It’s frustrating for parents to see their toddler with facial redness, especially if the toddler is too young to describe the symptoms of the redness. There are several skin conditions that can cause redness. Most are harmless and disappear on their own.
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Red skin could be irritated by a household substance, such as a harsh soap or lotion or an environmental stimulus, such as humidity or pollen. Remove as many irritants as possible to see if the condition improves. Avoid bubbles baths, use unscented soaps that are targeted towards sensitive skin, and do not allow cigarette smoking in your house.
Illnesses that may cause redness of the face are chicken pox, roseola and fifth disease. Roseola is an illness most common for those between six months and three years, and is usually identifiable if your toddler has a high fever for several days, but when the fever disappears, a rash follows. According to BabyCenter.com, chicken pox usually means from 250 to 500 pink-based blisters on your toddler’s skin, which includes the face. Fifth disease presents with a slight fever, achiness and cold symptoms, followed by bright red cheeks, according to BabyCenter.com. Chicken pox, roseola and fifth disease are all viruses, so they need to run their course since antibiotics will be ineffective. The best way to prevent these viruses is to practice good hygiene, such as frequent hand-washing and avoiding people who are sick.
Eczema is a chronic condition of the skin. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics or AAP, eczema is often diagnosed in children with a family history of eczema or allergies. It usually develops when your toddler is two to six months of age. There is no cure for eczema, but your toddler will often outgrow the condition by grade school. In addition to redness, your toddler may experience itching, small bumps and scaling of the skin. Using products for sensitive skin may minimize the amount of red flare-ups your toddler experiences.
Sunburns are very common during the summer, but they are easy to prevent. Apply a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 to your toddler’s skin frequently throughout the day to avoid sunburn. If your toddler goes in water, reapply the lotion even if it’s waterproof. The burning sensation caused by a sunburn can be relieved with aloe vera.
If your toddler has redness of the face in combination with difficulties breathing, a large body rash or swelling of the tongue, mouth or throat, seek immediate medical attention since these are all signs of a severe allergic reaction. Any time you give your toddler an over-the-counter medication, always find out the correct dosing information, such as with an antihistamine. If conditions do not clear on their own or seem worse, make an appointment with the pediatrician.