Video: Common Rashes in Babies and Young Children

Most babies will develop some kind of mild skin condition or rash in the first year of their life, as their skin adapts to their new environment. In this brief video a family doctor talks about typical rashes, what to do, and when to seek medical treatment.

Editor’s Note: Video Highlights

  • Most rashes don’t have a serious underlying cause and will clear up on their own
  • Baby lying on blanket on floorOne of the most serious rashes, which needs immediate medical attention, is one which doesn’t disappear when you press a glass or tumbler on it and look through the glass (technique shown in the video)
    • This could be a sign of a condition called meningococcal septicaemia or meningitis.
  • Other signs that may indicate a serious rash include a high fever, a very irritable lethargic child, or a child who is reluctant to eat
  • If you are at all worried, you should see your pediatrician or call the emergency services to seek medical help
  • Common rashes covered in this video (with pictures) include:
    • Eczema (red, itchy, dry rash that cracks and is in elbows or behind knees)
      • Possibly see a doctor for advice
    • Ringworm (single, circular, red patch)
      • Can usually treat with cream from drugstore
    • Prickly heat or heat rash (itchy red rash)
      • Eliminate clothing layers – should disappear in a few days
    • Impetigo (crusty yellow lesions, which are spreading)
      • See a doctor – will require antibiotics
    • Chicken pox (red itchy spots that then become blisters)
      • Call your doctor and avoid contact with other children

For more information on babies and rashes, click on this link from NHS Choices.

About the Author

NHS Choices ( is the UK’s biggest health website. It provides a comprehensive health information service to help put you in control of your healthcare.


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