Fevers are very common among young children, and while uncomfortable, they serve an important purpose for building up the body’s natural defense system. But what some parents don’t realize is that fevers and rashes often go hand-in-hand. There are a few different conditions that cause rashes after a fever, and these commonly occur on very specific parts of the body. But regardless of the cause, rashes make babies and toddlers feel itchy, uncomfortable, and uncommonly cranky.
Learn why toddlers can develop a fever rash and how parents can treat fevers and rashes in a safe and effective way.
Many parents are quick to panic at the sight of a new rash, but this is actually very common in young children who are getting over a fever. This is because many fevers are caused by bacteria or viruses, which affect the skin as well as one’s temperature. A fever rash looks like small red or white blisters and can cover many parts of the body. Fevers can cause sweat glands to become clogged, trapping in sweat and causing itchy and painful blisters to form.
A fever after a rash could also be a sign of roseola, which typically occurs when the fever exceeded 103-degrees Fahrenheit. This type of fever rash is usually accompanied by red puffy eyes and a runny nose as well. Another condition that causes a rash after a fever is called fifth disease. This condition often presents itself with cold-like symptoms, as well as a rash.
The body parts in which a fever rash appears largely depends on the condition that caused it to form in the first place. For example, roseola usually appears on a toddler’s chest, back, and stomach first. From there, it may spread to the arms and legs.
Alternatively, rashes caused by fifth disease typically appear on the child’s face and cheeks first. A few days later, this rash may spread from the face to the chest and extremities. Meanwhile, heat rashes can form on any part of the body, but especially on the lower back and on the back of the neck. Areas that are restricted by diapers and clothing are more prone to heat rash.
Whether a parent allows the child’s fever to naturally run its course or administer an over-the-counter Fever Reducer & Pain Reliever, the next step is to monitor and treat the fever rash that has developed. Roseola and fifth disease-related rashes are caused by viruses, so a parent’s best option is to simply make the child as comfortable as possible. Recovery within about a week can be expected for a fever rash.
Parents can also apply topical creams that are approved for safe use on babies and toddlers to the site of a rash. It is important to keep fever rash-affected skin clean by washing with pure water and a mild cleanser. Parents should avoid using wipes with fragrances or alcohol to clean skin that has been affected by a rash and gently pat the skin dry with a towel after washing. Finally, if the fever rash worsens or won’t go away with at-home treatment, it may be time to call a pediatrician to determine the exact cause of the rash and the best way to heal the child’s sensitive skin.
In this parental guide to fever relief, PediaCare provides resources for parents seeking answers for their child's special circumstances. Medicine made for kids, helps getting better easier!