Skin and Blisters…

As all us parents know our children’s health is up there at the very top of the priority list and if, like me, you are a bit of a hypochondriac then you will also share that feeling of utter despair and worry when you see them with a high temperature or a weird rash suddenly appears on their precious skin. It’s very likely we will fear the worse.   You can never be too cautious when it comes to rashes, or anything for that matter, even if it means dialling the doctor’s surgery over and over again, or jumping in the car still wearing slippers to A&E.  You can’t put a price on your child’s health

Children are basically walking petri dishes and I can honestly say that I have had more snotty noses and used up more wipes than I have concealer sticks, which is A LOT  believe me!

There is the endless worry of what illness or rash your child is going to come home with next. Whether it has been passed on at the nursery, by a sibling,  family or a friend. There is basically fuck all you can do about it.   It’s going to happen and I am by NO means a doctor or nurse but over the last few years have seen some interesting rashes, both on my own children’s and my friends’ children friends (and have used enough baby Nurofen and Calpol to fill a swimming pool remedying them!)  So, in case your little ones suddenly inherit one and you have no idea what it is, here are a few I have experienced…

Impetigo

Now I had never even heard of this until the doctor diagnosed my daughter with it.   It started off as a small red mark on her leg that looked almost like a cigarette burn. I honestly didn’t think anything of it and I don’t recall her being in any discomfort either.   Then whilst putting my slap on one morning I noticed a red blister appear underneath on my face, nothing too severe but it started to bug me as it was hard to cover with concealer and was slowly getting bigger and more aggravated. I know, I know this is hardly  third world problems but the point I am trying to make is that I had caught the Impetigo from my daughter as it’s a highly contagious skin infection.   Little did I know that Impetigo is one of the most common skin infections in young children, which improves within a week of treatment. The sores aren’t that painful, can just be a bit itchy and its very important not to touch or scratch the sores as they spread so easily. Easier said than done with a toddler.     Treatment was an Antibiotic cream that was applied daily and within 10 days the infection had completely gone.

The advice below can also help to prevent the spread of the infection:

  • don’t share flannels, sheets or towels with anyone who has impetigo – wash them at a high temperature after use;
  • wash the sores with soap and water and cover them loosely with a gauze bandage or clothing;
  • avoid touching or scratching the sores, or letting others touch them – it may help to ensure your nails are kept clean and short;
  • avoid contact with newborn babies, preparing food, playing contact sports, or going to the gym – until the risk of infection has passed;
  • wash your hands frequently – particularly after touching infected skin; and
  • washable toys should also be washed – wipe non-washable soft toys thoroughly with a cloth that has been wrung out in detergent and warm water and allowed to dry completely.

 

What’s Impetigo? http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/impetigo/pages/introduction.aspx

Foot and mouth

It’s such an odd sounding infection isn’t it? Touch wood none of my children have caught this yet but I know it’s only a matter of time. The reason why I am sharing this with you is because if, like me, you have not experienced this type of infection yet and it suddenly appears on your child’s skin they hopefully this will bring a little bit of comfort knowing what it is and what you need to do about it.

The first time I heard about it was over the Christmas period when my sister sent me some images of her son with a very raw and blister like rash all over his arms, face and legs. Not really having a clue she decided to take a trip to A&E to get it checked out. He had no temperature and was in pretty good spirits being as cheeky as always.

The diagnosis was Viral (I wasn’t so sure and neither was she).

I had a Sherlock Holmes moment and told my sister to go back to the doctor for a second opinion, which she did, and it was then confirmed that he too had the same infection

Luckily this infection definitely looks worse than it is and the treatment is usually a cream, antibiotics or just good old fashioned Calpol. You would probably have to keep them away from nursery though as its extremely contagious (see Iona’s post on playdate etiquette and childhood illness).

In quite rare circumstances, I have been told, Foot and mouth can be passed on to an adult. In this case it happened to my poor friend. The symptoms for an adult are generally worse than that of a child, and can be agonising (my friend said that she wouldn’t wish it on her worst enemy).

A high temperate was the start and very flu like symptoms followed by the blisters on the hands which felt like broken glass or had been badly burned.  The only thing that helped the pain was applying freezing cold Aloe Vera After Sun, which had been left in the fridge.

Knowing what I now know, I am hoping I won’t freak out as much if any of my children caught this infection.   It looks hideous. But it is also comforting to know that kids don’t feel such pain and it usually clears up in about 10 days.   It’s also very common.

What’s foot and mouth? http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Hand-foot-and-mouth-disease/Pages/Introduction.aspx

To note: Everything I have documented below is purely based on my own personal experience. I don’t have a degree in science or medicine. I do, however, have a Masters in what we call “mother’s Intuition”. As in I think I have mastered the art of knowing if something isn’t right. There have been a couple of occasions when I didn’t feel happy with the doctor’s prognosis. My daughter came up with sudden rash, which covered her back and chest, and one doctor told me it was Rubella. He mentioned having to contact the local council as this was a serious condition. I remember sitting in the doctors room thinking I had failed as a mother and how could I have been so stupid for not getting the right injections. How could this have happened! The guilt on the drive home was eating at my tummy but I knew in my heart, and head, this was incorrect. I put my sensible hat on and found the Red Book and checked all the injections and there it was on black and white. I knew it!

I demanded a second opinion.

The second doctor confirmed it was a Viral Rash and explained how common it was and that it would disappear in a couple of days.   It took a couple of minutes for the feeling of guilt to disappear.

Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion. Go with your gut instinct as it is nearly always right.

 

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