31 answers

Unusual Rash on My 2 Year Old

Two days ago my son woke up with a few small red patches on his back. Later that day we noticed when he took off his shirt that it had spread all over his stomach and back ond the small red bumps had bacome one large red patch. It has now moved to all over him and seems to be changing and moving right before my eyes. We have been to two ER's and seen his pediatrician twice. We are now waiting on blood work results. Everyone who has seen it say they have never seen anything like it before. He started running a fever the evening of the first day- we are on day 3 now- and I have yet to break it. Tried all sorts of med's prescribed to him including the Epi-pin, Atovax, and steroids, given with the motrin, tylenol, benadryl......Does anyone have any information? Maybe something similar? Really starting to worry now. There are no changes in his diet or invironment. It itches sometimes and last night we took another trip to the ER because he was swelling in the face,hands, and feet. It is changing in appearance and moving to various places. Please help

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So What Happened?™

Well first I want to thank all of you for responding. I really do appreciate you guys taking the time to tell me your stories and thoughts. We got the results of his CBC late yesterday and his Dr says that although he can't say for sure what it is he put it in the scarlet fever/fifth disease catagory. His fever has come down and now he has a nasty cough and runny nose and the rash is still present but he seems to be feeling better after starting the antibiotics last night...we will continue to pray and thank you for yours. Says he should be better in 5 to 7 days. Thanks again

Featured Answers

It is not prevelent in 2 yr olds but has anyone thought of shingles? Possibly a bite from an insect? Wish I had more ideas GOOD LUCK!

Got an aloe vera plant? Rip it open and apply to the rash. It dries quickly and works tremendously on any bacterial or viral infections.

I would try a dermatologist. I had similiar symptoms before and went to several doctors, none of which knew what was wrong. I ended up seeing a dermatologist who diagnosed me right away and prescribed steroids. It's worth a shot. Good luck.

More Answers

Please update us on what happens. Praying everything goes well.

Tea Tree Oil and pure aloe vera is a good treatment for rashes, I don't know what his diet is but I'd put him on a light cleansing diet for the time being and avoid the OTC medicines which could be causing liver toxicity and contributing to the problems (when the liver is weak or overwhelmed the body starts releasing toxins through the skin). Make sure he's getting plenty of fluids and electrolytes and no refined sugars or artifical sweeteners. Hope he recovers soon.

My daughter had an allergic reaction to Sulfa drugs that manifested in a rash similar to what you are describing. It eventually went away, but they put her on Predinisone to make sure her throat didn't close up. I gave her oatmeal baths, benadryl, prescription benadryl, and the prednisone. She had it for about 4 days before it was completely gone.

Rashes can be caused by lack of essential fatty acids- I think the best is Standard process Cataplex F.
Next contact Dr. Bruce West- he is brilliant- Health Alert is his newsltr- and I think you can get thro to him asap= google and go from there.
Also you can contact the International Chiropractic Pediatric Assn and get a referral from them for someone who can test his for a natural solution,
The drugs can effect long term the liver- so careful there

Could it be hand, foot and mouth disease? My daughter had that once and it is a rash over the trunk of her body and the hand, feet and mouth tend to swell a bit. As an adult I also had it and my feet were in pain, but children tend to not notice that part. Just a thought.

that really sounds like a reaction to something, actually going to guess a spider bite (or some type of insect) if it is venomous then that may be why it is not responding to the typical meds. I'm not trying to freak you out, but I used to work outside a lot and some of the people I worked with were bitten by brown recluse spiders. They actually swelled up as well. Another friend of mine was bitten in the breast and it swelled so much she had to have surgery. Anyway, I'd have them check out that possibility. Spiders especially have a habit of crawling into beds. It's a weird thing, but true. Usually though with treatment people are just fine! I'm not telling you all this to panic you, but they should consider this as a possibility. Good luck!

My Children have also developed such rashes. We went through many Doctor's, and medicines with no results finally I bought some dead sea salt.Bath them in it. Soak them.1 cap full.Their skin is so clear now. It cured all their skin issue ailments.Best of luck...

Got an aloe vera plant? Rip it open and apply to the rash. It dries quickly and works tremendously on any bacterial or viral infections.

Dear J.,

pls contact pediatrics.com right away.

God Bless all of you.

D. P

My daughter had fifth disease. It just has to run its course.

Possibly roseola. That is viral and nothing you can do but let it run its course. He is however contagious and you need to keep him at home until the fever is gone.

