|Children commonly get rashes that cause itching of the skin. Some
common causes of itching include:
Eczema: or atopic dermatitis, is a common problem in
infants and children. It usually begins between two and six months
of age with very dry and sensitive skin that will then become red
and extremely itchy. It often starts on the forehead, cheeks and
scalp and spreads to the trunk, creases of the elbows, knees, and
wrists. With scratching the rash may become raw, crusted and weepy.
Rhus dermatitis: a type of contact dermatitis caused by the skin
developing an allergic reaction to the oil in the leaves of
poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac. The rash typically
occurs within a few hours to days after having contact with these
plants, depending on how sensitive you are. The rash usually begins
as red bumps and blisters that are very itchy and can last for up to
one to three weeks.
- Contact Dermatitis: your child may develop a red itchy
rash after coming into contact with something that he is allergic
to. The rash will typically be in a small area that comes into
contact with the item, such as the ears (earrings), wrist (watch),
or abdomen (snaps of pants), or it can be more diffuse if your child
is allergic to a new clothing detergent, soap, or shampoo.
Insect bites: Unless your child has an allergy, most insect
bites and stings cause minor redness, swelling and itching. If you
can see the stinger in your child's skin, you should use a dull
blade or credit card to scrape it out. Avoid pinching it out, since
this can inject more venom into the wound.
Scabies: is caused by the parasite Sarcoptes scabiei,
which only infects humans. Once the scabies mites are on your skin,
they will burrow under the skin and lay eggs, which will hatch into
adult mites in about ten days. An intensely itchy rash develops a
few weeks later, as your body develops an allergic reaction to the
mites and eggs. The rash consists of small red bumps or blisters and
commonly are found between your child's fingers, on the inside of
the wrists, in his armpits and groin area. You may also see small
lines around the bumps, which are the burrows that the mites create
as they travel under the skin.
Chickenpox: a highly contagious illness that is caused by the
varicella zoster virus and occurs most commonly in late winter or
early spring. Symptoms begin with a low grade fever, loss of
appetite and decreased activity. About two days later, your child
will develop an itchy rash consisting of small red bumps that start
on the scalp, face and trunk and then spread to the arms and legs
(but may also occur in the mouth and genitalia). The bumps then
become blisters with clear and then cloudy fluid, and then become
open sores and finally crust over within about twenty four hours,
but your child will continue to get new bumps for about four more
Head Lice: Head lice infestations are a common problem in
infants and children, even in those who practice good hygiene and
frequent hair washing. The most common symptom of children infected
with head lice is itching of the scalp and back of the neck,
although some children do not complain if they have a light
infestation. You should be able to see the adult lice, which
are reddish-brown and 1/16 of an inch long. They move very fast and
are most commonly seen at the back of the neck and behind the ears.
Nits are eggs from the adult lice and are whitish and are
firmly attached to hairs.
Athlete's foot: a fungal infection that causes a red, scaly,
itchy rash and foot odor in adolescents. It usually begins in
between the toes and can spread to the instep.
- Other conditions that can cause itching include ringworm,
pinworms, which can cause an itchy rash around your child's
anus, medication side effect, and jock itch, a fungal infection
around the genital area in adolescent boys.