Rashes, Bug Bites, and Skin Conditions


Skin conditions in infants and children can range from rashes and hives to bug bites and allergies. Many of these skin conditions can be caused by dermatitis, viral infections, bacterial infections, fungal infections, or other diseases.

Rashes are caused by common viral infections, usually harmless, and will go away on their own. Sometimes different viruses can cause the reaction of rashes to look the same on your child, while some viruses cause rashes that look quite unique – like measles. Dermatitis, a.k.a. skin inflammation, may cause patches of red rashes, itchiness, and dry skin, and presents itself most commonly in children through diaper rashes and eczema. Whereas, pediatric viral rashes can present themselves in many different forms like chicken pox, roseola, measles, and rubella.

Unlike rashes in children and infants, bug bites and hives are often confined to one raised area of irritation on the skin. A child’s normal skin reaction to a bug bite can include redness, swelling, and warm skin. The majority of bug bites aren’t dangerous and come from anything, from an ant to a wasp. The danger only comes if your child is allergic to the insect and/or your child’s bite becomes infected. If the bug bite becomes infected, then typically redness, swelling, pain, and fever will ensue and get worse within a few days.


Depending on the type and severity of the rash or skin condition any child is facing, treatment can vary from anti-itch creams to pain relievers to antibiotics. Any rash of any kind should be taken seriously until the direct cause is known. Topical drugs and creams are common in treating common rashes and skin conditions to reduce itch and possible infection. However, depending on the source, antibiotics may also be administered to treat more complex skin conditions.

Treating itchy mosquito or tick bites on newborns, babies, toddlers, and older kids can also be done at home. A soothing lotion or even a cool compress can help keep your child comfortable and relieve any discomfort caused by an itchy or swollen bite on their skin. We suggest applying calamine lotion or over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to relieve uncomfortable itching and avoid your child wanting to scratch their bite. Scratching could potentially open the bite, which is when you can start to worry about an infection forming. As long as your child’s reaction to the bug bite is improving, with itching and redness around the bite site decreasing, there is no need to see your physician about any unopened bug bite.