Saturday, March 16, 2013



I have been having a high call volume about rashes this week, so I figured that  this is a good time for the review on rashes.
Lots of rashes come along as part of a virus. This past couple of weeks we have seen a lot of “slap cheek” otherwise known as fifth disease. With that particular illness we have kids with rashes that come and go. This time around some of my patients have had on and off hives. Many times the cheeks are very red. In a future email I will discuss more about the specific virus, but today I want to answer the general question, “When should I worry about a rash?

I divide rashes into one of two categories;
*Rashes that I am worried about

Someone should take a look sooner than later
-If a rash comes along with a high fever,
-If the rash is oozy and crusty
-If the rash seems very painful or itchy
-The rash looks purplish ( doesn’t lighten when you press on it)
(You need immediate attention if there is a purplish rash/ high fever/child who appears ill)
-Your child has hives that come along with a puffy face and difficulty breathing ( this could signal an allergic reaction and needs immediate attention)

*Rashes that I am curious about

If you child seems okay but has a random rash, ask yourself the following questions
-Are there any new medication?
-Are there any new foods? ( pay attention to citrus and berries)
-Are there any new soaps, detergents, bubble baths?
-Have you used a new sunscreen or lotion of any sort?
-Has there been an exposure to a new animal?
-Has your child been in a hot tub?
-Is the weather very warm?
-Has your child been laying in the grass or sand?
-Check the blog, are there any viral syndromes going around that cause a rash?

If your detective work has lead you to an answer, make the common sense adjustments.

For example,
 Your child seems very rashy
Possible cause: They have been eating lots of the little seedless easy peel tangerines this week
Solution: stop the citrus for a couple of days and see if the rash calms down.

My first stab at clearing up many a rash is with two basic staples that are  worth keeping on hand.

*cetaphil cleanser ( no water  needed, apply and wipe off)
If a rash is persistent and your best attempts at clearing it with a variety of OTC creams isn’t helping, it is worth having someone take a look. If the docs are baffled, the next step may be the dermatologist.

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