The onset of spring has brought with it flowers in bloom, smells of summer, and late sunsets… As well as an increase in rashes and spots of various kinds. This time, it was one of our own little people who got those ghastly little blisters that we call chickenpox all over his body. So we’ve decided to dedicate the next few weeks of What Your Pediatrician Wants You To Know to the itchy topic of SPOTS!
This spotty culprit is a virus which causes an outbreak of little clusters of red spots all over the body. The spots develop into itchy, fluid-filled blisters, which erupt and form scabs. It is important that these are not scratched because they leave horrid scars. Other symptoms may include fever or cold and flu-like symptoms.
Chickenpox is not normally harmful in children, and is treated symptomatically by administering an antihistamine syrup or tablet, as well as applying calamine lotion, or similar, to the skin to relieve itching. Pain and fever medication may be given in the event of raised temperatures, but Nurofen or Ibuprofen-containing meds are not advised due to the immune system suppression that they cause – Please check with your healthcare provider first. Once you’ve had chickenpox, you’re unlikely to get it again, but infected children should be kept home from school for a few days as it is very contagious. People with chickenpox are infective two days before and two days after the rash breaks out.
Children under the age of 12 years can be vaccinated against the virus, check in with your healthcare provider to find out more.
The measles rash normally starts behind the ears or on the face and spreads downward to the rest of the body. This usually appears after three to five days of presenting with cold or flu-like symptoms and high temperatures.
The blotchy rash first appears flat and red, and may turn into small raised bumps. After five to ten days, the rash starts turning brownish in colour, starts drying out, and will disappear from the top down – in the same order it appeared.
Treatment is also symptomatic, so keep a bottle of pain and fever medication nearby, your child is likely to feel grotty for up to a week.
I hope this post has helped you differentiate between these two different kinds of rashes, check back in next week when we’ll continue our scratchy discussion 🙂
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