Embarrassing Bodies: Live..., 11:05pm Thursday 17th April 2014 on Channel 4. Catch up for free »

Video

Dr Christian:
A rash is the appearance of spots or patches of a different colour or texture to normal skin and they come in many different shapes and sizes. Most children will suffer from a rash at some point some are more serious than others, so it’s important for you to be able to identify them.

This video will cover Slapped Cheek Syndrome, Impetigo, Meningitis and Ringworm but there is another video which covers Chicken Pox, Measles and Rubella.

We went to a primary school to spread the word on infections.

Dr Pixie:
Morning Class.

Class:
Morning.

Dr Pixie:
Now surely some of you have had to deal with this? Impetigo. Have any of your children had it?

Mother:
My daughter had it over the side of her body, and she just kept picking at it as well. I had to cover her with bandages just to stop her scratching until it had healed up properly.

Dr Pixie:
Most commonly caused by a bacteria, called staphococusorious, so what impetigo does is go into any crack or breach in the skin, so any cracks around the lips. And the other area we carry this bug is right up our noses, which is why we very frequently see impetigo up our noses.

Dr Christian:
The most common form of impetigo causes large pustules to appear on the skin which then burst leaving yellow brown crusts and red marks. It’s much more common in children than in adults and although the rash is generally pain free and doesn’t scar it’s really not very pleasant to look at and is itchy and very contagious. Occasionally, fever and swollen glands may accompany the rash. It won’t go away unless it’s treated. Your doctor can prescribe antibiotic cream and in severe cases oral antibiotics to get rid of this infection if you want to stop it from spreading then make sure your child doesn’t share any linen or soap with other children.

Slapped Cheek Syndrome, also known as Fifth Disease, is another well known childhood rash. It’s caused by a virus which is generally quite mild but results in a red blotchy rash resembling slapped skin and it usually lasts between 1 ñ 2 weeks. It normally starts on the face though it may spread to the rest of the body. The virus is most infectious one or two weeks before the rash appears, so there’s actually no way of knowing when children are at their most contagious. The rash is usually accompanied by a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat and occasionally a fever. There’s no cure for Slapped Cheek Syndrome but your doctor may prescribe mild pain killers to ease the symptoms.

Next up is Ringworm which isn’t actually a worm at all, the term relates to various contagious fungal infections of the skin which can cause round scaly patches and it can be found anywhere on the body and the scalp. Ringworm is not always a rash and it can develop into a painful sore on the scalp which may be pussy or infected leading to fever and swollen lymph nodes. On the rest of the body it’s found in red scaly ring shaped patches with seemingly healthy skin inside the infected area. Unless treated ringworm will stick around for years and possibly spread to other parts of the body. Thankfully there is a treatment and you can get anti fungal cream or anti fungal shampoo and in more serious cases oral medication from your doctor.

The best way to stop Ringworm spreading is to make sure your child’s body is dry after sweating or washing which will help to prevent fungal growth. Also make sure any pets are treated if they have the infection too.

Ok so this is the big one that everybody’s terrified of, and they’ve every right to be, because it is a very serious life threatening condition. The key is to be aware of the main symptoms and if you even slightly suspect that your child is suffering from them then get it checked out immediately by a doctor.

Dr Pixie:
I think you all know this one. Two year old, temperature, rash, irritable, bit drowsy, press on the rash and it doesn’t go away? Meningitis. Have any of you had experience of meningitis?

Class:
No.

Dr Pixie:
It’s probably one of the most frightening things you can ever, ever see. In this situation, child with a temperature, a rash that doesn’t blanche, what would you do?

Class:
Call for an ambulance.

Dr Pixie:
Yes, 999, ambulance, blue light, go. And if in doubt, never try to diagnose it yourself, get help.

Dr Christian:
Meningitis is a contagious viral or bacterial infection but the most common form is viral. Viral meningitis is much less severe and may be mistaken for flu. Bacterial meningitis is the more severe form and can be fatal unless treated. The main symptoms of bacterial meningitis are fever, light sensitivity, vomiting, severe headache, irritability and a stiff neck. It’s also accompanied by a rash which is blotchy and red and will not fade or change colour if a glass is pressed firmly onto it.

If you think your child is suffering from any of these symptoms call 999 immediately. Patients with bacterial meningitis must go into hospital and be given antibiotics.

Meningitis is contagious and is spread through close contact such as sneezing or coughing but it can’t be transmitted through breathing the same air. There are vaccinations for some strains of meningitis so ask your doctor about these.

If left untreated it can be fatal or can cause blood poisoning and brain damage. If caught in time it can be treated, although a quarter of sufferers may experience long term problems; including loss of limbs, hearing and sight, memory problems, learning difficulties and epilepsy.

The main thing is to watch your child’s skin for any changes. Rashes are common and in most cases they aren’t anything to worry about but it’s always worth getting them checked out by your GP.

Read the video transcript

From spots to patches, and in many different shapes and sizes, rashes take the topic for this video. Dr Christian explains how to diagnose and treat a range of rashes: slapped cheek syndrome, impetigo, meningitis and ringworm. To spread the word on infection, Dr Pixie heads to a primary school to talk to a classroom room of… parents! Asking them what rashes they may detect, and what their children have had, Dr Pixie talks us through the rashes impetigo and meningitis: what they look like, what causes them, and how they can be treated. In the clinic, Dr Christian gives some additional expert advice before going on to discuss slapped cheek syndrome and ringworm in greater detail: what they are, how you get them, what their symptoms are, how they can be treated, and how they can be prevented. Dr Christian advises that the main thing is to watch your child’s skin for any changes as some rashes, such as meningitis, can be life-threatening. If you notice a rash on your child, it’s always worth getting it checked by a GP.

Please visit Patient UK to find out more about the following:
Slapped Cheek Disease
Impetigo
Meningitis
Ringworm

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my 3 year old little girl has had a viral rash/ blotches for about 3 weeks now, she isn't sick, and it doesn't seem to be bothering her, she is completely herself and full of beans, its only on her face and her legs and feet, there are no blotches on her torso, she had it about the same time last year and it took around 6 weeks to clear, is this normal, im very worried it could be something sinister, though our family foctors assures me it isn't , thank you in advance Wendy





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My 2 year old son has a persistent rash of red spots around his mouth and nothing will shift it... ive had steriod cream from the doc, sudocrem, aveeno... its just getting worse.. help!!





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i have a very itchy rask at the back of my head. im in my 30's with long hair. its pussy and wet. ive tried high dandruff shampoo fron the pharmacy and it wont go away. please help





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i have small red spots.that are dry and are turning into like a burn mark an gos like a dark brown...bt on my chest its like a big red patch.. its it is itichey if i put cream on them they cum out more red.ive got them on my arm, leg, belly,my tit..my doctor gave me fushindine..but it has dun nothing,,ive had it over a month.and it dnt seem to be going..





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I have a rash on both sides of my torso it's itchy and it's been here for a week now. I feel healthy and have been goin to work and gym it's just annoying more then anything, I have been on holiday recently and have a few bites that havent gone yet could this be the reason for the rash?





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My hands are really dry and I have tried lots of hand creams but none have worked, what can I do to stop the itching and dryness? Thanks





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my 2 children aged 4 and 8 have slap cheek,i am worried my newborn will catch it is it possible she is only 15days old?if so what symptons do i look out for??





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Where's the second vid on chicken pox? Could menigitis be mistaken for chicken pox? Our child has a rash rather than pox although his sister has chicken pox.





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