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Does your child have an itchy rash?

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What is itchy rash?

Itchy rashes are common in children and typically caused by hives or contact dermatitis.

Hives are raised, itchy bumps that can be red or skin-colored.

Contact dermatitis is a reaction caused by a substance that touches the skin and can cause bumps, blisters, redness, and oozing.

Get the Treatment Your Child Needs

Most itchy rashes improve with home remedies and over-the-counter treatments. If rashes are widespread, get worse despite 3-5 days of home treatments, or involve the face or genitals, prescription medication may be required. Your Alpha Provider can help determine which rashes could benefit from prescription medication, and in some cases may recommend seeing a dermatologist or allergist for additional skin, blood, or allergy testing if the rash does not go away with home treatments or comes back frequently.

Treatment for Hives
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  • Applying cold, wet cloths to affected areas
  • Oral diphenhydramine (Benadryl) (for children 2+)
Treatment for Contact Dermatitis
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  • Washing the area gently with soap and water and putting cold, wet cloths on the area to relieve itching
  • Calamine lotion (for children 2+)
  • Covering the area with gauze or light bandages to reduce scratching
  • Topical hydrocortisone cream (for children 2+)
  • Oral diphenhydramine (Benadryl) (for children 2+)
Seek Immediate Care or Call 911 If Your Child Has These Symptoms
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Call a doctor right away or seek in-person medical care if your child:

  • Has a fever, if the rash is getting worse, or if you have other urgent concerns.

Call 911 or go immediately to the nearest Emergency Department if your child has:

  • difficulty breathing or swallowing, tongue or lip swelling, persistent abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea accompanying itching or a new or worsening rash. This could be a serious and life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

Is your child suffering from itchy rash? Alpha Providers can help.

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Learn About Itchy Rash

What causes itchy rash and how can it be prevented? Learn the causes and prevention tips from our Alpha Providers.

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  • Allergies to medication, foods, or insect bites
  • Immune system reactions to unknown triggers
  • Minor viral infections


  • Poison ivy, poison oak, or products such as nickel or latex
  • Medications
  • Chemicals in soaps, lotions, creams, detergents, or household cleaning supplies
Preventing Itchy Rash
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Avoiding exposure to things that are known to cause itchy rashes can help prevent them. Here's what you can do:

  • Keep track of ingredients in products or foods that may result in skin irritation or hives
  • Avoid products such as wet wipes, creams, or cleaning products that contain preservatives such as formaldehyde, methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI) and methylisothiazolinone (MI)
  • Identify plants that your child has a reaction to, like poison ivy or oak, and stay away from them or have your child wear long pants and socks when playing outside
  • Immediately remove and wash clothing and gently wash exposed skin and hands after playing outside

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Your care team will respond to any questions through our secure messaging platform and you can get medication at your preferred pharmacy.


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