16 answers

My 3 Year Old Has Sores All over Her Scalp; Tested Negative for Staph; NEED HELP

My daughter Kacey is 3 and has sores on her scalp. They are almost like pimples with a white head. We went to the doctor last Thursday and he took a culture and sent it off. It showed no growth; therefore not a staph? Anyway, she has been going to the doctor daily to get a shot (stong antibiotic) and also taking an oral one (Aug?). When we go daily for the shot he also "pops" the white heads. Her head is SO sore and it's really depressing when my daughter flinches when I get close to her (she thinks I'm going to touch the sores). Anyway, I have to wash her hair 3X a day and scrub the sores (I hate doing this to her) but we have to keep the sores as clean as possible. He's tried all the scap shampoos and topical fungal creams and they haven't worked. I'm scared that on Monday she will go into the hosptial to be treated for staph via IV.
Basically, has anyone ever heard of this before? The symptoms are red bumps or mounds, some of them form a white head and when popped ooze out pus (Like a piple would). It's not itchy to her and it doesn't cause pain when not being handled. Her head is so sore though from all the popping and scrubbing ; (.
Has anyone heard of this????

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks to all for all your advice, prayers, comments, and concerns. I took the advice of getting her into a Pediatric Dermatologist. We went today and the doctor seems to think it's a fungal infection (in the ring worm family). She started her on a fungal medication that she will take for the next 6 weeks (they said it takes a long time to cure when in the scalp). She told me to IMMEDIATELY stop the scrubbing and popping and that the shots they were giving wouldn't work on a fungal infection. She also gave us a new shampoo to treat this. Kacey was really scared to go there. The people that worked there were SO great with her. They made her feel safe; made her laugh; and didn't hurt her at all. The name of the dermatoligist is Dr. Christie E. Matter and she's out of the North Texas Dermatolgy in Plano, TX Here's a link to their website:
I called about 10 offices and they all couldn't get Kacey in until late January. I'm so blessed that the receptionist here took the time to hear Kacey's story and that they got her in today.
Thanks again to ALL of you!


Hi everyone: I don't know where to post responses to your advice so I'm putting it in here.(Is there somewhere to update or comment back to everyone) We have had this pediatrician for a long time and he has never given me any reason to doubt him. In reference to why he is popping the sores and the nightly scrubbing (in hopes to pop the small ones) he said that is because the shot he is giving will go directly to the open wounds and start to heal them. I'm going to call the pediatric dermatoligist that you gave me and see if they will get her in. I just know it usually takes forever to get into a dermatolgist. If I can't get in, do you think I should take her to the ER? I had a doctors appointment today (for me) and my daughter was with me. When they called me back, she started crying because she thought it was for her. I feel so guilty about all of this. I'm just trying to get her better by following what the doctor is saying but I know that I'm hurting her. It's killing me. Also, I forgot to mention in orginal e-mail that the pediatrician sent home several needles and alcohal pads. He told my husband and I to lance the sores when they were ready to be popped. I CAN NOT do it. I can't put a needle by my daughters head. My husband waits until she goes to sleep and gently pierces the whitesheads. It's horrible!! This whole thing is terrible. I see her little spirit breaking and it's breaking my heart! The most discouraging part of all of this is that after all the scrubbing, popping, lancing, etc. It all comes back the next morning. So it's all for nothing basically.
= (

Featured Answers

I know this sounds crazy but, the bumps you described remind me of fire ant bites. I don't guess there is anyway she is getting bit at night or something?

P. P

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Sorry, I don't know exactly what this is, but if you google "folliculitis", you'll get a list of symptoms to compare with what your dd has, and some alternative solutions. I know an adult who has this, and generally the doctors are stumped.

You might consider a specialist. Dr. Robin Carder is a pediatric dermatologist. The numbers I have for her are ###-###-#### and ###-###-####. If you go this route, try both her practices to see which one can get you in first, and tell them it's urgent!

I have reservations about the scrubbing you mentioned. (More breaking of the skin can aid the entry of bacteria/fungi?) I'm sure that's what your doctor told you to do, but I wonder if a specialist could help you out, or confirm the advice.

Sorry you're going through this. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Oh my gosh! Your's and Krissy C's ordeals seem like huge nightmares. I'm so sorry you're going thru this. I've never even heard of anything like it. If it were my child, I'd be all over taking them to a specialist pediatric dermatologist. I'm surprised your pediatrician hasn't referred you to one already! Good luck to you and your little one. I hope whatever it is goes away fast!

