A skin rash can be an indication of a number of possible conditions. The following list of symptoms will help to narrow down the cause.

  • Bright red, pimply rash on neck, under arms, or in nappy area
  • Warm environment or clothing is too heavy
Likely Cause        Heat Rash
  • Red raised, swollen areas on the skin that are very itchy
  • Can appear on any part of the body
  • Rash can come and go and can last a couple of hours or weeks
Likely Cause        Hives
  • Red, puffy skin in nappy area
  • Rash can be flat or raised and sometimes rough
  • Skin is warm
  • Crying during nappy change
Likely Cause        Nappy Rash
  • Chronic itchy rash most commonly on face, back of knees, crook of elbows
  • Possible dry thickened scaly skin
  • Possible tiny red bumps that ooze and can become infected if scratched
  • Family history of allergies or asthma
Likely Cause        Eczema
  • Rash in nappy area that is dark red with pus-filled bumps
  • Rash is more sever in skin folds
  • Rash does not respond to rash creams or ointments
Likely Cause        Yeast infection
  • Itchy red ring(s) that are scaly on the outside and smooth in the center
  • Rings may grow larger
  • Can look like dandruff or bald spots on scalp
Likely Cause        Ringworm
  • Small red bump or bumps on the scalp that may be swollen and  itchy
  • Itching on the scalp, neck, and ears
  • Tiny hard-to-see bugs on the scalp that may be dark or light
  • Small white eggs that attached to hair shaft
Likely Cause        Head lice
  • Severely itchy rash of scattered bumps and red patches, usually between the fingers, around the wrists, and on the elbows, armpits, navel, nipples, lower abdomen, and genitals
  • Intense itching after a hot bath or at night
  • Irritation keeps child awake
Likely Cause        Scabies
  • Rash of blisters that may burst and expose wet reddish skin underneath
  • Scabs that are itchy and crust over
  • Rash is most often located around the nose and mouth, but can easily spread
  • Possible fever and swollen lymph glands in face or neck
Likely Cause        Impetigo
  • Fever
  • Body aches
  • Typical cold symptoms (See Colds)
  • Red, lacy cheeks
  • Rash on the trunk and feet that is itchy
Likely Cause        Fifth Disease (Most common in preschool and school-age children)
  • Fever between 38.3 and 40.5 degrees C  for two to five days
  • Runny nose
  • Raised pinkish rash on the torso
  • Rash spreads to the neck, face, and arms
Likely Cause        Roseola
  • Itchy red ring(s) that are scaly on the outside and smooth in the center
  • Rings may grow larger
  • Can look like dandruff or bald spots on scalp
Likely Cause        Ringworm
  • Small red, itchy bumps that become water blisters and then crust over in about four days
  • Fatigue
  • Low-grade fever
Likely Cause        Chicken pox
  • Extremely itchy rash that first appears as lines or streaks, then blisters and becomes crusty
  • Exposure to the woods or plants in the woods
  • Exposure to an animal or other child who has been exposed.
Likely Cause        Poison ivy, oak, or sumac
  • Small blister-like sores in the mouth and on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet (Can also be located on the buttocks)
  • Mild fever
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite
Likely Cause        Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
  • Small, grainy bump or cluster of bumps
  • Color is same as skin but can have small black dots
Likely Cause        Common Warts (Uncommon in children under 2 )
  • Small, fluid-filled blisters on or near lips
  • Blister will enlarge, burst, and crust over
  • There may be more than one blister in a cluster
Likely Cause        Cold sore
  • Thick red or silvery rash that is scaly
  • Rash is located on the elbows and knees
  • Possibly located on the head, looking like dandruff
  • Possibly located in the nappy area, looking like a bad nappy rash
Likely Cause        Psoriasis
  • Pale skin on the fingers or toes
  • Skin is waxy, or stiff after being out in the cold
  • Pins-and-needles sensation
  • Numbness
  • Swelling and blistering
Likely Cause     Frostbite
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Swollen glands
  • Fever
  • Red, sandpaper-like rash that starts on neck, chest, and abdomen, then spreads
  • Flushed face, but pale around mouth
  • Red streaks in skin folds
  • Skin may peel (especially on fingers and toes and in groin area) as rash fades
  • Usually lasts two to five days. (Uncommon in children younger than 2)
Likely Cause        Scarlet fever
  • Pink-red, itchy rash that appears first on face, then spreads over body and lasts two or three days
  • Mild fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes behind ears
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Red, inflamed eyes
  • Very rare due to vaccinations; most likely to occur in unvaccinated children.
Likely Cause        Rubella
  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Red, runny eyes
  • Cough
  • Red bumps with tiny white dots on inside of cheeks a few days later, then rash of flat, red patches begins on head, progresses down back and trunk, arms and hands, and finally legs and feet
  • Rash develops bumps
  • May be itchy
  • Fever may climb to 40.5 degrees F
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and swollen lymph nodes may occur
  • Rash lasts about five days, fading in the order it appeared
  • Rare due to vaccinations; most likely to occur in unvaccinated children.
Likely Cause        Measles



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