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Common Skin Rashes in Children

Rashes in children are a common occurrence. They represent a reaction and consist of a noticeable change in the texture or color of the skin. Symptoms may include redness, scaling, itching, pimples, bumps, hives, or cysts. Determining the cause of a rash in children can be challenging. Common causes of rashes in children include infections (viral, bacterial, or fungal) and allergies. Most childhood rashes are benign (harmless) and go away on their own. However, some rashes in children are serious or even life threatening. As a result, parents concerned over rashes in their children should seek the advice of a physician.

Eleven common skin rashes in children are…

1. Measles

Measles, also known as rubeola, is a highly contagious viral illness. It is primarily a childhood illness, but may affect people of all ages. Measles is caused by the measles virus, which is classified as a Morbilivirus. It is spread through direct contact with discharge from the nose or throat and via air-borne droplets from an infected individual. Measles can be prevented with the measles vaccine, which is given in combination with the mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR).

The most common symptoms of measles are rash, fever, and cough. A deep, red, flat rash starting on the face and spreading out to the trunk, arms, and legs characterizes measles. The rash starts out as small, distinct lesions that eventually coalesce, or come together, to form one large rash. Treatment of measles is symptomatic and consists of increased fluid intake and acetaminophen for fever. Aspirin should not be given to children due the risk of Reye’s syndrome. Complications of measles may include ear infection, pneumonia, bronchitis, and a low platelet count.

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