Name that Rash: A Guide to Identifying Rashes in Kids

Bumpy, scaly, red, inflamed rashes can be scary, especially when they appear on our kids. There are many different rashes a child can develop and it can be challenging to differentiate between them. Knowing how to identify and appropriately treat a rash is important knowledge for parents to have. It is even more important to know when to seek medical advice from a pediatrician. Here are some of the most common skin rashes found in children.

roseola on little boy


Roseola – Also called Sixth disease, roseola typically appears in children under age three. This rash most commonly appears after a high fever resolves. There are often no other symptoms during the time of the fever besides perhaps a mild cough, diarrhea and/or a runny nose. The child is otherwise healthy while the rash is present. Treatment is unnecessary and the rash will resolve on its own within a couple of days.






Scarlet Fever – After a bout of strep throat, scarlet fever appears in approximately 10% of children. Most children have a fever and sore throat one to two days prior to the rash appearing. The rash looks similar to a sunburn with sandpaper-like bumps. It spreads to all areas of the body except the palms and soles of the feet. Scarlet fever can last several weeks. The rash itself is not contagious assuming the cause (strep throat) has resolved.

molluscum contagiosum

Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum Contagiosum – Caused by the poxvirus, this highly contagious skin infection typically affects children between the ages of 2-11. It can also occur in sexually active adolescents. The rash appears as small, flesh colored bumps or papules with an indentation in the center. The bumps usually appear in groups of 10-20, but some people have more. The rash may be diagnosed by a pediatric provider and can last anywhere from a few months to several years.





eczema on kid's hand


Eczema – Eczema appears as dry, scaly patches on the skin. It is most common in children but some continue to have eczema as an adult. Children with eczema frequently have other “atopic” illnesses like allergies or asthma. However, asthma isn’t usually a cause of eczema. On the other hand, allergies can lead to eczema. for eczema outside of treating the skin with moisturizing lotions, steroid creams or antihistamines. Treatment may also including allergy testing to find the cause and then immunotherapy to build immunity to the allergen(s).





Tinea or ringworm of skin


Tinea – Often referred to as ringworm, Tinea is a fungal infection that can appear anywhere on the body including the scalp. The most common skin infection in children, Tinea is known for its trademark ring shape. It is typically treated with topical antifungal treatments such as Lamasil.









Fifth Disease – Famous for its slapped cheek appearance when it first appears, it typically then spreads to the rest of the body. There are usually no symptoms outside of a possible cold; however, it is spread through mucus and saliva. It is not typically itchy and treatment is unnecessary. However, the rash can last a couple weeks.

boy with impetigo


Impetigo – A highly contagious bacterial infection, impetigo appears as clusters of bumps that can ooze and form a yellowish crust. It can easily spread to other areas of the body and other people by clothing, towels, and fingers. Antibiotics are typically prescribed to stop the spread of the infection.










Rashes are common in children, however, treatment often depends on if it is contagious and the amount of discomfort the child is experiencing. If you are ever concerned about your child’s rash, schedule an appointment with one of our pediatric providers. We are here to help your children feel better, faster.

Eight Reasons Physicals Are Critical for Kids

Physical examinations, aka well-child exams, are known to most parents as the annual trek to the pediatrician to make sure kids are developing as expected. However, there is much more to it than that. While most parents understand the importance of having their babies seen during their first year, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends a specific well-child examination schedule. This is to ensure proper development, physically, emotionally and behaviorally. Read more

Autism and Puberty: Five Things Parents Should Know

Puberty can be a stressful time for all adolescents, and while every child is different, it can be especially challenging for children on the autism spectrum. Here are five tips to help you navigate the challenges that come with raising an autistic child during puberty. Read more

GFCF Diet and Autism: Does it Really Help?

There is a lot of discussion surrounding whether or not a gluten and casein-free diet is helpful in minimizing some of autism spectrum-related symptoms. The truth is, regardless of whether your child has autism or not, the food they eat matters. Yet, is eliminating so many products from your child’s diet going to extremes? Find out here. Read more

Why You Shouldn’t Delay that School, Camp or Sports Physical

As flu season winds down, and spring break comes and goes, our minds begin to consider the upcoming school year. For parents of rising kindergarteners or children starting new schools, summer camps or sports, that means making sure physicals are completed. Read more

Safe Concussion Recovery for Kids

Hundreds of thousands of children and adolescents experience concussions each year. While most recover within three weeks, some do not. Read more

Pediatric Dental Myths, Debunked

Tooth decay is the number one chronic infectious disease affecting children in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). It is a preventable disease that begins at home. If parents are lax about their child’s teeth, children may grow up thinking it is less of a priority. There are many misnomers when it comes to pediatric dental care. In this week’s blog, we debunk some of the more common. Read more

Five Tips For Helping Your Family Recover from the Flu

Getting sick is no fun. Especially when it is the flu. Especially when it is this year’s flu. The media is full of stories about flu outbreaks across the country. If you are as concerned as much of the nation about the flu, finding out how to recover quickly or help prevent it is welcome information.

If you suspect you or someone in your home has the flu, it is time to take action. Not only for the person sick, but also preventative measures to keep the rest of the people at home healthy. Read more

Ear Infections: What Parents Need to Know

Runny noses, coughs, and sneezes are all too familiar this time of year. Then your child starts tugging their ear and crying. Their cues tell you they may have an ear infection. You call the pediatrician and ask if your child should come in for antibiotics. Their answer may surprise you. Here’s why. Read more

Suspect ADHD? It May Be a Sleep Disorder

Sleep is an essential component of our body’s performance. It is food for the brain. Not only is it necessary for maintaining optimal overall health, but it also serves as a reset for our brains, which is essential to all humans, especially our small ones. In growing children, it is especially important. Nearly 79 percent of children under the age of ten experience some type of sleep disorder. Read more


Rainbow Pediatrics of Fayetteville
1327 Robeson Street
Fayetteville, NC 28305
Ph: (910) 486-KIDS (5437) Fax: (910) 486-0011

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