Roseola

Is this your child's symptom?

  • Widespread fine pink rash caused by Roseola virus
  • Classic feature is that the rash is preceded by 2 or 3 days of high fever
  • The fever goes away before the rash starts
  • A doctor has told you that your child probably has Roseola or
  • Rash occurs after several days of fever, but fever gone now

If NOT, try one of these:


Symptoms of Roseola

  • Most children get Roseola between 6 months and 3 years of age.
  • Rash: Pink, small, flat spots on the chest and stomach. Rash is the same on both sides of the body. Then spreads to the face.
  • Classic feature: 2 or 3 days of high fever without a rash or other symptoms.
  • The rash starts 12 to 24 hours after the fever goes away.
  • The rash lasts 1 to 3 days.
  • By the time the rash appears, the child feels fine.

Cause of Roseola

  • Human herpes virus 6 (HHV6)

Viral Rashes and Drug Rashes

  • Prescription drugs sometimes cause widespread rashes.
  • Non-prescription (OTC) drugs rarely cause any rashes.
  • Most rashes that occur while taking an OTC drug are viral rashes.
  • Fever medicines (acetaminophen and ibuprofen) cause the most confusion. Reason: Most viral rashes start with a fever. Hence, the child is taking a fever med when the rash starts. But, the fever med had nothing to do with the rash.
  • Drug rashes can't be diagnosed over the phone.

Prevention

  • Good hand washing can prevent spread of infection.

When to Call for Roseola

When to Call for Roseola

Call 911 Now

  • You think your child has a life-threatening emergency

Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

  • Rash becomes purple or blood-colored
  • Large blisters on skin
  • Your child looks or acts very sick
  • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Fever comes back
  • Rash becomes worse
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Call Doctor During Office Hours

  • Rash lasts more than 4 days
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Roseola rash

Call 911 Now

  • You think your child has a life-threatening emergency

Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

  • Rash becomes purple or blood-colored
  • Large blisters on skin
  • Your child looks or acts very sick
  • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Fever comes back
  • Rash becomes worse
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Call Doctor During Office Hours

  • Rash lasts more than 4 days
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Roseola rash

Care Advice for Roseola

  1. What You Should Know About Roseola:
    • Most children get Roseola between 6 months and 3 years of age.
    • It's the most common rash in this age group.
    • By the time they get the rash, the fever is gone. The child feels fine.
    • The rash is harmless and goes away on its own.
    • Here is some care advice that should help.
  2. Treatment:
    • No treatment is needed.
    • Creams or medicines are not helpful.
  3. Moisturizing Cream for Itch:
    • Roseola usually is not itchy. If your child's rash is itchy, here are some tips.
    • Use a moisturizing cream (such as Eucerin) once or twice daily.
    • Apply the cream after a 5 or 10-minute bath. (Reason: Water-soaked skin feels less itchy).
    • Avoid all soaps. (Reason: Soaps, especially bubble bath, make the skin dry and itchy).
  4. Fever Medicine:
    • For fevers above 102° F (39° C), give an acetaminophen product (such as Tylenol).
    • Another choice is an ibuprofen product (such as Advil).
    • Note: Fevers less than 102° F (39° C) are important for fighting infections.
    • For all fevers: Keep your child well hydrated. Give lots of cold fluids.
    • Note: By the time the rash occurs, the fever should be gone. If your child has both, see Rash or Redness - Widespread care guide.
  5. What to Expect:
    • Roseola rash goes away in 2-3 days.
    • Some children with Roseola just have 3 days of fever without a rash.
  6. Return to Child Care:
    • Once the rash is gone, the disease is no longer contagious.
    • Your child can return to child care or school.
    • Children exposed to your child earlier may come down with Roseola in 9-10 days.
  7. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Fever comes back
    • Rash lasts more than 4 days
    • You think your child needs to be seen
    • Your child becomes worse

And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.

Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.

Copyright 2000-2019 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC.

Denver Pediatrics

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We were lucky to find Dr. Rich when our son was a baby 11 years ago. After a couple of years off while he was working in Africa, we were lucky enough to find him again at Stapleton Peds! He is a wonderful doctor for both of our boys, and the practice as a whole takes great care of them from sick visits to wellness checks. We are happy to have such a wonderful team of providers that are there when we need them! Lisa May 19,2015

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2975 Roslyn Street
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303-399-7900
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MONDAY-FRIDAY: 8am to 5pm
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  • Sick Visits only on Saturdays
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