What's that rash?

There are so many different types of rashes, what I’ll do here is narrow it down into things that require urgent attention and things that don’t, so you’ll know how quickly it needs to get taken care of. Fortunately, most rashes are not urgent. The bottom line — as with anything — would be that if your child looks very unwell, or is in distress, they should be evaluated. With that said, here’s what you need to know if you have an unexplained rash pop up. Let’s start by narrowing it down between widespread and localized rashes, and then hone in on your child’s other symptoms. Please select which of the two options below best describes your rash:

Covers the whole body or is at least relatively symmetric, like a rash on both arms, or the entire trunk, or both hands and feet, etc. Widespread rashes are usually due to the body’s internal response to something.

Found only on one part of the body, like the left arm, the diaper area, or the mouth, and it is NOT typically symmetric (i.e. it is found on only one hand, not both, or just one cheek and not the other, etc). Sometimes it is symmetric, like diaper rash or heat rash on the face and neck. Localized rashes are usually due to the body’s external response to something.