Rash or Redness - Widespread

Disponible En Espanol

Care at Home

  • FOR NON-ITCHY RASHES: * If you suspect a heat rash, give a cool bath. * Otherwise, no treatment is needed.
  • FOR ITCHY RASHES: * Wash the skin once with soap to remove any irritants. * STEROID CREAM. For relief of itching, use 1% hydrocortisone cream on the most itchy areas. No prescription is needed. Do this 3 times per day. * COOL BATH. For flare-ups of itching, give your child a cool bath. Do not use soap. Do this for 10 minutes. (Caution: Avoid any chill). Option: Can add 2 ounces (60 ml) of baking soda per tub.
  • RETURN TO SCHOOL: * If your child has a fever, avoid contact with other children. Avoid pregnant women until a diagnosis is made. * Most viral rashes can be spread to others (especially if a fever is present). * Your child can return to school after the rash is gone. If your doctor has given medical clearance, your child can return sooner.
  • WHAT TO EXPECT: * Most viral rashes go away within 48 hours.
  • CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF: * Your child becomes worse
  • FEVER: * For fevers above 102° F (39° C), give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen. See Dose Table. Note: Lower fevers are important for fighting infections. * For ALL fevers: Keep your child well hydrated. Give lots of cold fluids. * For babies, dress lightly. Don't wrap in too many blankets. Reason: Can make the fever higher.
  • WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: * Most pink rashes all over are part of a viral illness. * This is more likely if your child has other symptoms. This can be a cold, cough, diarrhea or fever. * Some are just a heat rash. * Here is some care advice that should help until you talk with your doctor.


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.

If you think that your child is having a medical emergency, call 911 or the number for the local emergency ambulance service NOW!

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