When a Rash Requires Medical Care

If your child develops a rash suddenly, it can be concerning -- especially so if the rash has blisters, swelling, itching, and pain. Any number of things can cause a rash, from insect bites to eczema. Most rashes are benign and go away on their own with simple at-home treatments.

In some cases though, a rash can be serious, and you need the care of an experienced pediatrician like Umesh Kodu, MD, of Penguin Pediatrics. Here’s when you should make a sick visit appointment at our office to have your child’s rash evaluated and treated.

What’s causing the rash?

If you know, or at least suspect, what’s causing the rash on your child’s skin, it helps determine if you should seek in-office care. 

For example, a rash could be caused by an insect bite or sting. If you’re concerned that your child has a serious allergy to a certain insect, it’s smart to seek care as soon as possible. For a child with a history of eczema or lichen planus, a flare-up may also require a visit to Dr. Kodu if your relied-upon therapies don’t seem to be helping. 

Certain pharmaceutical drugs can cause a rash, including antibiotics. If you suspect a drug might be the cause, talk to Dr. Kodu about an alternative prescription. 

If your child was around someone with measles or chickenpox and developed a rash, it’s a good idea to come in to rule out infection (or get treatment if they are infected.)

More benign reasons your child might develop a rash include stress, heat, and a reaction to a new soap or detergent. 

What symptoms suggest a rash is serious?

A rash that covers your child’s entire body or large patches of their body is concerning and deserves care. If your child is running a fever in conjunction with the rash, call our office right away. If they’re showing signs of an allergic reaction, like having trouble breathing and their tongue is swelling, call 911 right away. 

Other concerning symptoms include:

If the rash is causing your child to act differently or interferes with their ability to play or learn, seek care. This is especially true if normal over-the-counter anti-itch creams and antihistamines fail to offer relief. 

What can a doctor do?

Dr. Kodu can help determine the cause of your child’s rash. If it’s an irritant, such as soap, pet dander, or cleaning product, you can then avoid the trigger to keep your child comfortable. The doctor can also help determine if your child’s rash is related to a food allergy or intolerance. 

If your child is diagnosed with a skin condition, like eczema or psoriasis, that causes persistent rashes or regular flare-ups, Dr. Kodu can help you with management. He may even refer you to a specialist if your child has a serious case. 

If your child has an irritating rash that just won’t go away, even with at-home treatments, call Penguin Pediatrics for an appointment or use our online tool to schedule. 

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