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When to See a Doctor About Your Child's Rash

Parents are unhappy and uncomfortable when their children are unhappy and uncomfortable. A skin rash can cause such a situation. 

From poison ivy to an allergic reaction to a virus, children develop rashes for many reasons. While many rashes are not a cause for alarm, they can be itchy and uncomfortable. So even if your child doesn’t need immediate medical attention, you may still need medical advice. 

At Wasatch Peak Family Practice in Layton, Utah, the family practice physicians see pediatric rashes all the time and dole out recommendations and treatment advice regularly. Here, they share information you need to know about when a rash warrants medical attention and when it warrants emergency care.

What causes rashes?

Rashes are common, and figuring out their cause is often difficult. In some cases, it’s easy to connect the dots. If your child comes in contact with poison ivy and develops red, itchy dots, you can be pretty sure the plant is the culprit. Other reasons your child may develop a rash include:

Some rashes, such as roseola, a viral rash, only develop in young children. Most viral rashes disappear in two to three days. At times, however, a rash is considered a sign of a serious illness. 

When should a doctor be called?

In most cases, a rash is uncomfortable, and a doctor can advise you on how to reduce the itch and burn. If a rash is dark purplish or red and doesn’t fade when you push on the skin, call 911 immediately, especially if your child appears in distress. This could be a sign of meningitis or a blood infection.

If your child has a high fever, trouble breathing, or the rash doesn’t go away within a couple of days, call your doctor. Other signs you should contact a doctor for a rash include:

However, if you want medical advice or a visit, you should call your doctor regardless of the color of the rash or your child’s symptoms.

Does your child have a rash? If you’re concerned or have questions, call Wasatch Peak Family Practice for an appointment with one of our experienced family medicine specialists. You can also make an appointment online

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