When to Schedule an Urgent Sick Visit for Your Child's Rash

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When to Schedule an Urgent Sick Visit for Your Child's Rash

Children often have rashes. Most of the time, they’re not serious and clear up independently. But if you notice a rash that looks strange, persists, is accompanied by other symptoms, or is located in an unusual place, it’s time for an urgent sick visit.

Each year in the United States, children make more than 12 million visits to their pediatrician for skin rashes. You don’t want to overreact every time your kid has a rough or itchy skin patch. But sometimes a rash isn’t just skin irritation. It’s a sign of something serious.

Luckily, you don’t have to head to the emergency room when your child comes down with an unexpected rash or other illness, or if a rash suddenly worsens. An urgent sick visit lets your child get the care they need, while you get the answers you need — all from your own trusted pediatrician.

Depending on your child’s age and the location of the rash, it could be anything from diaper rash to eczema to measles. Many rashes are caused by contact with an irritant, such as poison ivy. Others are caused by viruses. 

At Academy Park Pediatrics, PC — with offices in Lakewood and Highlands Ranch, Colorado — our expert pediatricians keep daily slots open in case you need an urgent sick visit. If you’re troubled by your child’s rash, the following are the key signs that it’s time to visit us as soon as possible.

Rash with a fever

If your child has a fever, accompanied by a cough, runny nose, or red eyes, and later breaks out in a rash, they could have measles. You might also notice white spots in their mouth. Measles can be dangerous to babies and children. 

Chickenpox also often causes fever in addition to itchy patches and lesions. Like measles, chicken pox can be prevented with a vaccine. During your well-child visit, we make sure your child is up to date with all immunizations.

Rash around the eyes

Give us a call immediately if you notice that your child has a rash or lesions near their eyes. They could have blepharitis, which is an infection in the eyes. They might also have allergies.

Rash that doesn’t get better

Most rashes resolve within days to weeks and shouldn’t be more than mildly uncomfortable. If you apply an ointment, and the rash doesn’t improve or worsen, let us take a look at it.

Rash with blue, red, or purple spots 

If you notice colored spots on your child’s rash, push lightly on them. If they don’t fade to white but instead maintain their color, they could be purpura, which is a blood hemorrhage. Purpura could be a sign of a serious condition, including a clotting disorder.

Rash that swells, crusts, blisters, or oozes

Rashes are usually itchy, and sometimes your child can scratch so intensely that the rash bleeds. But if you notice a crust on the rash, or if the lesions look like blisters, ooze pus, or other liquid, call us right away.

A swollen area could be a sign of infection, too. Also, call or visit us if the rash appears wet looking.

Rash that spreads

When a “diaper rash” spreads outside the diaper area, that could be a sign that it’s a more serious type of rash that may need treatment. Also, bring your child in for a consultation if the rash is worse in the creases of their skin, such as the tops of their thighs.

Rash with other symptoms

If your child’s only symptom is a rash, it may clear on its own without any kind of treatment. However, pay attention to other symptoms, which could indicate an infection. Bring your child for an urgent sick visit if they have a rash with:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain
  • Bruises
  • Peeling
  • Boils
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Peeling skin
  • Confusion
  • Sensitivity to light

You also may want to bring in any baby younger than six months who develops a rash. If you need an urgent sick visit for your child’s rash, please contact our friendly staff as soon as possible. Phone the office nearest you, or use our online form.