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Common Baby and Childhood Illnesses and Ailments- Skin

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Common childhood rashes, infections and other skin irritations and ailments.

Note: This chart is only a guide and should not replace your doctor's advice.



What Are The Signs and Symptoms?

Is It Contagious?

Symptoms may include red, itchy, or watery eyes; stuffy or runny nose; sneezing. Can also present with wheezing, difficulty breathing, hives, rashes, stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting.

Bacterial Skin Infection
(MRSA “Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus”)
Spider bite-like, boil, abscess or red area occurring anywhere on the skin; skin is warm to touch, fever, and chills.

Yes; transmitted from contact with infected person or from touching objects that have been handled by infected person.
Birthmarks Raised or flat marks visible on skin which are usually discolored. Appear at birth or several days/weeks after birth.
Cellulitis Warm, red skin that is tender to touch. No
Chicken Pox
Small red itchy bumps that become water blisters and then crust over in about four days; fatigue; slight fever. Uncommon in babies. Yes; until lesions are crusted (usually takes 1 week).
Cold Sore
(Oral Herpes Stomatitis)
Small, fluid-filled blister(s) on or near lips; may enlarge, burst, and crust over. Yes; until after lesion(s) healed.
Cradle Cap
(Infantile or neonatal seborrhoeic dermatitis, crusta lactea, milk crust, honeycomb disease)
Non-itchy, oily, yellow, crusty, scaly skin rash that occurs on the scalp. Common in newborns. Usually clears up in the first 6 to 12 months.


More than six hours without a wet diaper; dry mouth; lethargy; sunken soft spot on head; sunken eyes; skin that does not bounce back when pinched and released; irritability; increased heart rate and respiratory rate. No


Diaper Rash
Red, puffy skin in diaper area. Flat, red rash or raised, red, rough rash. Skin can become raw and cause skin breakdown which may bleed when touched. Causes discomfort during diaper changes. No; unless culprit is yeast (see below) or staph.

Diaper Rash-
Yeast infection
Beefy red, bumpy rash in diaper area; pus-filled bumps; may be worst in the skin folds. Does not respond to diaper cream/ointment. Yes; until after24 hours of anti-fungal treatment.

Itchy, red, irritated skin. Rash may have fluid-filled bumps that may ooze. Rash may present as dry, scaly patches. Rash appears on cheeks, chin, head, trunk, back of arms, and legs. No

Environmental Allergies

Requires immediate medical attention if severe
Persistent cold-like symptoms; congestion; runny nose (mucus is clear and thin); sneezing; red, itchy, watery eyes; dry cough; breathing difficulties, itchy red skin rash.

Fifth Disease
(Erythema Infectiosum, Parvovirus, Slapped Cheek)
Mild symptoms. Low fever, body aches or headache. Rash appears 10 days after infection is over. Rash appears on cheek causing a “slapped” appearance on cheeks. A flat, red, lacy rash appears on chest, arms and legs. Yes; until rash appears.

Food Allergy

Requires immediate medical attention if severe
Occurs after contact with a particular food. May have dry, itchy rash on various parts of the body. May present with itching and swelling of face, lips, and mouth; hives; watery eyes and runny nose; vomiting, diarrhea, or difficulty breathing.

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
Small blister-like sores in the mouth, and on the palms of the hands and/or the soles of the feet, and possibly the buttocks. Mild fever, sore throat, loss of appetite. Yes; until fever is gone.

Heat Rash Bright red rash on neck, under arms, near diaper due to warm environments.

Fever; listlessness; vomiting; loss of appetite; jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). May be asymptomatic (no symptoms).

A-Yes; through stool of infected person.

B- Yes; through contact with blood and body fluids of infected person.

C- Yes; through contact with blood and body fluids of infected person.

Red raised, swollen areas on the skin that are very itchy. Can last for weeks or months and may disappear and reappear frequently.


Rash of blisters that may burst and expose wet reddish skin underneath. Itchy tan or yellow-brown scab often seen around the nose and mouth. May present with fever and swollen lymph glands in face and/or neck. Yes; until after 24 hours of antibiotics.


A yellow coloring of the skin which begins in the face and moves down the body. Can cause yellow discoloration of the eyes. Commonly appears in the first few days of life for a term newborn or up to 2 weeks in premature babies.

Kawasaki Disease Fever, reddening of the eyes (conjunctivitis), red and dry lips, swollen tongue, gingivitis, swollen glands in the neck and a swollen, red, peeling skin on the hands and feet.

(Group B Strep and Strep Pneumoniae)

Requires immediate medical attention
High fever, vomiting, irritable, poor appetite, bulging soft spot on head; stiff neck; sensitivity to light; lethargy; poor feeding; diarrhea; cold hands and feet; rash or blotchy skin; difficulty breathing; seizure.

Yes; can be contagious up to 2 weeks (depending on the culprit).

Milia Tiny white or yellow pearly bumps on nose, chin, and cheeks. Common in newborns after the first several weeks of life. No
Milk Allergy

Requires immediate medical attention if severe
Hives; rash; trouble breathing; wheezing; swelling; vomiting; diarrhea; gas; blood in stool; failure to gain weight usually occurring immediately or within a couple of hours after ingesting milk. No


Milk Protein Intolerance
Gas; diarrhea; vomiting; colic; bloating; bloody stools; refusal to eat; eczema; coughing; wheezing usually occurring immediately or within a couple of hours after ingesting milk. No

Neonatal Acne Small pimples or red bumps on face. Can be present at birth or develop up to 4 weeks of life. No
Overheating Flushed face, irritability, lack of appetite, damp hair, and/or heat rash due to warm environment. No
Psoriasis Thick red or silvery scaling rash that may be itchy. Generally appears on elbows, knees, scalp, torso and diaper area. No

Mildly itchy rash with dime- to quarter-size red rings that are crusty or scaly on the outside and smooth in the center; may appear as circular patches on scalp with redness and scaling. Yes; until after 24 hours of anti-fungal treatment.

(Sixth Disease; Baby Measles)
(Herpes Virus 6 or Herpes Virus 7)
Sudden onset of high fever between 101° and 105°F for two to five days; irritable; bulging soft spot; swollen glands in neck; runny nose; diarrhea; swollen eyes. May have runny nose before or with the fever. After fever breaks, a rash appears on torso, spreading to neck, face, and arms. Yes; through respiratory droplets, saliva, or feces.

(Mite Infection)
Severely itchy rash of scattered bumps and red patches; usually seen between the fingers, on wrists, elbows, armpits, navel, nipples, lower abdomen, genitals, and buttocks. Yes-very; until treated.




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