Chickenpox: Caused by a virus called varicella zoster, this is a contagious disease, and spreads very quickly too. Generally, not being a life-threatening disease, its symptoms normally last for just over two weeks. Chickenpox rash in infants having a weak immune system can cause a bit of havoc if not treated in time. Symptoms usually start with high fever, and then the rashes start to show up. These are intensely itchy, most commonly found on the scalp, groin, and armpit areas. Those on the face and other body parts start to turn red, and have a superficial blister in the middle. Later on, this gets converted into a lesion with a tough crust.
Measles: This is a skin disease caused by a virus from the genus paramyxovirus. Beginning of measles is usually cough, and a runny, congested nose. Several other symptoms include, redness of eyes, fever, and extreme weakness. After a while, the kid starts losing appetite, and experiences fatigue. After 3-4 days of the infection, the child develops small, brown-colored rashes on the face, that spread throughout the body if not treated in time.
Rubella: Also called German measles, this is a skin disease caused by the virus rubivirus. Faint pink-colored facial skin rash is the first sign for recognizing this disease. Other than swollen lymph nodes at the back of the ears, no other significant symptoms are observed. Rubella is not as serious in children as it is for a pregnant woman and her unborn child.
Scarlet Fever: Caused by a group “A” bacteria, streptococcus pyogenes, this fever is the reason behind most skin rashes in children, especially the school-going ones. It is nothing but strep throat that is accompanied by rashes. Scarlet fever is contagious, and appears anytime during winter and early spring. Rashes on the legs and hands, that are caused due to scarlet fever, are not much serious. However, the underlying symptom (strep throat) can create several complications, such as long term heart disease and rheumatic arthritis.
Fifth Disease: Also called slapped cheeks or erythema infectiosum, this disease is caused by a virus called parvovirus B19. It is an uncommon kind of disease, that occurs in one out of every five children during any time of the year. Symptoms are low-grade fever, cough, nausea, vomiting, headache, stomach ache, sore throat, and diarrhea. As the rashes on the cheeks turn bright red in color, so is the disease called slapped cheek disease.
Roseola Infantum: Also known as exanthem subitum, it is one of the most common childhood illnesses, caused by a virus named human herpes virus 6. This disease is the most prominent reason behind the skin rashes in infants and toddlers. Symptoms include fever with spikes, that lasts for 3-5 days, and a rapturous onset of skin rashes. These rashes start to appear as soon as the fever is resolved. They are pink in color, with flat lesion-like structure.
Impetigo: One of the most common type of rashes in children, impetigo is caused by the staphylococcus bacteria. Skin rashes in babies, due to this disease, are possible anytime, especially during the warmer months. Beginning is usually marked by the common blisters that get ruptured and leave red, inflamed open patches over the skin surface. Being contagious, the infection can also spread to other people.
Along with the above mentioned, there are several skin rashes that predominantly appear in infants and newborns. They are:
- Milia: These are small, yellowish white spots that appear on the gums as well as face. There are chances of development of cysts as well.
- Seborrheic dermatitis: Also known as cradle cap, these are greasy, bumpy, and itchy sort of rashes in infants, that can be very annoying. They usually appear behind ears, armpits, and near the diaper area.
- Infantile Acne: These rashes in infants are also called normal newborn rash, and they are very common in most of the newborns. They start on the second or third day of birth, and go away within a week.
Fungal and Parasitic Skin Rashes in Children
- Scabies: This is a sort of fungal infection that causes itchy skin, that gets even worse on bathing. Scabies is causes by Sarcoptes scabiei, which is a type of mite.
- Ringworm: Ringworm is a fungal infection caused by Microsporum canis. These appear on body, scalp, etc.
- Athlete’s Foot: This is a type of infection that can cause rash. It can be cured with several over-the-counter drugs and medication.
Life-threatening Skin Rashes in Babies
Along with those mentioned above, there are several skin rashes in babies, that can be life-threatening if not treated in time. These are very rare, and on finding primary symptoms, it is always necessary to visit a healthcare provider. Several diseases like Petechiae, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF), Meningococcemia, Lyme disease, hives, Kawasaki disease, Toxic shock syndrome, etc., can be a severe threat to life if not treated in time.
The first and foremost thing to remember is that there is no treatment available, once the child develops the skin rashes. However, they can of course be prevented by providing the kids with a timely vaccination. Many diseases listed above, that are responsible for the skin rashes in toddlers as well as infants, can be prevented by vaccinations.
The prime most thing to do for your kid’s health is keeping a constant eye on him, and visiting the healthcare provider on noticing any of the warning signs of a skin rash.