Drug rashes are the body's reaction to a certain medication. The type of rash that occurs depends on the type of drug that is causing it. Rashes can range from mild to severe.
Rashes caused by drugs can be categorized in the following groups:
Drug rashes may be severe and require hospitalization. Call the child's physician or 911 immediately if the child experiences any acute symptoms in addition to the rash.
Diagnosing a rash caused by a reaction to medication is complicated. Even a small amount of a drug can cause a major reaction in the skin. In addition, the reaction can occur after the patient has taken a medication for a long period of time.
The physician will usually recommend stopping any medication that is not necessary to sustain life, to see if the reaction stops. Other medications may be substituted, if possible.
The specific treatment for drug rashes will be determined based on:
The condition usually clears up if the patient stops taking the medication that is causing the reaction. Other treatment may include:
Allergic reactions can be serious and even fatal. Call the child's physician or 911 immediately if the child experiences any acute symptoms in addition to the rash, including:
The Division of Dermatology at Children's National Health System continues to expand services as more families seek our expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the skin, hair and nails.
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Sometimes a mom’s intuition is all it takes to get her child to the right physician. When 8-year-old Xavion Chisley developed a fungal infection on his toe, his mother, Nikki, immediately took him to see a dermatologist who removed his toenail to treat the infection. However, when Xavion’s toenail grew back, the infection had not diminished but actually appeared to be spreading to his foot.
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Impetigo is a superficial infection of the skin caused by bacteria. The lesions are often grouped together, have a red base, and are open but close over to form a honey-colored crust.
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A laceration is tear or opening in the skin caused by an injury.
Toxic epidermal necrolysis is a life-threatening skin disorder characterized by blistering and peeling of the skin.