My doctor said my child has a viral rash - what can I do?
- If your child has a high temperature (fever) or a mild illness and they've come out with a reactive viral rash then no treatment at all is necessary.
- As adults, we see a rash in our children and think 'that must be itchy' but these types of rashes are hardly ever itchy at all.
- Putting cream on their skin won't help, because the rash has come from inside their body.
- Antihistamines don't work either, because the rash hasn't been caused by histamine!
- These rashes fade in a few days by themselves: just be patient.
- Other rashes that go away without treatment are hand, foot and mouth disease, pityriasis rosea and molluscum contagiosum.
Is there anything I can do for chickenpox?
- Often with chickenpox the spots look really bad but when you ask the child, they say the spots don't really bother them that much: they just feel really ill.
- Simple things are best for chickenpox: some cream that you keep in the fridge, like calamine lotion or any other type of moisturiser.
Why does my cold sore keeping coming back?
- Cold sores are caused by a virus called herpes simplex.
- It's a very stubborn virus: once it's got inside your system it stays inside you for years.
- Although each time you get a cold sore it goes away in a few weeks, the virus lies dormant: it's never fully killed.
- If you're a bit run-down, or on any medication that lowers your immune system, the cold sore is likely to come back.
- You can treat it each time with an antiviral medicine like aciclovir or famciclovir which helps it go away more quickly.
Further reading and references
Pityriasis rosea leaflet; British Association of Dermatologists
Mumps: guidance, data and analysis; Public Health England, April 2013
Measles: symptoms, diagnosis, complications and treatment (factsheet), 2014; Public Health England
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