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.

Understanding Speech and Language Development in Children and Knowing When to Seek Treatment

A common concern we receive as pediatricians from parents of young children is whether or not their child’s speech and language are developing appropriately. Understanding a child who isn’t speaking clearly can be frustrating for not only the parent, but also the child. It can also be challenging when comparing children whose speech develops at different times. If the child is otherwise developing normally, many parents will hold off on seeking treatment. While unclear speech development can be a sign of hearing loss or other developmental delays, understanding language milestones can be a great help for parents in knowing when to seek early treatment. Read more

Five Tips to Make the Most out of a Well-Child Checkup

Making the annual trek to the pediatrician’s office for a well-child checkup is an important part of maintaining your child’s overall health. Not only does it allow the pediatric provider a chance to monitor their physical health and development, while immunizing them against certain diseases and illnesses, it also provides an opportunity to assess their cognitive and social development. Read more

The Five Most Frequently Asked Questions of New Parents

Being a parent is a big responsibility and with it comes many questions. Unfortunately, babies do not come with manuals so it is often up to the pediatric providers to provide the answers to many important questions. Here are the five most frequently asked questions we receive, as pediatricians, from new parents.

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Which insurance plans do you accept?

We accept most major medical health plans, and we make it easy for you. See our payments page. 

How soon after delivery can my baby travel?

Generally, a healthy baby may travel by car or plane soon after birth.

When can I take my baby out in public?

You can take your newborn out to a non-crowded environment at any time.

Do you perform circumcisions?

No. Hospitalists perform circumcisions in the hospital

How do you feel about homeopathy and alternative medicine?

We do not discourage the use of alternative medicine, assuming there are no harmful side effects. However, for most alternative remedies there is little scientific documentation to prove their effectiveness. It is our philosophy to avoid unnecessary medications and interventions. We feel that less is better.

What about the recent controversy surrounding immunizations?

Immunizations represent one of the most impressive medical advances of our age. Devastating diseases such as whooping cough (pertussis), meningitis, and polio, which used to claim the lives of many children, have almost disappeared. Other less severe but unpleasant diseases, such as chicken pox or the flu (influenza), can now be prevented.

Since most of the diseases against which we immunize have been largely vanquished by vaccines (and are rarely seen as a result), the media now focus more on the possible side effects of immunizations than on their benefits. Increasingly, a few pseudo-scientific publications and websites have led some parents to question the usefulness of vaccines.

Make no mistake: Failure to immunize may lead to a resurgence of epidemics, as we lose what scientists call “herd immunity.” We strongly encourage you to be highly discriminative in selecting your information on immunizations.


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

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