Rash or Redness - Widespread

Disponible En Espanol


Definition:

  • Rash over large parts or most of the body (widespread)
  • Sometimes, just on hands, feet and buttocks - but same on both sides of body
  • Red or pink rash
  • Small spots, large spots or solid red skin

Causes

  • Main cause: a 2 or 3 day rash that's part of a viral illness. Your child may also have a fever with some diarrhea or cold symptoms. Viral rashes usually have pink spots. They occur on both sides the chest, stomach and back.  
  • Other common causes: 5 rashes that you may be able to recognize. These are listed in the "See Other Care Guide" section. If you suspect one of them, go there. If not, use this guide.

Drugs and Rashes

  • Prescription medicines sometimes cause widespread rashes.
  • Non-prescription (OTC) medicines rarely cause any rashes.
  • Most rashes that occur while taking an OTC medicine are viral rashes.
  • Fever medicines (acetaminophen and ibuprofen) cause the most confusion. Reason: Most viral rashes start with a fever. Hence, the child is taking a fever medicine when the rash starts.
  • Drug rashes can’t be diagnosed over the phone.

Roseola –  A Classic Rash

  • Most children get Roseola between 6 months and 3 years of age.
  • Rash: Pink, small, flat spots on the chest and stomach. Then spreads to the face.
  • Classic feature: 2 or 3 days of high fever without a rash or other symptoms.
  • The rash starts 12 to 24 hours after the fever goes away.
  • The rash lasts 1 to 3 days.
  • By the time the rash appears, the child feels fine.
  • Treatment:  The rash is harmless. Creams or medicines are not needed.

Return to School

  • Most viral rashes cannot be spread to others once the fever is gone.
  • For minor rashes, your child can return after the FEVER is gone.
  • For major rashes, your child can return after the RASH is gone. If your doctor has given medical clearance to return, can go back sooner.

Disclaimer

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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