|Rash or Redness - Localized And Cause Unknown|
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Impetigo of Left Cheek
Ringworm Rash on Arm
Localized Versus Widespread Rash: How to Decide
Return to School
For an itchy rash:
For a non-itchy rash:
|When to Call Your Doctor|
|Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If|
|Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If|
|Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If|
|Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If|
|Parent Care at Home If|
|HOME CARE ADVICE FOR LOCALIZED RASHES|
- Reassurance: New localized rashes are usually due to skin contact with an irritating substance.
- Avoid the Cause:
- Try to find the cause.
- Consider irritants like a plant (e.g., poison ivy), chemicals (e.g., solvents or insecticides), fiberglass, detergents, a new cosmetic, or new jewelry (e.g., nickel).
- A pet may be the intermediary (e.g., with poison ivy or oak) or your child may react directly to pet saliva.
- 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.
- 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.
- Steroid Cream: If the itch is more than mild, apply 1% hydrocortisone cream (no prescription needed) 4 times per day. (EXCEPTION: suspected ringworm)
- Avoid Scratching: Encourage your child not to scratch. Cut the fingernails short.
- Contagiousness: Children with localized rashes do not need to miss any child care or school.
- Expected Course: Most of these rashes pass in 2 to 3 days.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Rash spreads or becomes worse
- Rash lasts over 1 week
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 9/15/2011
Last Revised: 12/1/2011
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.