Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Rash,Age 11 and Younger - Home Treatment

Most rashes will go away without medical treatment. Home treatment can often relieve pain and itching until the rash goes away.

If your child has come in contact with a substance that may cause contact dermatitis, such as poison ivy, immediately wash the area with large amounts of water.

Once a rash has developed, leave it alone as much as possible.

  • Use soap and water sparingly.
  • Leave the rash exposed to the air whenever possible.
  • Encourage your child not to scratch the rash.

If your child has a rash, he or she should not be in contact with other children or pregnant women. Most viral rashes are contagious, especially if a fever is present.

Relief from itching

Itching with a rash is generally not serious, but it can be annoying and may make a rash more likely to become infected. Rashes caused by chickenpox, eczema, or contact dermatitis are much more likely to itch. Sometimes itching can get worse by scratching.

Home treatment may help the itching.

  • Keep your child's fingernails clean and short, and encourage him or her not to scratch. Cover your baby's hands with socks to help keep him or her from scratching.
  • Keep your child out of the sun and in a cool place. Heat makes itching worse.
  • Keep the itchy area cool and wet if your child is older than age 9 months. Put cloths soaked in ice water on the rash a few times a day. Too much wetting and drying will dry the skin, which can increase itching. Do not put cloths soaked in ice water on the skin of a baby younger than 9 months. It may cause the baby's body temperature to go down.
  • Try an oatmeal bath to help relieve itching. Wrap 1 cup of oatmeal in a cotton cloth or sock, and boil it as you would to cook it. Allow it to cool to room temperature, and then use it as a sponge while bathing your child in cool water without soap. You can also buy a product at the store, such as Aveeno Colloidal Oatmeal bath.
  • Dress your child in cotton clothing. Do not use wool and synthetic fabrics next to the skin.
  • Use gentle soaps, such as Basis, Cetaphil, Dove, or Oil of Olay, and use as little soap as possible. Do not use deodorant soaps on your child.
  • Wash your child's clothes with a mild soap, such as CheerFree or Ecover, rather than a detergent. Rinse twice to remove all traces of the soap. Do not use strong detergents.
  • Do not let the skin become too dry, which can make itching worse.
1|2

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 21, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

preschool age girl sitting at desk
Article
look at my hand
Slideshow
 
woman with cleaning products
Slideshow
young boy with fever
Article
 

worried kid
fitArticle
boy on father's shoulder
Article
 
Child with red rash on cheeks
Slideshow
girl thinking
Article
 

babyapp
New
Child with adhd
Slideshow
 
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Build a Fitter Family Challenge – Get your crew motivated to move.
Feed Your Family Better Challenge - Tips and tricks to healthy up your diet.
Sleep Better Challenge - Snooze clues for the whole family.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply

WebMD Special Sections