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How to Diagnose a Child's Rash

Many childhood diseases are accompanied by a rash of some type. As more vaccines become available, these diseases become less threatening, but any type of rash should be examined.


  • Step 1: If your child has an itchy rash between the toes, assume it's athlete's foot. Some of these rashes can be treated with home remedies or over-the-counter medications, but others require a prescription.
  • Step 2: Consider heat rash if a pink and itchy rash appears that is located in the folds of the skin around the neck, upper back or armpits. The rash is sometimes accompanied by tiny bumps or blisters.
  • Step 3: Know that the rash may be hives if there is a sudden onset of itching, with swelling of the skin's surface into red or discolored welts or blisters. Now you'll be prepared the next time your child has a rash.
  • FACT: The "Ring Around the Rosie" nursery rhyme may be an oral depiction of a smallpox rash that accompanied an epidemic in medieval Europe.
  • Step 4: Identify ringworm from a red, scaly, oval that gets bigger over time. Your child can share ringworm with pets, so make sure if your child contracts it, the pets are treated as well.
  • Step 5: Look for an itchy rash within 2 weeks of your child coming into contact with a mite if you suspect scabies. The rash tends to be found between the fingers, in the armpits, and on the inner wrists and arms.
  • Step 6: If your child has nasal congestion, a cough, lethargy, a high fever, and eye redness, swelling, and tearing, know the rash could be a symptom of mumps. Following these symptoms, a rash appears on the face and spreads rapidly.
  • Step 7: Consider rubella if your child has a pink or red rash on the face that spreads to the rest of the body.
  • TIP: Rubella is also known as German measles.
  • Step 8: Identify the symptoms of chicken pox, beginning with a very itchy rash, which first appears on the scalp, armpits, or groin area. The symptoms progress in waves to the entire body.

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