We tell you what exanthem is in children and what are the viral diseases or infections that can cause it.

Rash in children  is a rash that appears on the skin and is associated with a disease, usually of an infectious cause. Therefore, we can say that it is a clinical sign that, at a medical level, can help diagnose a specific disease. Check out more interesting articles on our site.

Boys and girls can contract numerous diseases that develop accompanied by exanthema. Some of them are of unknown cause and lack effective treatment, and others are accompanied by fever at some point in their manifestation. This is usually the main reason why we decide to take our little ones to the pediatrician.


The stage in which rashes occur most frequently is childhood. In most cases, its appearance is due to viral infections, but on other occasions it can be the manifestation of a more serious disease.

In general, if fever is not also present, few rashes are due to serious illness. Although most febrile rashes will be viral illnesses, fever will be a warning sign. Some of these are:

Hand-foot-mouth syndrome

It is characterized by:

  • Ulcerative lesions that appear anywhere in the mouth.
  • Appearance of exanthema of macules (spots) of 2 to 8 mm in diameter that evolve to a vesicular state, that is, to the formation of a gray vesicle in its center surrounded by an erythematous halo or circle (diffuse redness or spots on the skin ).

These lesions appear on the sides of the fingers and on the dorsal surface of the hands and feet. They disappear in 5 to 10 days.

Pityriasis rosea

It mainly affects older children and adults and is characterized by:

  • Appearance of an initial skin lesion.
  • Subsequent development of generalized erythematous and scaling lesions.
  • Papules (small palpable elevations of the skin) and salmon-colored oval macules.
  • It can cause intense itching.
  • The lesions disappear in 2 to 6 weeks.


It is characterized by:

  • Generalized maculopapular rash.
  • High fever.
  • Respiratory symptoms.
  • Koplik Manches.


It is characterized by:

  • Macular rash converging with small islands of normal skin. It may peel off after 2 or 3 days.
  • Petechiae and purpura may appear.
  • Headache.
  • Intense pain of the joints and the muscles that surround them.
  • Rubeosis facial.
  • Pharyngitis.
  • Red eyes.

As they are viral diseases, none of them have a specific treatment, they can simply be given certain medications that will help relieve symptoms. These will eventually disappear after a few days.

Scarlet fever and parvovirus B19 infections occur especially in schoolchildren, while Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections  appear in schoolchildren and adolescents.

Also, some of the bacteria that cause rashes in children are  Meningococcus, Mycoplasma pneumoniae,  and Rickettsia conorii.

On the other hand, as we said before, although there is no general rule, rashes in children that are due to serious illnesses usually go hand in hand with fevers. In these cases, health care is urgent, so the most appropriate thing to do if your son or daughter presents this symptom accompanied by a rash is to go to the hospital.

Serious diseases that are associated with this clinical picture are Kawasaki disease, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, streptococcal or staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome, and drug reactions.

There are many types of skin rashes or eruptions, so the pediatrician will take care of assessing the symptoms and the appearance of the rash to carry out a proper diagnosis. In this way, complications associated with serious or dangerous cases for the health of the little ones can be prevented.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *