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17 month old baby having red rash on feet, legs and scrotum. Should I be worried?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2011
Answered : 1561 Questions
Hi, my 17 month old has come out in a fine red rash over most of his feet and legs, and a worse red rash on and around his scrotum. I had assumed it was hand foot and mouth because he was exposed to HTM over the weekend aand his other symptoms fit, but I don't think his rash is a usual symptom?
Posted Tue, 4 Sep 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Vidya KR 40 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

I just want to know when exactly the rashes started after onset of cold and flu like symptoms.
Whether the rashes are tender to touch?
Is there any raised border? How exactly these rashes looks like (you may post a picture of the affected area on this page)?
Is there any nasal congestion, cough, eye redness, etc.? And is he active?
Whether he was exposed to any other child with similar type of presentation?
Is your child allergic to any of the substances?

Hand foot and mouth (HFMD) disease presents with painful sores (lesions) which may appear in the mouth or throat, between one and two days after the onset of fever. A rash may become evident on the hands, feet, mouth, tongue, inside of the cheeks. But as in your child, there are no rashes in the mouth / hands. It is present only in lower part of body. So we need to think of other differential diagnosis.

In this context, I suggest the following course of actions:

1. Change your child's cloth regularly, and wash with hot water.
2. Use only cotton clothes and always keep dry.
3. Starting antibiotic or antifungal cream is entailed if signs of infection occur. Hence watch the progress of rashes.
4. I suggest you to kindly consult one pediatrician/dermatologist for proper examination and diagnosis if fresh rashes/symptoms start to develop.

I hope this answers your query. In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.

Wishing your child good health.

Dr. Vidya KR
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: 17 month old baby having red rash on feet, legs and scrotum. Should I be worried? 59 minutes later
We all had the flu recently, he got it first and out GP put him on antibiotics to help him get over it. He finished his repeat of antibiotics and was better aside from an occasional cough (which apparently just hangs on for several weeks afterward with this years flu, I have it too) by the end of last week. We went away for the weekend with friends, and while we were away their 3 1/2 yr old started complaining of a sore mouth or throat, which turned out to be the sores in his mouth. The next day their 2yr old came out with the rash around his mouth, and both boys were displaying the general 'unwell' signs that toddlers do (sookiness, clingyness, slight temperature etc), and once they got home their GP confirmed hand foot & mouth disease. My son had been sharing their sippy cups on the Saturday, so I was expecting him to contract it as well, and on Tuesday (3 days after first exposure) he started displaying signs: slight temperature, loss of appetite. He's a very active boy usually, and was still reasonably active on Tuesday, but by yesterday though his appetite had come back he spent more time wanting cuddled aid just sitting with me on the couch than playing (he's been the same today), had 3 naps rather than his usual 2 and had a slight temperature on and off most of the day.
He had had the beginnings of nappy rash at Tue beginning of last week, or possibly the end of the week before, which I put down to using a new brand of nappy (he's quite sensitive to nappy brands), and treated of with corn flour which usually works a treat. It didn't seem to help tho, so I thought it.might have been thrush (at this stage his scrotum was fairly red and almost seemed a little swollen, his penis less so) and started using a medicated cream called dactozin which I'd used last time he had it which seemed to help, but then the HFM symptoms started the next day, and it got rashy. He does, I've just noticed, also have this fine red rash on his buttocks and its coming up on his hands. He won't let me get a good look in his mouth, but I did manage to see a couple of lesions in there
Answered by Dr. Vidya KR 40 minutes later

Thanks for providing a detailed account of the problem. I appreciate your efforts.

From the description it is evident that he was in close contact with Hand foot and Mouth (HMFD) infection. In such circumstance the rashes on the scrotum/hands are most likely secondary to the HFMD virus. Careful examination of the rashes and general physical exam by a competent pediatrician/dermatologist will confirm this possibility.

As you would know that this virus has a self limiting course of disease, so I am not very concerned, but do suggest a close monitoring of symptoms. As he has been active, he should be able to recover in the next 2-3 weeks without any untoward incidences. So just a close monitoring of symptoms is all that would be needed.

You may also continue the antifungal (dactocin) on the scrotal areas to take care of any associated fungal infection. Make sure you keep him clean and dry. Trim his nails to avoid injuries/secondary infections. Feed him well. Adequate fluid intake is always encouraged. With these measures, he should be feeling better in the next couple of weeks.

I hope this answers your query. Let me know if I have missed out on any of your concerns; I will address those in my next follow up.
If all your queries are answered and you do not have further follow ups, please close this discussion.

I wish your son a speedy recovery

Dr. Vidya KR
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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