. 

German measles

  • German measles, also known as Rubella, is very dangerous to an unborn baby if a pregnant mother is infected, but a less serious viral infection for children.
  • It usually starts with a slight temperature and swolen lymph glands behind the ears, followed by a light pink rash or reddish spots.
  • The rash will itch and last for about three days.
  • Once it is healed, the skin could peel.


This ailment usually clears up by itself, and a temperature can be treated with infant paracetamol.

Scarlet fever

  • Your child will complain of a headache, a sore throat and stomach-ache, and will have a high temperature.
  • After two or three days he will develop a rash, firstly in his armpits and groin area, which will spread to his torso and limbs.
  • Whe  he starts improving, he's skin will start peeling slightly.
  • His tongue will be covered with a white layer at first, but will eventually appear to be blood red.


If complications arise, Scarlet fever can be very dangeroous. Your child will have to be treated with an antibiotic, so get him to a doctor. Paracetamol will help for the pain and fever, but do keep your child away from others until the rash disappears as this is an infectious disease.


  • Measles is a serious childhood illness that starts with a sudden high temperature, irratability, red and watering eyes, runny nose, coughing and sometimes, in the case of small children even diarrhoea that worsens during the course of three days.
  • The measles rash appears first as small white dots on a red background in the mouht. 
  • After this a red patchy rash appears in the neck or on the face and spreads during the next three days until almost the whole body is covered.
  • It is at this point that the temperature starts going down, and the rash starts fading. One in every ten children who get measles develop an ear infection or even pneumonia.
  • Meningitis is another complication and can result in deafness or mental retardation.


Paracetamol can help control your little one's temperature and antibiotics will be administered for any secondary infections.


  • Shingles appear as a group of spots on one side of the bosy.
  • The spots become water blisters later.
  • These will pop and form red patches.
  • Your child might experience pain before, during and after an outbreak.
  • In rare cases, the symptoms will appear around the eyes or ears too.


Children don't often get very ill from shingles. Relieve the pain with paracetamol. The child may be left with white scars.

Hand, foot and mouth illness

  • The first symptom of this viral infection is that your baby does not want to eat and little sores appears in his mouth.
  • After this, little white blisters appear on his hands, palms, feet and soles.
  • After about a week it should clear up.
  • This ailment usually appears only during the summer months.


This is a light infection and no treatment is necessary.


  • Eczema is the combined name for inflammation of the skin that leaves it red, flaky and very itchy.
  • It is usually prevalant in families with a know history of allergies.
  • Eczema in babies can appear on any part of their bodies.
  • In the case of older children, it usually appears in folds of skin such as behind the knees or in the crook of the arms.
  • Eczema starts with dry skin and then itchy red blotches will appear. 
  • Because it is so itchy, it could be the cause of your child becoming irritable and tetchy.
  • Eczema could disappear for a time, and then reappear, depending on the presence of triggers that cause new breakouts.


There is no cure for eczema, but treatments to keep it under control rage from hydrocortisone creams to basic preventative actions that you can put into practice at home. Take your child to see a dermatologist that specialises in eczema.


  • Thrush is a fungal infection that usually appears inside the mouth or on the bottom. 
  • In the mouth it causes white spots, and on the bottom it appears as swollen red bumps.


Thrush must be treated with an anti-fungal cream. Consult your doctor.

Fifth disease

  • Your little one will develop red cheeks and could have a temperature, runny nose and a cough. 
  • The ensuing rash will be a spotty one that will remind you of pimples.
  • It will spread from the torso to the limbs and will be a little itchy.
  • It disappears after about three weeks.
  • Your child might be a little feverish.
  • In some cases there is pain in the wrists or headaches before the rash appears.


When necessary treat the hightened temperature with paracetamol.


  • Your child could display symptoms such as headache, pain, fever, stiff neck and vomiting.
  • He may appear confused and start having convulsions.
  • The rash will start as a few widespread spots that look like little pinpricks. 
  • They will gradually increase in size, eventually becoming dark purple, looking like bruises.
  • It can appear anywhere on the body, and is identifiable by the fact that even if you press on it with your finger, it does not turn white, but stays purple.


Get your child to the doctor immediately, this is a disease that may have long-lasting consequences for your child.

Chicken pox

  • Chicken pox usually starts with a few red spots or bumps.
  • Over the next few days, the amount of spots will increase and form little water blisters.
  • Bu the fourth day the first few blisters wil have formed scabs and by the seventh day, most of the spots should have scabs on. 
  • During this time, your child will probably have a high temperature and the spots will start itching badly. 
  • Once all the spots have developed scabs, the chicken pox will no longer be infectious.


Relieve the itching by applying Calamine Lotion, but in serious cases, consult your doctor.

Hives (Dermatits Medicamentosa) 

  • Hives are an allergic reaction to anything from medication (like penicillin or aspirin) to internal parasites (such as worms).
  • It is itchy and looks almost like a heat rash, but is present in streaks.
  • Normally it appears on the torso, but does appear on the limbs at times.
  • Single hives will often appear and then just disappear again.


Prevent your child from scratching. If he shows any other symptoms of allergic reactions, such as laboured breathing, get medical help immediately. 

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