My allergist is the best there is call please. I had hives for over a year and he cured me. Dr Lockey ###-###-#### He does alot of research.

Ask the doctor if it could be a new soap or detergent you are using. Could be food allergies as well. Did he step in an any pile? Animals in the house?
Best wishes, and please don't panic...the origin of this rash will surface, just like the rash itself. Stay calm.

Have you checked him everywhere for a spider bite??? Look in his ears, under his arms, the bottom of his feet, up his nose, everywhere. Even his scrotum. My brother got bit by a spider. They figured out that is must have been in his underwear. Took them awhile to find his bite. It was actually under his scrotum. If they had not found it when they did he might not be here today. Also take into consideration that a parasite might have gotten under his skin. They can cause red spots that move from place to place and you can actually see them as they move. Get him to a specialist and forget about the emergency room and family doctor.

It definitely sounds like hives. My 15 year old is going through the same thing right now but no fever. Has he been exposed to Epstein Barr Virus? The bloodwork will show it if they ran the test. If not, have them do a monospot in the office. The one thing that concerns me is the swelling in his face, hands and feet. Did they give him another round of prednisone at the ER? Has he had any trouble breathing or wheezing? Have you set up an appointment with an allergist (hard to get into, took me 6 months to get my 20 month old in). It sounds like they've done everything they can do until they get the bloodwork back. Try oatmeal baths for the itching although external sources don't seem to help with hive itching, it may work....ask the doctor to prescribe an Atarax/Zantac combo, really helps with hive itching.

Did it have clear blisters if so could be chicken pots. If no blisters could be measles. But for the itching try calamine lotion. Also put in a tub of aveno oatmeal body wash, or baking soda should help the itching some what.


I hope you are finding things are getting better... meantime I wanted to mention two things:

First, if it's measles or another vaccine-preventable disease, remember that he could get this even if he IS previously vaccinated for it. Many times outbreaks occur among people already (supposedly) immune to a disease via vaccination.

Second, even though there may be no changes in diet or environment, a body can suddenly become allergic to something it's always taken in successfully (with no allergic reaction or intolerance) before.

I don't know if this will be of any help, but several months ago my daughter, 2, suddenly broke out in a rash and fever. The rash started slowly and then spread quickly to cover just about her entire body - it looked like large hives and very red. Her fever spiked to 104 or 105 and didn't go away for a few days. With her, too, it itched but not always and not a whole lot - mostly on the legs. What helped with the fever was the tylenol suppositories. Kinda gross to have to do that to her, but it got to the point where she was refusing to swallow any meds even though she liked the flavor. Try the suppositories if you haven't already - they worked great for us.

As far as the cause - no one knew with her either. We didn't take her to the ER, but several visits to the doctor. What we were told was that her body was having some sort of allergic reaction to the fever and that it will pass. It was hard to believe, but there was no other explanation that made sense. It was very hard, but it did eventually all go away, although it tooks a couple of weeks. Her fever didn't last a couple weeks, but I don't recall how long she had the fever - definitely a few days. I have pictures if you want to see how hers looked to compare - I don't know if that would help you, but if so you can contact me at ____@____.com of luck with this; I know how scary it can be.

My thoughts are with you for a healthy recovery real soon. Poor baby,give him lots of kisses.

Scary when you can't figure out what is going on, isn't it?

First of all, Fifth Disease is NOT Hand Foot and Mouth disease. They are two distinctly different and separate illnesses. Neither of which match what you have described.

What it sounds like to me is Kawasaki's disease. My niece had it when she was 2 or 3 years old. A 5 day fever, rash, generally ill feeling/acting, and eventual swelling of hands, and extremities are part of the symptoms. If you haven't asked your doctor(s) about it, I would recommend it. It is not that common of an illness, so they may be a little unfamiliar with it.

btw, my niece is about to graduate from high school now and is fine.

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kawasaki_disease

"Kawasaki disease often begins with a high and persistent fever that is not very responsive to normal doses of paracetamol (acetaminophen) or ibuprofen. The fever may persist steadily for up to two weeks and is normally accompanied by irritability. Affected children develop red eyes, red mucous membranes in the mouth, red cracked lips, a "strawberry tongue",[3] iritis, keratic precipitates (detectable by an ophthalmologist but usually too small to be seen by the unaided eye), and swollen lymph nodes.

Skin rashes occur early in the disease, and peeling of the skin in the genital area, hands, and feet (especially around the nails and on the palms and soles) may occur in later phases.

