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Ask Dr. Navitsky Your Own Question

Dr. Navitsky
Dr. Navitsky, Board Certified Pediatrician
Category: Pediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 1036
Experience:  US Pediatrician licensed in California living abroad.
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my son developed a red rash all over his body yesterday morning.

Customer Question

my son developed a red rash all over his body yesterday morning. it covers his whole body. i immediately thought it was chicken pox. he has been vaccinated. he has not complained of any itching and the spots do not appear to be blistering up. he does not have any allergies that i am aware of. could it still be chicken pox or something else?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Pediatrics
Expert:  Dr. Navitsky replied 2 years ago.

Jnavits12 :

Hi there I can talk with you about your son's rash.

Jnavits12 :

If he has been vaccinated against chicken pox it is unlikely to be this. There can be breakthrough chicken pox but the rash is still classic and pimple like blisters (that don't itch as much as a full blown infection) but there are much less then what you would get in a true chicken pox infection. The spots can start as red dots but quickly blister up.

Jnavits12 :

What does his rash look like? Is it splotchy, bumpy? Does it hurt at all? Where is it located? Is he sick with any type of viral symptoms like runny nose, cough,sore throat, etc....?

Customer:

has a cough. rash is on face,arms, legs, chest, stomach, and back. rash is flat, red pinpoint

Jnavits12 :

Does it blanch when you push on it?

Customer:

dont know didnt try that

Customer:

also just recelntly had pink eye and ear infection

Jnavits12 :

So it doesn't sound like a scarlet fever rash (from a strep infection in the throat).....which is red and somewhat bumpy (sandpapery in the textbooks) can be all over but tend to concentrate in the folds like the groin and under the armpits...

Jnavits12 :

Is he taking antibiotics now for the ear infection?

Customer:

no he was on amoxicillin last week

Jnavits12 :

So he is done with the course now?

Customer:

yes

Jnavits12 :

So it is also not likely to be a reaction to the medicine if he is done with it. The cough is residual from the illness last week (s) ago or is something new?

Customer:

something new but really only coughs at night

Jnavits12 :

Is he other than the cough feeling pretty much fine or is he kind of tired and resting up a lot?

Customer:

he acts fine, seems to have his normal amount of energy

Jnavits12 :

So unless he has some kind of skin reaction (to basically anything which is actually much more rare than then following...).I would vote for a viral induced rash. At 5 he is kind of on the upper range of this happening as it is really common with younger babies and kids when they get a virus but it can still happen. The cough being new is probably the sign of a new infection (hopefully his ears have drained from last week!). Viral rashes are kind of non-specific in appearance and look like red spots don't tend to be raised and are all over. There are some viruses in particular that are good at making a child have a rash. Basically it is part of the immune response to the infection that is manifested in the skin.

Customer:

gave him benedryl yesterday morning but it did not change the status of the rash

Customer:

so is it ok to send him to school

Jnavits12 :

The benadryl was a good thought in case they were hive like it would have helped (hives are also most common in kids when they have a virus!) but the rash tends to be bumpy, very itchy, and classic in that it moves around over the course of hours....The things to watch out for viral induce rashes tend to fade pretty quickly......

Jnavits12 :

Hmm... I am pretty sure if he didn't have rash he could go but they will likely send him home with a note saying to see the doctor and make sure it is not "contagious"!

Jnavits12 :

Rash (as well as pink eye from last week :)) is something that schools don't like.

Jnavits12 :

The reason being is that is could be a number of things like strep or chicken pox that could be highly contagious and they really don't want to risk this.

Customer:

ok thank you for your help

Jnavits12 :

Hold on a sec almost done....So watch out for ill appearance, there are rashes associated with meningitis

Jnavits12 :

That are pinpoint and reddish purple almost like burst blood vessels if you have seen them they are called petchiae. If you see these starting (they blanch with pressure) and he is looking more ill with headache he need to go to the ER.

Customer:

ok i will definately watch for that

Customer:

will he have fever

Jnavits12 :

Yes.....and he would look sick.....If you feel that it is starting to get bumpy and red all over like a scarlet fever rash you need go in as well as this would be treated with an antibiotic. I am often surprised that kids with scarlet fever don't have sore throat a lot of the time and some of them don't even look that sick1

Jnavits12 :

If you feel that the rash is changing, getting bigger, more purplish, any blisters than I would bring him in as well just in case. As always if you are concerned about any other symptom or just tomorrow it is still there and you feel uncomfortable bring him in. This type of site is no match for a visit to a trusted doctor who can actually look at your son. Generally if there is something that concerns you and makes you feel uncomfortable this is when to listen to your instincts as they are usually right!

Customer:

ok i will probably take him in to the doctor with my younger son tomorrow and have my doctor look at it

Jnavits12 :

I wish you the best and you may be lucky and it will be gone in the morning! If you feel that I have answered your question please click on the accept button. The illness by itself would be contagious to your younger son but if the rash is due to this his brother doesn't need to get a rash as well as it is kind of a personal immune system thing, (in case he is in daycare or school this helps!)

Customer:

ok thank you for taking the time to answer my questions

Dr. Navitsky, Board Certified Pediatrician
Category: Pediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 1036
Experience: US Pediatrician licensed in California living abroad.
Dr. Navitsky and other Pediatrics Specialists are ready to help you

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