How to Diagnose a Rash in a Child Under Age 2

Most rashes that afflict children under the age of 2 are not serious, unless they are accompanied by other symptoms. Here are some of the common underlying ailments.


  • Step 1: Consider cradle cap if your the child has greasy, scaling, crusty patches on the scalp. It usually occurs in infants less than three months old.
  • Step 2: Consider hives if the skin is showing red welts that appear to move around the body.
  • Step 3: Consider eczema if areas of the skin are dry, scaly, red, and itchy. If your child is showing serious signs of discomfort with any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to consult the family pediatrician for advice.
  • FACT: The most common skin problem in infants is diaper rash.
  • Step 4: Consider baby acne if the skin has small red bumps, sometimes with white dots in the center. Baby acne most often occurs in infants between two and four weeks of age.
  • TIP: Erythema toxicum rarely appears in infants older than five days.
  • TIP: Diaper rash can be treated with over-the-counter medications. Avoid sprinkling baby powder near your child, however, as it can cause difficulty breathing.
  • Step 5: Consider yeast diaper rash if the symptoms are worse than normal diaper rash. Look for skin that is very red, usually with small bumps on the outer edges of the rash.
  • Step 6: Diagnose heat rash, which is also known as prickly heat, if the skin has small bumps or blisters where your child sweats. It is caused by blockage of the pores that lead to the sweat glands.
  • Step 7: Consider Erythema toxicum if the skin has flat red splotches, usually with a white, pimple-like bump in the middle.
  • Step 8: Consider diaper rash if the skin under the diaper is irritated. This rash is caused by prolonged dampness and the interaction of urine and feces with the skin.

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