Different Types of Skin Rashes That Kids Get

Because they are often in close contact with one another, children frequently spread the agents that cause rashes amongst themselves. Scabies and ringworm are commonly passed from child to child. Not all rashes, however, result from person-to-person contact. Some rashes, such as heat rash, result from an internal breakdown in the skin.

Heat Rash

Hot, humid weather can cause profuse sweating as skin attempts to regulate body temperature. Occasionally, this excessive perspiration becomes trapped in the sweat ducts, where it ruptures the glandular walls. The inflammation that results is known as heat rash, or prickly heat. Prickly heat can cover large areas of the body. If the obstruction occurs at the surface level of skin, the rash appears with clear, fluid-filled blisters, called miliaria crystalline. Deeper obstructions cause a rash with with bright red blisters, called miliaria rubra.

Babies and small children commonly develop heat rash. Prickly heat usually resolves by itself when the skin is kept dry and cool.

Irritant Contact Dermatitis

A one-time rash outbreak called “irritant contact dermatitis” occurs when a child touches an irritating substance. The rash usually appears on the hands or face and feels dry, red and itchy. The Mayo Clinic includes soaps, jewelry and cosmetics in their list of common irritants. Once the irritant is removed, the rash fades.

“Hot tub rash,” or “swimmer’s rash,” is a specific variation of contact dermatitis that results from contact with contaminated water. The microscopic bacteria, pseudomonas aeruginosa, that causes swimmer’s rash thrives in poorly maintained pools and spas, but also in lakes and ponds.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis rash tends to include blisters and occurs after the child touches something that she has become allergic to. Mayo Clinic points out that the materials in costume jewelry and perfume commonly produce an allergic rash response, as do poison ivy, oak and sumac.

Scabies

After being bitten by a human itch mite, skin erupts in a rash with small, pimple-like pustules. The rash, called “scabies,” develops as an immune response to the secretions in a mite’s mouth. The rash causes intense itching, which often becomes worse at night. When determining if a rash resulted from a mite bite, doctors will look for tiny raised trails under the top layer of skin. These indicate that a female mite has burrowed beneath the skin to feed and lay her eggs.

Because mites do not have wings and are relatively slow-moving, you become infested with the parasite after contact with a mite carrier. The human itch mite does not infect dogs, cats or other animals, so the mite carrier is always another person. Places where mite infestations spread include areas where children come into direct, close contact with one another, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such as day care centers, schools and playgrounds.

Ringworm

Caused by a fungus, ringworm begins as a small, circular rash and spreads in expanding circular patterns. Ringworm is highly contagious and can spread through either direct contact with an infected person or through contact with something an infected person has touched, such as clothing or a toy. Because of easy contagion, children often “catch” ringworm in schools, day care centers and playgrounds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautions that dogs, cats and other animals can harbor ringworm and pass the fungus to people who come in contact with them.