When your child complains of feeling itchy and scratchy, they most likely have a rash. There are rashes that parents can treat at home and rashes where they need to contact a pediatrician. If you spot your little one scratching repeatedly, don’t rush them to a doctor, unless you are truly worried, as you can probably treat them at home. The information will help you determine when you need to take your child to the doctor for treatment:

1. Is the Rash Spreading?

If your child’s rash is bright red, painful, hot to the touch, and appears to be spreading to other areas of their body, take them to see a pediatrician. How can you tell if the rash is spreading? Take a marker or pen to make marks around the rash. If the circle you drew around the redness is small, you can treat it at home using antibiotic ointment available over the counter. If the area appears to be growing, contact a pediatrician. In the event the rash doubles in size within a few hours, take them to an emergency room.

2. Does the Rash Disappear When You Press Down on It?

When you press down on the rash, does it disappear? If the rash doesn’t fade, staying the same color or turning purple, visit your local doctor. Usually children get these types of rashes below their neck so if your child looks sick, check their body for rashes.

3. Are Your Kids Itching Themselves Constantly?

Constantly itching oneself in kids is usually attributed to hives and itchy bumps. Hives spread all over the body in a matter of seconds. Most children get hives and it is nothing to be worried about, as they go away on their own. It is caused by a virus, which is transmitted via grass, soap, and detergent, and can last five to seven days. Parents can give their child Benadryl to minimize the itching.

4. Does Your Child Have Flaky Patches on Their Skin?

Dry and flaky patched on a child’s skin usually signal towards eczema. If your child’s skin doesn’t exhibit symptoms of eczema, you can treat the rash at home. Buy unscented lotion, mild soaps, and hydrocortisone cream to rub over flaky patches, but avoid using it for over two weeks. If the condition doesn’t become better, you can contact a pediatrician.

5. Does Your Child Have a Full Body Rash?

Fully body rash shouldn’t raise any red flags, as it is mostly due to a virus. If your child has caught a viral infection, this rash may appear later on after diarrhea and vomiting. Don’t panic though, but keep a watch on your child. If they start to feel extremely ill and the rash doesn’t disappear, you should take them to a doctor.

You are always welcome to bring your child to Pediatric Healthcare of Northwest if you are unsure about the type of rash your child has.