image001Growing children get ill more often due to underdeveloped immunity. Fever, flu and coughs are among the most common illnesses that they face. Rash too is a common occurrence among babies, it is caused by microbes like virus, fungi or bacteria. They may even be due to an allergic reaction to any external or internal factor. These rashes can result in itches, patches, red bumps or crests all over or a specific area of a body.

What Causes Baby Rash All Over Body?

1. Infections

  • Fifth Disease

Fifth disease is also commonly called the ‘slapped cheek’ syndrome; and is a viral disease that gives the appearance of red cheeks as if these were slapped. The symptoms are nonspecific such as flu and fever but the most prominent feature of fifth disease is the appearance of rash after one week of infection over the upper part of body and this kind of baby rash all over body's upper part has a spreading pattern, too. This baby rash is itchy and it may last up to two to three weeks.

Symptoms include the appearance of rash within a week of infection. This baby rash is red when the child is kept warm but tends to disappear temporarily when the child is given a cold bath. This rash spreads from upper body to lower parts and can accompany itching, fever and lethargy as well. Bright red cheeks are the most prominent features of this disease.

Treatment is generally not needed, since the rash tends to resolve in three weeks, approximately. But treatment is necessary for children with other life threatening diseases such as AIDS, sickle cell anemia and leukemia. It is important to note that fifth disease is contagious only before the appearance of rash, after the rash starts to appear the child can be allowed to mix with surrounding people.

  • Chickenpox

Chickenpox is a virus caused disease; the virus responsible is called ‘Varicella Zosters Virus’. The most common feature of this disease is the appearance of red marks on body. These marks look like mosquito bites and are randomly spread over the body at first. They then spread all over, become puss filled and itch a lot.

Symptoms include the appearance of red spots that gradually become fluid-filled and then rupture. These spots then turn crusty and itch severely. The red spots spread gradually over scalp, upper limbs, groin region and then the entire body. These symptoms are generally accompanied by fever, throat infection, lethargy and watery red eyes.

Treatment is generally not needed since the disease succumbs on its own, one way to prevent the disease is by vaccinating them. It should be noted that the child cannot be given any aspirin (or any other salicylate related medications). The virus tends to spread by air transmission, that is when the child coughs or sneezes etc. The spots are also contagious, therefore the child should be isolated till he/she recovers.

  • Scarlet Fever

The scarlet fever is a bacterial disease caused by streptococcus bacteria. It is essentially a throat infection resulting in contagious spread from coughing. The disease is generally not severe by nature but if left untreated it may result in more life threatening diseases such as rheumatic fever which can directly lead to heart diseases.

Symptoms begin to show with a mild throat infection and mild fever and headache is also a common observation. The child develops a baby rash all over body which suspends in a week or two.

Treatment includes the use of antibiotics since it is a bacterial infection. The child need not be placed in isolation and once the fever tones down regular activity can be continued.

  • Rubella

This is a virus caused disease; the virus responsible is called “rubivirus”. It is mild by nature and has an infection time period of two to three weeks.

Symptoms include throat irritation and swelling, fever and appearance of baby rash all over body and on face. Symptoms may reside in a few days.

Treatment includes vaccination mainly; the vaccine usually given to children is MMR (measles mumps and rubella).

  • Meningococcemia

This is a bacterial disease which results in life threatening conditions and possibly death. The bacterium responsible for this disease is called Neisseria meningitidis. The disease mostly affects children below two years of age and is promoted greatly due to improper cleanliness conditions.

Symptoms start appearing as those associate with any infection such as fever, headache, nausea, vomiting etc. Another prominent symptom is the appearance of petechial rash, which are red spots appearing due to breakage of small capillaries.

Treatment should be carried out immediately; the child is put on an antibiotic course once diagnostic tests confirm the presence of disease.

2. Allergies

Allergy is not as common among children in causing a rash, but they are the second major contributing factor. When the skin is exposed to allergens either internal or external, if these are not treated at an early stage they may turn into blisters and can become a life-long problem for children.

  • Eczema

Eczema is one of the allergic conditions a child faces early on. It is a chronic condition where scaly skin, redness and skin drying along with itching sensations occur. Allergies are mainly caused by protein in egg and milk. It usually occurs in children below one year of age but may continue in adulthood as well.

Symptoms include atopic dermatitis, rash in specific seasons or on eating certain kinds of food. Redness and rash too appear cardinally. Gradually the skin becomes dry and thickened.

Treatment is mainly focused on reducing itching. Some OTC drugs such as corticosteroids can reduce inflammation and reduce allergic symptoms. Other anti-itch creams are applied topically on regular basis or during allergy seasons.

  • Hives

Hives are the most common allergic reactions that cause baby rash all over body. These rashes can appear all over the body and itch severely.

Symptoms include extreme itching sensations all over the body or the specific region where the allergen comes in contact with the body. The allergen can be food, medicines, insect bite or viral infections. Shortness of breath, dizziness and swelling of lips and face may occur too.

Treatment mainly includes using antihistamines and corticosteroids to treat inflammation and allergic symptoms.

3. Other Causes

Thus overall cleanliness, eating habits and environment of a child may help determine the type of rash a child is likely to get, therefore all these factor should be carefully monitored. Below are two more possible causes for baby rash all over body.

  • Kawasaki’s disease

It is a disease of an unknown reason. This disease occurs due to auto-immune reactions inside the body and cause damage to the heart if left untreated.

Symptoms include reddening of throat, cracked lips, swelling of lymph nodes and neck region. Blisters and lesions are also noted over the body.

Treatment includes administrating high doses of aspirin and intravenous gamma-globulins to curb the symptoms.

  • Prickly heat

Prickly heat is a typical reaction of a child, when exposed to excessive heat and sweating conditions.

Symptoms include red bumps over the body, rash on face, neck and back region of the body etc.

Treatment. The child should be made to wear loose clothes and kept in cool conditions; this will curb the rash in 30 minutes or so.