Recognize skin complaints in children

Skin rashes can occur when your child has a fever. Fever and rash are usually caused by the measles, rubella or roseola viruses. Distinguish the three from pattern of the rash onset and accompanying symptoms.

Measles is characterized by high fever, cough, runny nose, sensitivity to light or photophobia, and conjunctivitis. When fever is still high, rashes begin to appear on the forehead and face.

The next day, the fever decreases, and rashes increase on the body. Evenly up the legs, the fever subsides. The rashes can be itchy, rough and scaly. In the healing process, they'll be blackened.

Fever in rubella is generally not very high with milder symptoms of measles. The rashes evenly appear when fever attacks.

Roseola begins with a high fever, fallen after two to three days, and rashes appear on the chest, back, arms, then evenly to the face, and rarely reach the feet. The emergence of rashes after the fever subsides is a typical symptom of roseola. The rashes ain't itchy, generally mild.

Measles, rubella, roseola and chicken pox don't need any medication other than paracetamol for fever. Don't give your child fever reliever that contains aspirin because it can cause Reye's syndrome, an inflammation of the liver and the brain.

Keep your child's intakes of fluids and nutrients. Observe the general state of your child. When your child gets seizures, shortness of breath and decreased consciousness, take your child immediately to the hospital.

Varicella in young children tends to be milder compared with adults. Keep the bubbles not bursting with the use of talc and shower.

Drugs that don't need to be given to chicken pox are acyclovir ointment, oral acyclovir, antibiotics and antihistamines.

Acyclovir ointment works on the skin surface and is more appropriate for herpes simplex.

Oral acyclovir is effective in the first 24 hours after the onset of rash, not recommended to use in healthy children.

Chicken pox is caused by virus infection. Antibiotics are only given if there're severely secondary infections, such as abscesses or bacterial pneumonia.

Antihistamines can't relieve itching.

Beware in detecting skin rash among children, so that you give appropriate treatment.

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