Rashes are common in children, and are usually harmless. If your child has a rash accompanied by other symptoms or feelings of unwell, a GP can help you get to the root of the problem.
Some common causes of childhood rashes include:
- Chickenpox – most children catch this; the rash causes itchy bumps which become fluid-filled blisters and then turn into scabs before falling off.
- Eczema – causes the skin to become dry and cracked, and is often found in creases such as elbows and knees. 1 in 5 children have eczema.
- Impetigo – highly contagious but not dangerous condition causing fluid-filled blisters, or sores which burst.
- Ringworm – a fungal infection that causes a round, red rash.
- Prickly heat, heat rash – tiny bumps and blisters caused by overheating.
- Keratosis pilaris (“chicken skin”) – harmless condition causing rough, bumpy skin, sometimes associated with gluten intolerance.
- Hand, foot and mouth disease is a virus that causes a non-itchy rash on the hands and feet.
- Scabies – tiny mites that burrow into the skin and cause an itchy, blotchy rash.
- Hives – a raised (papular), red, itchy rash resulting from an allergen (food, medicine, or external factors such as heat)
- Psoriasis – flaky, crusty, scaly patches of skin.
- Measles – causes a reddish/brown spotty rash which starts around ears, and then spreads to the head, neck, and legs.
Here’s a useful visual guide to children’s rashes, although it is not recommended that you use this for diagnosis. It is always best to see a doctor for a diagnosis.