Pediatric - Rash, Widespread, Cause Unknown
Rash - widespread and cause unknown
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Does this describe your child's symptoms?
|Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If|
- Purple or blood-colored rash with fever
- Sudden onset of rash (within 2 hours) and also has difficulty with breathing or swallowing
- Not moving or too weak to stand
|Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If|
- Your child looks or acts very sick
- Purple or blood-colored rash WITHOUT fever
- Bright red skin that peels off in sheets
- Large blisters on skin
- Bloody crusts on lips
- Taking a medication within the last 3 days
- Menstruating and using tampons
|Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If|
- Widespread rash, but none of the symptoms described above (Reason: needs a diagnosis)
HOME CARE ADVICE FOR WIDESPREAD RASHES (Pending Talking with Your Doctor)
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
- For Non-Itchy Rashes: No treatment is necessary, except for heat rashes which respond to cool baths.
- For Itchy Rashes:
- Wash the skin once with soap to remove irritants.
- Then give your child cool baths without any soap 4 times per day for 10 minutes whenever the itch is uncomfortable (caution: avoid any chill).
- Follow with calamine lotion or a baking soda solution (1 teaspoon in 4 ounces of water).
- Fever Medicine: For fever above 102°F (39°C), give acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) or ibuprofen.
- If your child has a fever, avoid contact with other children and especially pregnant women until a diagnosis is made.
- Most viral rashes are contagious (especially if a fever is present).
- Your child can return to day care or school after the rash is gone or your doctor says it's safe to return with the rash.
- Expected Course: Most viral rashes disappear within 48 hours.
- Call Your Doctor If:
Disclaimer: This information is not intended 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.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 1/19/2009
Last Revised: 12/19/2008
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Online
Copyright 1994-2009 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.