Help! My Daughter Has Near-constant Rashes!

Updated on September 26, 2012
J.C. asks from Blacksburg, VA
17 answers

My daughter has always had lots of rashes. About a year ago I changed laundry detergent and that seemed to help for a while, but now it's as bad as ever. I've had her at the doctor a bunch of times and they don't seem very worried about it - probably because they don't know what to do. I guess it's an allergy to something, but I can't figure out anything we do consistently that would give her rashes several days a week. Has anyone else experienced anything like this? What are some things I should look for that she might be allergic to that we're overlooking? We do have a dog, but I've always heard of respiratory things as reactions to dogs, not rashes - anyway, I hope that's not it! Ideas? Thanks!!

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answers from New York on

Why hasn't her dr. sent her to an allergist? If this has been going on all her life, she is clearly allergic, you just need to know to what exactly. Be prepared for it to be everything, including the dog. You will not have any answers until you see an allergist.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Have you looked into food allergies? Dairy or eggs can certainly cause rashes, as can any other of the main food allergens (peanuts, treenuts, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish).

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answers from Washington DC on

Why hasn't the pediatrician already sent her for allergy tests with an allergist? Should have been done long ago! Demand a referral to an allergist for a full set of tests to find out if this is an allergy. And yes, it could indeed be the dog. (If it is, please put your child before your pet and re-home the dog with a loving family). But for right now -- call today and say you want allergy tests ASAP. If allergy tests don't turn up a reason, demand to see other specialists since rashes can be signs of MANY different conditions.

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answers from Detroit on

My daughter had the most horrible eczema ever for about 3 years, after 3 years of blood, sweat and tears (literally), I finally wised up and took her to an allergist, after many failed attempts with the Ped and dermatologist.
Pretty much everything I suspected, which was denied by both the Ped and dermatologist, the allergist confirmed for me.
Today, she has amazing, rash free skin!

**Our Ped or dermatologist tried convincing me they would have it under control. They didnt, so I had to take her else where, on my own. So I can understand not thinking about an allergist when two doctors or telling you, this should work, this should work, blah blah blah.

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answers from Kansas City on

A good allergist is the place to start. I had rashes for years off and on and some are from outside triggers. An allergist can test for that. I had terrible rashes from dust allergy and had to get shots for it for years. Am better now and no rashes but it was a life saver for me. Start there and have her tested. I don't know how old she is but they don't do much skin testing until around 3 years old usually, not even the blood tests usually, but I would see one no matter how old she is.


answers from New York on

can you describe the rash and where it is located on her body?


answers from Indianapolis on

Eczema maybe? My daughters both have it. Anything from clothing, to water, or even lotions can cause a reaction. And it looks like a rash even though it's dry skin. People often confuse it with allergies. There are other skin conditions like eczema, too, that look much worse - like Rosacia or Psoriosis.



answers from Norfolk on

My babysitter and I had a similar conversation not long ago. We are both allergic to sulfur. She was saying that OxyClean (or anything with Oxyclean in it) sets her off. She had cleaned her carpets with OxyClean and couldn't figure out why she couldn't breathe at home, but was perfectly fine out and about.

Your daughter could be allergic to sulfur and just not had any reaction until now. (I was 30 when I found out I was allergic to it). Switching to a sulfate free shampoo/conditioner and laundry soap will help as well. My head starts itching if I use my husbands "normal" sulfated shampoo.

I also suggest allergy testing or at the very least a pediatric dermatologist. See what of it you can do at home. IE: Eliminate dairy products for a week, get rid of all of the sulfated soaps for a different week, etc.

Good luck.



answers from Washington DC on

Sounds like eczema to me too. Possibly caused by allergies. Besides taking her to an allergist, try using lotion at least twice a day all over her body. Our allergist recommends Vanicream. Also, treat the rash areas with hydrocortisone cream. You can get this over the counter and stronger formulation by prescriptions. Also, use very gentle moisturizing soaps or no soap at all. For hand washing we use Kiss my face soap. It's the best we found. If the itching is really bad try giving an antihistime. And yes, a dog can cause rashes.



answers from Washington DC on

It could be anything from a food to the water in your house.

Keep a food journal. Write down everything that she eats and drinks. Make notes each day about whether its a good day or bad.

Call a company to come out and check the hardness of your water. My kids had horrible ezcema. We bought a whole house water softner and the ezcema lessened. It still comes back if they stay over at a family member's house or we are traveling.


answers from Los Angeles on

A really common culprit for us was cow's milk. From age 1-2 when she drank it heavily we could not get on top of eczema on the legs. At two when her diet was more onto solids it cleared up. Dairy allergies are very common, i'd see what a dairy break would do for your daughter.



answers from Santa Barbara on

The ped can order the allergy test for respiratory and food - simple blood test and the respiratory triggers are for the area you live. Get the blood test, you will know by Friday.



answers from Washington DC on

I second the allergy testing. Also, systematically eliminate things for a while - new shampoo (even if it was the same brand used before), new food, new sunscreen. Did she come in contact with something outside?



answers from Washington DC on

Our daughter had terrible red itchy patches on her knees and elbows, and we were trying everything -- changing soaps, shampoos, detergents... it turned out it was a *food* allergy. Maybe you should see an allergist?



answers from Columbus on

I'm kind of on a gluten kick right now because we have recently discovered wheat sensitivities and milk and egg allergies in our family. My sister was not diagnosed with celiac until she was in her 40s, but once she cut out wheat, all her rashes that she had had for decades went away! Have you had her allergy tested?



answers from Pittsburgh on

What kind of doctor did you take her to? If you haven't talked to a pediatric dermatologist, that is where I would start.

My son has eczema and he has a bunch of triggers. When he was an infant, cow's milk did it. He outgrew that, but then and now he is very sensitive to soaps. We only use All Free and Clear, no fabric softener, and only certain hand soaps. This is a tough one, because the soap they use at school is really harsh, and over the school year the rash on his hands gets progressively worse. Then it clears up over the summer when he's only using our hand soap.

And for what it's worth, I personally break out in a rash on my hands and wrists when I play with a dog. Basically, any part of my body that touches the dog gets hives.



answers from Houston on

Where are the rashes? My son has VERY sensitive skin. When his legs break out, I know it is either the detergent. When his face breaks out in small bumps it is because he put soap on his face. He is supposed to wash his face with water only. If his back breaks out in a rash, it is either the body soap or the shampoo. I have spent his 9 years of life figuring out what he can and cannot put on his skin. Huge chore but we rarely have rashes anymore.

He sounds high maintenance but he is an awesome kid and we just deal with the rashes as best we can.

If it is on his face, I usually use aquafor. If it is anywhere else, we use cortaid or Gold bond cream.

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