1 mom found this helpful

HI S.,

I think I will be able to sympothize with you on this. My son who will 11 mos. old next week, has these same spots. We are going on the 3rd time of this. He first got one back this summer, the dr. started him on antibiotics and it went away in a couple of weeks. October came around, I started a new job he started daycare, and another one came up. It starts out like a pimple then the "head" goes away and it gets red and hot and bigger as time goes on. This time he had a fever with it. Took him to the dr. they wanted to watch it for a couple of days. The fever was off and on. Finally I took him back because the "spot" was getting bigger and they immediately sent me to the hospital with him to get him started on vankomicin IV antibiotics. (spelling is wrong) We were in the hospital for 3 days. Dr. came in on third day and said we can go then decided to lance the spot to see if they can drain it. They lanced it and the "puss" went everywhere, there was so much in there. We went home started different antibiotics once we got home and I had to take him to the dr. everyday to have the cut packed and repacked to get make sure all of the "puss" was out. Now here we are present day. Another spot has come up on Sunday. Looked like a pimple thought it was from diaper rash. Watched it and watched it, yesterday called the dr. and brought him in. He is on Bactrum antibiotics. Once I finish those, I have to do a cream antibiotic which has to be swabed in his nose twice a day. When I start the cream I have to also give him a bleach bath once a day. Meaning put bleach in his bath water and bathe him with it.
I have no idea where or how my son got this, but it has been awful. My husband nor myself nor my other son have this. As much as we have been exposed to this. I just don't know how or where it is coming from.
What your daughter has sounds exactly like what my son has. It's wierd that she has tested negative for staph though. I love my son's pediatrician, but I'm at the point of taking him to a specialist to see if we can get to the bottom of this.
I just thought I would share my story with you, to sympathize. It's awful for these children to go through this. Especially when they are healthy. I hope your daughter gets to feeling better.
Just know that your not the only one totally at a loss as to what is going on. They did conclude the last go round that my son had MRSA, which is resistant staph. Which is why he got put in the hospital.
I'm here if you need to talk.
Good Luck to you.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,

As you've gotten many replies, I thought I'd add my 2 cents... I work as a consultant in the health field. I am not a doctor, and of course, you trust your pediatrician's word first. But... since this is a desperate situation, the daily scrubbing has got to be drying & irritating her scalp. But, since it is something your doctor has prescribed, I may offer a sloution to the tenderness and sensitivity. I do not ever publicize my business just to be talking about it, but I really think we may be able to relieve your daughter of her scalp issues. Using natural products and skin care may be an alternative, you may already do so, but in your situation, trying something else maybe a saving grace.

I would love to help if you would like to try another product on her...

C. Brady

I can see you have gotten some great replies, however I did not see anything regarding food allergies. Sensitivity to sweets, bread, dairy, etc can cause these types of outbreaks. I am not a doctor and don't know if this is the cause for your daughter, but figured it was worth sharing.

Omg this sounds so familiar to me. My daughter is 3 and she has knots all over her head as if she's been bumping her head. The areas in which the knots are have completing gone bald . The doctor says it's excessive dry scalp so we have to wash twice a week using a shampoo called nizoral.i haven't seen any improvement yet, what should I do

Ask your doctor to test her for fungus. She may have a kerion.

when you go to the doc, ask them about a medication for boils. i too,had this in childhood and still have this today. mine are like BOILS. i get them all over but mostly on legs, stomach and torso. when they get to be appearing all over or more frequently, i get medication that makes them stop popping up. i dont know if there is one (or the same) for children. I would also look in to food allergies. good luck

Sorry to hear about your troubles. Have you tried any natural products on the scalp? There is a lotion product that you can put on your daughter's scalp that might help. It has helped many people with different types of skin issues. I can mail you the product or deliver it to you. All that hair washing can't be good.
Wellness Consultant

As a nurse I would have to say that obviously what your doctor is doing is not working and maybe even making things worst. If it was my child I would immediately take him/her to a dermatologist. I worked for a dermatologist before and it is amazing what they can do and diagnose. If it was a staph infection then it is extremely dangerous when near the face/head because of being so close to the brain. Usually when it is Staph it is very painful. I just think you definately need a second opinion quickly from a specialist. Good luck and let us know what happens. Pam

I know this sounds crazy but, the bumps you described remind me of fire ant bites. I don't guess there is anyway she is getting bit at night or something?

P. P

My Dad who is 66 and I both get these, and it's not a big deal unless you pick them. Neither of us know what they are and they have done us no harm, but one of my Dad's doctor's over the years said it was probably due to stress. Not sure if that's it, but if it's not hurting, why pick them?

We also get bumps on the back of our arms, which every doctor says is an allergy marker. They get better with a steroid cream and with Eucerin lotion. I'm sorry I don't know the proper names for what the bumps are called.

but I would not pick the bumps. But I'm not a doctor.

My next door neighbor is a drug rep for Johnson & Johnson. She has recently told me that there is a new strain of staph. She JUST told me last week about this and you are describing the sore down to a T. You really need to get her tested again because I know how sick that can make a 3 year old. I know how loyal that we all want to be with our pediatrician, but have you thought about a second opinion? My Father is a surgeon and Iknow how they can get when challenged or second guessed. So I find it easier just to get a second opinion. Hope this helps and good luck!

Could it be impetigo caused by streptococcus.

see this link: http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/infections/skin/impetigo...

My daugther currently has impetigo by staph. yuck.

First of all, I hope you are taking her to a dermatologist instead of a Peds DR.

It sounds like it could be Psoriasis or Dermatitis of some sort and certain types of Dermatitis are a very good sign that your child may have Celiac Sprue. A genetic disease that causes you not to be able to digest wheat and gluten and is very damaging to you. I would stop the doc. from giving all of the shots and popping the sores, he may be making it worse, and try to find out the underlying cause. Most of this type of stuff comes from within the body and it is a way of warning you something bad is going on.


I don't know what it is, but is sure sounds like staph. Why on earth would the doctor be popping the sores though? Is this your pediatrician, or a dermatologist? I'd see a pediatric dermatologist before you get any further.

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