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Child has itchy, red rash. No fever. Spreading rash. Zinc oxide helps relieve itch. Help

Jul 2012
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Practicing since : 1993
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My baby is 16 months, has had a red itchy rash, has been to see two Peds and a Derm. They all say the same thing; benadryl and cortaid and/or calamine lotion. It's been over 2 weeks and that's the only thing they keep telling me but he is extremely itchy and irritated AND it's spreading and getting worse. He has had no fever, but I have noticed him rubbing his nose and eyes and perhaps a runny/congested nose from time to time. The rash started on his right upper thigh, and then has spread down his knee and the back of it up his torso, to the other knee arms and backs of arms and back. Within the past couple of days I've also noticed the rash around his ankles, tops of feet and sides of hand. Nothing in the diaper area or face. He has no cough, nothing is seeping out of the rash. I've been told it looks like hives. We've tried eliminating dairy, fruit, and wheat and the rash still continues to spread and itch. For the first 3-5 days, when I first noticed rash prior to it spreading, it was not itchy. Please help!!! I've tried to consider environmental factors as well but there has been nothing new that he has come into contact with, i.e. laundry detergent, soaps, lotions etc. A few weeks ago I did take him to a water park. I thought perhaps that he was allergic to the chlorine in the water as he had gone back the successive week BUT it's been 12 days since the last exposure. We have a lab, but nothing new with her, i.e medications that could have rubbed off on baby. It's not contagious either. I don't know what else to do. It seems that pure zinc oxide seems to help take the itch away short term.
Posted Wed, 26 Sep 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Praveen Rodrigues 3 hours later
Hi there XXXXXXX At the outset, i empathise with your situation having 4 little boys myself! For starters, let's concentrate on getting the baby comfortable & stopping the itch. Stp the corticosteroids et al if they are causing more discomfort. keep the ambient temperature comfortable & 'airy' but not cold or hot & avoid hot baths..lukewarm water best. Dont Rub the skin. Gently layer topical Aveeno lotion (colloidal oatmeal base) which acts a s both an emolient & a moisturizer. Bathe the baby with Dove or a similar colloid oatmeal base from the same company. Check the lab out for any fleas/ticks & rid it of em. Dogs could be man's best friend but with babies around, one can never be too careful. Check out the 'pollen count' in your area to see if any new airborne allergen may be responsible. Also, when you check for foods, remember to stop one food each two weeks & by a process of exclusion, one would arrive at the incriminated foods while all the time scoring the rash & redness & itch on a score of 1-10 by the same 'observer' preferably the caregiver. This is comonly referred to as the 'diet diary'. Having said this, i suspect some sort of 'contact' urticaria & if you do have carpets, rugs etc, please get rid ofthem or 'sun' them out well for 24-48 hrs if the sunlight is good in your neck of the woods. Please add a topical syp desloratidine in a 2.5ml dose & this will allay the symptoms while not being sedative & not affecting your baby adversely.
Zinc oxide is a good alternative. Relax...sometimes, the allergen reveals itself at a much later date. It is Not a serious matter but agreed 'pesky' but assure you babies are hardy creatures & designed to weather such storms :)
Take care & do write in..Hope the baby is comfortable soon & all is well.
Please do let us know how things go & give us your feedback when baby better.
Dr Praveen Rodrigues MD
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