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Viral Rashes In Babies

Viral Rashes In Babies

Infant Babies’ skin is a work-in-progress and when it comes to baby rashes, there can be many causes that can affect the baby’s skin and viruses are one of them.
Here you are going to read about different types of Viral Rashes in Babies, their cause, symptoms, and treatment.

What is a Viral Rash?

A rash caused by getting in contact with a viral infection is termed a viral rash. There can be several other kinds of baby rashes like heat rash, fungal rash, bacterial rash, or allergic rash.

A viral rash baby can look similar to an allergy rash baby but if you have the right information, you can easily identify a viral rash on your baby.

A viral rash generally appears as widespread red or pink spots on large parts of the baby’s body like chest, stomach, back, or limbs. Mostly, viral rashes are not itchy but they come along or are followed by other symptoms such as cold, cough, or fever.

Why Do Babies Get Viral Rashes? 

The cause of viral rashes in babies is that their skin is a lot more fragile than that of adults. Also, the immune system is not fully developed in the initial years of life therefore babies are more prone to viral infections

So when their still-growing immune system responds to the virus invasion in the body, rashes appear on their skin.

Adults can have a viral rash too but most of us are immune to it because almost everyone had gone through some viral infection in their childhood.

Viral Rash Pictures

Have a look at these pictures of viral rashes to better identify viral rash in your baby.

Viral Rash Baby Symptoms

A viral rash baby can have various symptoms depending on the type of viral rash he/she may have.

Here are some common types of viral rash in babies

Types of Viral Rash in Babies

Babies can have different types of rashes so how can you know if your baby has a viral rash?

Read on to know different types of viral rashes, their symptoms, and how they look on a baby’s skin for diagnosis of viral rash.

1. Hand Foot and Mouth Disease

 Hand Foot and Mouth Disease

Hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is caused by coxsackievirus A16. It is a common viral rash in children under the age of 5 years.

In this disease, rashes appear as red or pink flat spots on the hands and feet of a baby. Mouth blisters are another main characteristic of this viral infarction.

Some other symptoms of hand foot and mouth disease are :

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • In some cases, red spots can appear also in the diaper area of baby

2. Fifth Disease

Fifth Disease & Red Rashes On Cheeks

The fifth disease is another viral baby rash. It is caused by Parvovirus B19 in humans. A red or pink-colored rash on the baby’s cheeks is the first visible symptom of this disease. Therefore, it is also called slapped cheek disease.

Some other symptoms of the Fifth disease are as follows:

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Rashes may appear on the baby’s limbs and torso
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3. Rubella


Rubella, also known as German Measles, is a viral disease caused by the rubella virus. Although, this disease is very rare to find in the US as its vaccine is available. If your baby is not vaccinated then chances are he may catch rubella virus infection.

Symptoms of Rubella:

  • Rashes of red or pink color on the face in the initial stage
  • Spreading of rashes on the entire body
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Red eyes
  • Muscle pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes

4. Roseola

Roseola - Wide Spread Rash On Belly & Chest

Roseola, better known as the Sixth disease, is a common viral rash in babies which is caused by herpes virus 6 in humans. It is usually seen in children under the age of 2 to 5 years.

Symptoms of Roseola are :

  • Tiny red dotted rashes starting on the belly of the baby
  • Rapid spread of rashes all over the body
  • High fever
  • Congestion
  • Cough
  • In some cases, the baby can experience febrile seizures

5. Measles

Measles - Red Rashes On Baby's Body

Measles was once considered a very dangerous virus but thanks to John Enders who made the measles vaccine in 1963. 

Now it is not so common but if your baby has not been vaccinated, there are still chances for him to get this viral disease.

Common Symptoms of Measles are :

  • Visible red spots on the hairline in the initial stage.
  • Red spots quickly spread down the body and convert into bumps
  • High fever
  • Cough
  • Watery eyes

6. Chickenpox

Chickenpox - Itchy Red Rashes On Baby's Body

Chickenpox is a viral disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Its vaccine first came out in the mid-90s since then it is not so common.

But there are still chances, especially in small babies to get infected by chickenpox.

Some common symptoms seen in children are:

  • Small itchy, bumps start to appear on the head or torso
  • Soon spreading on rest of the body
  • Bumps then turn into small blisters and end up growing brownish crust before healing
  • Mild fever
  • Fatigue 
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Are Viral Rashes Contagious?

A myth about rashes is that they spread by getting in skin contact with a rash-affected person. But not all rashes are contagious. Most common baby rashes like diaper rash or heat rash do not spread at all.

But viral rashes are highly contagious as they are caused by viral diseases. Especially in infants and toddlers.

Mostly, these viral diseases spread by getting in contact with another affected person or by getting in contact with the fluids released from the body of an infected person.

Different viral rashes can have different contagious periods. But you can prevent the spread easily by following basic hygiene rules and avoiding taking your baby to crowded places.

A viral rash baby is contagious so it is better to keep him away from other babies or any pregnant women as some viral infections can cause serious issues in pregnancy.

If your child is older, make them learn and practice hygiene at home, school, or anywhere out there and keep them at home for a few days if they’re infected by some viral disease.

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When to Worry About Viral Rash on Baby Toddlers?

Usually, a viral rash in babies is hardly a matter of worry for parents. These rashes go away within the normal course of the associated viral disease.

But it is still better to consult your baby’s doctor for the proper treatment of the viral disease of your baby. Your doctor may prescribe you some OTCs to ease the symptoms of your child.

But if your baby is having any of the following symptoms then it could be a matter of concern and you should immediately call your doctor after noticing them.

  • If the rash doesn’t fade away or turn white when pressure is applied. You can check it by performing a glass test*.

[*Press a clear glass container on the rash and see if it turns white or skin-colored. If not, THIS COULD BE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Immediately visit your doctor or call 911 as this could be due to internal bleeding under the skin.]

  • If the rashes don’t go away in the usual time span.
  • The rashes are stingy or causing pain.
  • Baby seem to be very inactive or lethargic.
  • Very high fever
  • Loss of appetite

Viral Rash Baby Treatment

If you are worried about your baby’s viral rash then you should talk to your doctor who can advise you on the right treatment for your baby. 

Other than that, you can try these tips to soothe down the irritation caused by rashes in your baby.

  • Dress your baby loose and soft clothes as tight clothes can cause friction with the skin
  • Use fragrance-free, mild soap or shampoo
  • Do not scrub while bathing the baby
  • If your baby has an itchy rash, cover the rash-affected area so that the baby can’t scratch it open.
  • You can use healing lotion for your baby’s skin on the advice of your doctor
  • Keep your baby hydrated

Final Thoughts

Not all rashes are viral rashes in babies. To properly treat and care for a viral rash baby you should have good information about how a viral rash looks, its symptoms, and its causes.

Viral rashes are highly contagious so practice to stop the spread by learning yourself and teaching your kids to practice daily hygiene in their life.

Hopefully, you find the above information useful to identify and treat your little one’s viral rash.

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