There are lots of different types of rashes and lots of different causes. Rashes are often caused by skin irritation, such as an allergic reaction or a sting, or a virus like chicken pox or measles.
It’s very common for babies and children to develop rashes and they are usually harmless and nothing to worry about, clearing up on their own in just a few days.
Do you know how to tell what might have caused a rash and the best treatments for them? We’ve listed the most common causes and suggested treatments for rashes in babies and children below.
It’s normal for babies to develop skin rashes from just a few days old as their sensitive skin adapts to a different environment.
Most rashes are harmless and disappear on their own within a few days depending on the cause.
Creams can help reduce itching and redness and aid recovery - a pharmacist can recommend particular treatments for different types of rashes.
Babies can’t regulate their body temperature like adults can, so they may develop ‘a sweat rash’ indicating that they are too hot.
Hand, foot and mouth disease sounds worse than it is - it’s actually a mild infection which will usually clear up on its own after 7-10 days.
Don’t wait for suspected meningitis to develop. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek immediate advice by calling 111.
The glass test can help put your mind at ease if you’re worried about a rash being a sign of meningitis. If the rash fades when a glass is rolled firmly over it, then it is unlikely to be serious. If the rash doesn’t fade under pressure, you should seek immediate medical attention.
All children are routinely offered a vaccination against measles and meningitis, if your child hasn’t had their vaccination then contact your GP who will be able to arrange it for you.
Over the counter creams and ointments are available to treat most rashes and skin conditions. Your pharmacist can advise you on the best things to use based on the type of rash and the age of your child.
If you suspect you, a relative or friend has meningitis, measles or scarlet fever, make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible.
If your baby or child is experiencing any of the following symptoms alongside a rash, call NHS 111 and a trained medical advisor can assess the symptoms over the phone and advise you on the next steps to take:
If you're concerned about yourself, a relative or friend, call NHS 111 for medical advice, this free service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
The advisors taking 111 calls are in the same room as those answering 999 calls, so if urgent attention is needed, they can arrange it immediately for you.
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This website was created in 2015 by West Hampshire CCG in order to support local people to manage minor illness and injury.