Rash, localized and cause unknown


* Rash on one small part of the body (localized or clustered)

* Red or pink rash

* Small spots, large spots, or solid red

* Includes localized areas of redness or skin irritation


Main Cause: Skin contact with some irritant

Return to School

* Children with localized rashes do not need to miss any child care or school.

Call 911 Now (Your Child May Need an Ambulance) If:

Not moving or too weak to stand

Call Your Doctor Now (or in Alberta, Canada call 780-408-LINK)) If:

* Your child looks or acts very sick

* Purple or blood-colored spots or dots that are not from injury or friction

* Bright red area or red streak (but not sunburn)

* Rash area is very painful

* Child is younger than 1 month and tiny water blisters (like chickenpox)

Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (Between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm) If:

* You think your child needs to be seen

* Severe itching or fever is present

* Looks like a boil, infected sore, or other infected rash

* Teenager with genital area rash

* Lyme disease suspected (bull’s-eye rash, tick bite or exposure)

Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If:

* You have other questions or concerns

* Blisters unexplained (EXCEPTION: poison ivy)

* Pimples (apply antibiotic ointment until seen)

• Peeling Fingers

* Rash lasts longer than 7 days

Parent Care at Home If: Mild localized rash and you don’t think your child needs to be seen

Home Care advice for localized rashes:

1. Reassurance: New localized rashes are usually caused by skin contact with an irritating substance.

2. Avoid the Cause

* Try to find the cause

* Consider irritants like a plant (eg, poison ivy), chemicals (eg, solvents, insecticides), fiberglass, detergents, a new cosmetic, or new jewelry (eg, nickel).

* A pet may be the intermediary (eg, with poison ivy or oak) or your child may react directly to pet saliva.

3. Avoid Soap: Wash the area once thoroughly with soap to remove any remaining irritants. Thereafter avoid soaps to this area. Cleanse the area when needed with warm water.

4. Local Cold: Apply a cold, wet washcloth or soak in cold water for 20 minutes every 3 to 4 hours to reduce itching or pain.

5. Steroid Cream: If the itch is more than mild, apply 0.5% hydrocortisone cream (no prescription needed) 4 times per day (EXCEPTION: suspected ringworm).

6. Avoid Scratching: Encourage your child not to scratch. Cut the fingernails short.

7. Contagiousness: Children with localized rashes do not need to miss any child care or school.

8. Expected Course: Most of these rashes pass in 2 to 3 days.

9. Call Your Doctor If:

* Rash spreads or becomes worse

* Rash lasts more than 1 week

* Your child becomes worse

Based on recommendations/advice in “My Child is Sick; Expert Advice for Managing Common Illnesses and Injuries”, 14th Edition, by Barton D. Schmitt

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