Rash that doesn\'t itch?

17 replies [Last post]
By jh5000 on Sun, 03-17-02, 14:48

Yesterday I noticed that my daughter had a widespread rash - it pretty much looks likes hives - BUT it does not itch at all and she's shown no other signs of an allergic reaction. She doesn't have a fever and other than the blotchiness she's perfectly fine. I gave her Benadryl yesterday but the rash/hives/whatever it is remained, and she still has it.

Does anybody have any thoughts as to what it could be?

Jackie

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By KarenT on Sun, 03-17-02, 20:02

This could be a childhood virus. My daughter had this early in the year.

------------------
Karalot

__________________

Karalot

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By Suz-a-loo on Sun, 03-17-02, 21:26

Interesting. I just logged on to ask a similar question. My son has very tiny, prickly bumps on his cheeks, nose, forehead and the back of his neck. He says it itches a little and he has had it since yesterday morning. He also has no other signs of a reaction nor is he complaining that he is sick. His doesn't look like hives, though. It almost looks like the bumps one gets when you get a heat rash. I know it isn't a heat rash because it's so cold here and he isn't overly-dressed. JH5000, does your child's rash look like tiny bumps or more like hives?

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By nopeanuts on Sun, 03-17-02, 22:04

jh5000 - Have you tried putting a hydrocortisone cream on it? Does your daughter have excema at all?

Suz-a-loo - My son has what sounds like the exact same rash. I kept thinking it was heat rash, but it isn't hot and wouldn't go away. His is on the side of his torso (under his arm to his belly). I finally took him to the doctor and they didn't know what it was, but prescribed an antibiotic. The rash cleared up, but as soon as the meds ended, the rash came back. I guess I will take him back in. What have you done? I am pretty sure this is not allergy related, because it is always there. Do you think yours is allergy related?

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By California Mom on Sun, 03-17-02, 22:04

My son had something like this about 7 weeks ago that turned out to be shingles. It looked just like hives but then began to blister. It didn't itch and didn't respond to benadry. Shingles usually affects just one side of the body, and you can see a "line" going along the outside edge of the rash. My other guess would be (as others have suggested) a viral rash. Those often come after a fever, just when you think the child is well.

Good luck and please let us know the outcome.

Miriam

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By Suz-a-loo on Sun, 03-17-02, 22:58

No Peanuts - I haven't done anything yet. He says it only itches a little. I haven't put any hydrocortisone or his other eczema medicine on because I don't believe it is eczema. It doesn't look the same. He hasn't had any fever and didn't just recently get over a cold, so I don't think it's a viral rash that would come on after a cold. I have no idea if it could be an allergic reaction. I don't believe he was exposed to anything. Is your child's rash itching intensely or just a little? I wonder if there is just something going around? If so, it seems strange that my daugher, husband and I didn't get it.

Miriam - I hope your son is okay. I've heard that shingles is quite painful. I've also heard that it is related to chicken pox. Did your son ever have chicken pox? If not, did he ever have the chicken pox vaccine? I'm only asking because my son did have the vaccine and I would think that that would ward off shingles as well??? I honestly have no idea if that is the case. It sounds like my son's rash is different from what your son had in that it is in different areas and doesn't have a definitive line around the edge. The bumps are pretty much scattered. Anyways, I hope your son is doing okay.

[This message has been edited by Suz-a-loo (edited March 17, 2002).]

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By jh5000 on Mon, 03-18-02, 00:38

Thanks for the responses. After talking to a friend of mine and doing a little internet sleuthing, I think my daughter has Fifth Disease (a mild virus). She doesn't have excema, and it doesn't itch. According to what I read, the rash associated with Fifth Disease doesn't itch and there may or may not be other symptoms, and fortunately (or unfortunately for those she may have already unknowingly infected) it's not contagious once the rash appears. I'm going to call the doctor in the morning and we'll probably end up taking her in, but right now my gut tells me that's what it is.

Thanks again for your responses!

