Skip to main content

My Child Has Developed an Itchy Rash: What Could It Be?

My Child Has Developed an Itchy Rash: What Could It Be?

Whether your kids are in school or out for the summer, they’re probably pretty active outside. When you first see a rash, you might assume they’ve encountered some plant or other irritant that causes their skin to flare up. There are numerous skin conditions, infections, and outside causes of rashes, and your child needs a professional evaluation to determine the type of rash they have. 

Family physicians Clifton Etienne, MD, Michael Cavanagh, MD, and Flora Brewington, MD, dedicate much of their time at Westmed Family Healthcare to evaluating and treating urgent care issues like rashes in children and adolescents. Serving families in Westminster, Colorado, and surrounding areas, we provide same-day appointments so you can get answers right away. 

So, what’s causing your child’s rash? Should you be concerned? Discover your answers in our brief guide to itchy rashes in kids. 

When rashes are infectious

Many rashes in babies, toddlers, and children come from some form of infection, meaning the rash originates from viruses, fungi, or bacteria. Your child may have come into contact with an infection at school or on the playground. Many infectious rashes are contagious and passed from child to child. Some are passed indirectly through shared objects like toys. 

Some of the most common infectious rashes in kids are:

Some infections need to run their course, but you can manage your child’s itching with products and medications. Others are treatable with prescribed antiviral, antibiotic, or antifungal medications. 

You can talk to our team at Westmed Family Healthcare about vaccines to protect your child from several rash-causing infections. There are currently vaccines available to immunize your child against chickenpox, measles, and a few other infections common in children. 

Dermatitis – general skin irritation

Dermatitis is a blanket term that describes multiple irritable skin conditions. Kids’ protective skin barriers aren’t fully developed like those of adults, so they’re distinctively prone to several forms of dermatitis. Your child’s itchy rash could be from:


Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, causes cracked, scaly, and itchy skin and is particularly common in kids under six. Good news — around 80% of kids with eczema outgrow it by adulthood. 

Contact dermatitis

Is your child’s skin particularly sensitive to specific materials, products, or plants? They could have contact dermatitis, a type of skin rash that appears only after their skin comes in contact with a particular irritant. Contact dermatitis can come from irritating plants like poison ivy, household products, metals, or medications. 

Cradle cap

If your baby has a yellow, scaly, and itchy rash on their scalp, it’s likely cradle cap. It happens when the sebaceous glands on their scalp produce too much oil. We specialize in infant care and can check your baby’s skin to verify cradle cap right away. 

Diaper rash

This is the most common type of skin irritation in infants and toddlers who aren’t yet potty-trained. The rash appears because of the moisture that accumulates inside your child’s diaper, which leads to an overgrowth of fungi or bacteria that naturally live on their skin. 

Managing your child’s rash

Many rashes are manageable at home, but our team is happy to examine your child and give you the peace of mind you need. We can also prescribe medications or topical products to alleviate the itching and redness in just a matter of days. Some rashes respond well to a gentle, lukewarm bath. 

Call our office, walk in for a visit, or book the next available appointment online for compassionate same- or next-day care at Westmed Family Healthcare.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Help! My Baby Has a Rash

Skin irritation and signs of discomfort in your baby are worrying, but rashes in infants are very common and typically treatable. An urgent care visit can give you the answers and direction you need to alleviate your baby’s rash.