Rash or Redness - Localized

Disponible En Espanol

Care at Home

  • AVOID THE CAUSE: * Try to find the cause. * Consider irritants like a plant (such as evergreens or weeds). Also, chemicals (such as solvents or insecticides). Irritants also can include fiberglass or detergents. A new cosmetic or new jewelry (such as nickel) may also be the cause. * A pet may carry the irritant, as with poison ivy or oak. Also, your child could react directly to pet saliva. * Review the list of causes for contact dermatitis.
  • DO NOT USE SOAP: * Wash the red area once with soap to remove any remaining irritants. * Then, do not use soaps on it. * Cleanse the area when needed with warm water.
  • COLD PACK: * Use a cold wet washcloth or soak in cold water for 20 minutes. * Do this every 3 to 4 hours as needed. This will help with itching or pain.
  • STEROID CREAM: * If the itch is more than mild, put 1% hydrocortisone cream on the rash. * No prescription is needed. * Use it 3 times per day. * Exception: Do not use for suspected ringworm.
  • TRY NOT TO SCRATCH: * Help your child not to scratch. * Cut the fingernails short.
  • RETURN TO SCHOOL: * Children with localized rashes do not need to miss any child care or school.
  • WHAT TO EXPECT: * Most of these rashes go away in 2 to 3 days.
  • CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF: * Rash spreads or gets worse * Rash lasts for more than 1 week * Your child becomes worse
  • WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: * Most new localized rashes are due to skin contact with an irritating substance. * Here is some care advice that should help.


The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
    • You can have a conversation with your child's doctor.
    • Your child's doctor can perform a physical examination and any necessary tests.
    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

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