Jackie

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By California Mom on Mon, 03-18-02, 04:58

Suz-a-loo, thanks for asking about my son. He is doing fine, now, but there were a number of weeks where the rash looked really bad, and any time he heard the word "rash" or "shingles" he would hunch up his shoulder and go around with a pitiful look on his face saying "owie, rash". (He is 21 months old.) He actually did have the chicken pox vaccine at one year, and I was totally shocked that he came down with shingles. The pediatric dermatologist we saw (head of pediatric dermatology at Stanford) said that a child who has had the vaccine is four times LESS likely to contract shingles than is a child who has not been vaccinated. I was freaking out that maybe there was something wrong with his immune system or something, but the doctor was not worried. He actually had a follow up visit scheduled for tomorrow but I cancelled since he is totally fine, now.

jh5000, I used to teach in a child care center and from what I remember about fifth disease, it is dangerous for pregnant women but pretty benign for everyone else. I don't believe I actually ever saw a case of it, but I always heard that it looks like someone has slapped the child's cheeks and left a "lacy" pattern. It sounds like a good idea to take her in to the doctor, just to check it out. Good luck! Miriam

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By Lam on Mon, 03-18-02, 12:17

I was going to suggest Fifth Disease as well.

Also, and this comes from a personal experience that you can read more about if you do a search on this site for Huggies Pull Ups, what ages are the kids who have the rash? If they are in diapers or training pants, I'd definitely check out if the rash is originating from there.

Good luck,
Tammy

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By Going Nuts on Mon, 03-18-02, 14:48

There has been a rash (sorry, no pun intended) of rashes in NYC schools that sound just like what you described. They even closed one school in our old neighborhood, as they were the first school to get it, and nobody knew what it was. Have any other kids your children were in contact with gotten it? If so, it may be the "mystery rash" affecting many schools on the East Coast. It appears to be totally harmless, and goes away on its own in a few days. If not, by all means consult your MD.

Amy

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By jh5000 on Mon, 03-18-02, 17:27

Amy,

We took my daughter to the doctor this morning, and to my surprise, he did not diagnose it as Fifth Disease, because she doesn't have the characteristic "slapped cheek" rash on her face. Instead, he said there were several garden variety viruses that could cause an itchless rash. So it could be something like what you're describing in New York. I called Erin's school this morning asking if anyone had had Fifth's Disease, and no one had. I didn't ask about other rashes because at that point, I was assuming it was FD.

Anyway, the doc said it's nothing to be concerned about...she can go to school...we just need to watch and see that it doesn't get worse.

Thanks again for everyone's input!

Jackie

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By Corvallis Mom on Mon, 03-18-02, 23:27

Wow!! Same story for us... rash began on Friday.... wasn't too concerned (you know- you get used to this when you fight eczema all the time) and since it didn't seem to itch we didn't worry about it much.

Then on Saturday, it seemed to get worse, but still wasn't really bothering our daughter (who is 3 and has little contact with other children). She by that time had a rash on her chest and upper back which looks and feels like eczema- but very red and without well-defined margins. Not quite as raised or as smooth as hives, but red like that. She also has these tiny pinpoint dots on her elbows and now on her neck too... but no rash on her face. And trust me, in our house we would DEFINITELY notice a Fifth disease "slapped cheek" rash. No real fever to speak of, and she hasn't really acted very unwell... a little lethargic, *maybe*.

Anyway, we tried back to back Benadryl doses yesterday afternoon, but no change in the rash. We tried hydrocortisone- no change, either. By Sunday night, it was clearly "itchy"... and it still is. (About like eczema, I would estimate.)

Our doctor (generalist, not allergist) thought it is possible that it is some viral illness, but was a bit perplexed that she hadn't had any other symptoms of being ill. He thinks it may be scarlatina, and he took a throat culture. (Yes- that's what I thought too... "Scarlet Fever???" I thought you had to be pretty sick to have that, but maybe not... so much for the Velveteen Rabbit, huh? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img])

Good luck to everyone else, too!!
(Kind of funny that so many of us have had this pop up in the past week, though, don't you think? Hasn't happened in past years, I note.)

