To my abah and ibu for their concerns on my all-over spots skin. I still have the red spots when they send me to the baby sitter's house this morning -Firzanah
You are dressing your 3-year-old when you notice a rough, pimply red rash on her back and chest. You also find it on her arms and legs. What could it be? Should you call the doctor?
You pick your 6-year-old up from school and notice his cheeks are bright red. He feels a little warm and then shows you a red lacy rash on his arms. You rush over to the doctor's office; afraid he might have some usual illness.
An hour after dinner you are giving your one-year-old a bath. You notice a red and white, raised welt on her tummy. You find more on her legs. Fifteen minutes later she is practically covered in welts. What could this be? Should you rush her to the ER?
Such situations are very common during childhood. Children are constantly exposed to a variety of illness and irritants that can cause a rash. The purpose of this site section is threefold: to help you recognize several of the most common childhood rashes, to help you figure out what the cause of your child's particular rash might be and how to treat it, and most importantly to help you decide if a rash is dangerous and requires an urgent page to your doctor or if it can wait until the next day to be evaluated.
RASHES ARE RARELY URGENT, AND ALMOST NEVER REQUIRE AN URGENT PAGE TO YOUR DOCTOR.
In fact, there is basically only one rash that requires immediate medical evaluation - this is a rash called petechiae or purpura, which involves ruptured blood vessels under the skin. We will discuss later how to recognize this rash. Virtually all other rashes can wait until you can call your doctor's office to schedule an appointment.
DECIDING WHEN TO SEE THE DOCTOR
Here are two general guidelines:
1. If your child is happy, and the rash does not bother her, you don't need to get it evaluated.
2. Most of these rashes can stay around for weeks. They will eventually go away on their own. Your doctor should evaluate any rash that persists for more than four weeks.
THE ONE RASH THAT REQUIRES AN URGENT PAGE TO YOUR DOCTOR OR ER VISIT RIGHT AWAY IS:
This rash is called petechiae or purpura. It is caused by ruptured blood vessels under the skin. Petechiae appear as tiny, red, pinpoint, flat spots. They look as if someone used a fine-tip red ink pen to put little dots on the skin. Purpura is similar, but is larger and can be more purple or blue in color. The two most important signs that you can use to distinguish these spots from other rashes are:
They don't blanch when you press on them. Many other kinds of spots, when pressed, will turn white or skin colored for 1 or 2 seconds, and then turn red again. Petechiae and purpura will stay red or purple. They won't blanch at all when pressed.
They are completely flat. Because they occur under the skin, you won't be able to feel any bump.
Life From Laziness
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