Some of these symptoms may come and go during the course of the illness.

High-grade fever (greater than 39 °C or 102 °F; often as high as 40 °C or 104 °F) that normally lasts for more than 5 days if left untreated.
Red eyes (conjunctivitis) without pus or drainage, also known as "conjunctival injection"
Bright red, chapped, or cracked lips
Red mucous membranes in the mouth
Strawberry tongue, white coating on the tongue or prominent red bumps (papillae) on the back of the tongue
Red palms of the hands and the soles of the feet
Rash which may take many forms, but not vesicular (blister-like), on the trunk
Swollen lymph nodes (frequently only one lymph node is swollen), particularly in the neck area
Joint pain (arthralgia) and swelling, frequently symmetrical
Tachycardia (rapid heart beat)
Peeling (desquamation) palms and soles (later in the illness); peeling may begin around the nails
Beau's lines (transverse grooves on nails) "

Hi J.,

The first thing I thought of from your description was the same as Kelly, shingles. It's viral and does that moving around thing and itches. It is rare in 2 year olds because it usually only affects those with weak immune systems (and the meds he's been on will weaken his immune system) but younger and younger people are getting it. The chicken pox virus, which is the same virus, has mutated (and become more virulent) from the new vaccine being given as well.

God bless and let us know!


I would try a dermatologist. I had similiar symptoms before and went to several doctors, none of which knew what was wrong. I ended up seeing a dermatologist who diagnosed me right away and prescribed steroids. It's worth a shot. Good luck.

my mom had what they thougth was 5th disease. no one can really accurately diagnose this rash. it normally starts on the face (but not always)and spreads to the trunk of the body. it looks like a lacey pattern. that is how it's distinquished. my daughter also got symptoms but they also couldn't verify it with her either. they both ran fevers for a few days, but were otherwise fine.starts with a runny nose and headache (cold like symptoms and those go away to be replaced by the rash)heat, exercise, sun, heat can make the rash worse. also sometimes the rash looks like blisters or bruises, and they can get diarrhea, sor throat, red eyes, and swollen glands. basically has to run it's course. have they also checked for scarlet fever? that also produces a rash and fever? and a red tongue and obviously fever.

have you checked his bed to see if there are any bugs? Have the doctors or you - seen if he has any small bites on his back? Chances are that he could have been bit by a bug. Think back to what he ate the night before, could be an allergic reaction. There are alot of things that could have triggered the red patches. To stop the itch, use Kalami lotion.

Wash his bedsheets and pillow covers in hot water and steam clean his bed. I hope this will help.

Sounds like Fifth Disease (hand,foot and mouth disease). I believe it is just a virus that has to run its course.

Are you sure that they have not ruled out old fashioned Measles? It sure sounds like it...check it out! Bathe him with corn starch sprinkled in the bathtub and let him play with his bathtub toys if he is up to it (play that is), if not it is soothing to his skin and will help with the itching. Use calamine lotion, that works, usually. Give him lots of hugs from the grandmothers here.

Hi J.,

This sounds similiar to what my son had a few weeks ago except my son had body aches, vomiting, and strep to go with it. He was diagnosed with Scarlet Fever and given an antibiotic that cleared it up rather quickly. Apparently this is going around quite a bit now. My son's Pedi said that he hasn't seen so many cases of Scarlet Fever since the 70's. My son was the 26th kid that day he diagnosed with it. Hopefully this isn't what your son has, but it may help to ask your son's doctor about it if you haven't already. I hope your boy gets better soon.

Sending you and your precious son good healing vibes .......... Please let us all know how it's going .

has anyone checked him for piteraisis rosea? I'm probably spelling it horribly wrong but it is a strange rash with one large red patch and lots of other smaller ones usually on the trunk and back in a christmas tree like pattern. I had it years ago when working for the school system. It is most common in children and should be just a virus that he gets through. Unfortunately for me it was several weeks of ugly rash that at times was itchy. Nothing cured it, I used cortizone cream when the itch was too much but it went away on its own. I hope you find the answer soon. take care and God bless you and your son.

Was your son on any medication prior to the rash ?? my son had a simular problem a few weeks ago following a fever it turned out to be a allergic reaction to his antibiotics ..hope he feels better soon good luck

It is not prevelent in 2 yr olds but has anyone thought of shingles? Possibly a bite from an insect? Wish I had more ideas GOOD LUCK!

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