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By cathlina on Tue, 03-19-02, 02:12

There is a childhood virus called the Fifth Disease...what you are describing sounds a lot like it. Kids get a rash with it. Call your school and talk to the school nurse and see if this is going around at school or preschool. It only lasts several days.

Or please call your doctor.

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By PattyR on Tue, 03-19-02, 03:16

I have caught Fifth disease from a student and it is driving me crazy! It is running rampant in the school in which I teach! While the rash is not usually itchy for kids, it can be (and is in my case) itchy for adults. I started with this about two weeks ago and the rash keeps on coming. It is very itchy and gets worse when I scratch it. I did start with a red face and cold symptoms but now I am just left with the rash.

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By Corvallis Mom on Tue, 03-19-02, 16:47

Well, whatever it is, here's an update:

DD is defninitely acting unwell now....NO ENERGY. Yesterday after her nap, she basically spent the entire afternoon lying under our dining room table, lying in her ball pit in her room, and lying in her chair watching Blue's Clues videos. (This is very abnormal behavior for my bouncy "tigger" of a kid.) She is also not eating much of anything- not even cold cereal. All she wants is fruit. Oh and the rash is better on her back this morning, but worse on her abdomen. DH thought it looked very much worse this morning. It is very definitely itchy now. Is the rash your kids have rough to the touch? We have been doing our normal eczema treatment regimen on hers, so it doesn't feel TOO bad. It looks like a sunburn with little bumps, and it can't feel very good- DD doesn't want anything but her cotton flannel pajamas on (very soft).

Hopefully we'll hear something back from the doctor later today on what it might be.

I checked a few profiles, but lots of people don't list their location... just curious here- is this something that is just a problem for those of us on the pacific coast? (I noticed that Suz-a-loo is writing from DH's former hometown! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] )

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By yuck2nuts on Tue, 03-19-02, 17:42

I am so happy to see this discussion because my 2-year old daughter has had this type of prickly-heat looking type of rash from time to time throughout her whole life (very small almost goose-bump like bumps, sometimes red, sometimes just skin color). Her doctor said it just might be dry skin, but I've always questioned it.

When she had her first PA reaction, I kind of thought (in hindsight) that perhaps it was a mild reaction to small traces of peanuts throughout her whole life (like if she didn't ingest it or when I was nursing her and unknowingly eating lots of peanut butter). However, now that I know she is as peanut-free as is possible and is still getting these mild rashes, I have started to think that perhaps it is an allergy to other foods or possibly an allergy to her clothing/detergent/etc. It is usually running between her armpit and thigh, but sometimes on her chest or back too. It just comes and goes and of course if you have a PA child, you worry more about these things than other people.

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By Suz-a-loo on Tue, 03-19-02, 17:47

Corvallis Mom - What a small world! We love it here. I would imagine your DH must miss it. Has he ever brought you here to visit? The downtown is lots of fun to stroll around - lots of antique shops and good restaurants too!

Interesting that you mentioned your child is lethargic. I noticed that about my son yesterday too. But, it was only for a short time and after a longer than usual nap, he was back to his old self. His rash doesn't look like a sunburn (not red at all). It is just a bunch of tiny, prickly bumps that occasionally itch. It spread to his throat and upper chest area yesterday. The bumps on his face seem to be drying out. And, yes, they are all very rough to the touch. However, he isn't complaining that it is hurting, just a little itchy. I talked to my sister yesterday (nurse practitioner) and she thinks it is a virus that will go away on its own. Let's pray this happens.

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By Corvallis Mom on Tue, 03-19-02, 21:41

Suz-a-loo: He misses the ice cream place downtown, and he misses abalone diving out on the point. He's definitely a Cali native (makes for interesting conversation sometimes at our house since we have an "inter-state" marraige ) He does not particularly miss traffic or the cost of housing, however...

I teased him pretty hard about our quake here last year....rattled all our dishes pretty good for a couple minutes.... he was working in a analytical testing lab (Aghhhhh!! falling chemical storage shelving!) in the east Bay during the Loma Prieta quake, so I told him he should feel MUCH better about living here. (We'd been here just two months then) It was merely God's "welcome home" I said. (He told me that wasn't funny.)

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