Small red bumps on your child’s leg can develop suddenly, and depending on the cause, may produce discomfort, such as itching and mild pain. It is important to educate yourself about the possible triggers and causes of red bumps developing on your child’s legs so that you can seek proper treatment and possibly prevent the condition from reoccurring.
A number of conditions, including hives, poison ivy, mosquito bites or chigger bites can cause small red bumps on the leg of your child. Playing outside and in wooded areas can put your child at a higher risk for getting bitten by chiggers or mosquitos and accidentally becoming infected with poison ivy or poison oak 1.
Jock Itch in Children
Identifying the type of rash or condition that your child is suffering from is very important. If a chigger or mosquito has bitten your child, it will result in small red bumps that will usually be very itchy. If your child experiences exposure to poison ivy or poison oak, small red bumps may initially develop but may worsen over time and become more like blisters 1. In addition, a poison oak or poison ivy rash is very itchy and red streaks can develop 1. If your child is suffering from the hives, the red bumps may appear in blotches on the legs.
- Identifying the type of rash or condition that your child is suffering from is very important.
- If a chigger or mosquito has bitten your child, it will result in small red bumps that will usually be very itchy.
According to Kids Health, if your child has poison ivy or poison oak, you can treat the condition by using a cool compress and giving the child a bath in warm water with a ½ cup of oatmeal to reduce the itching 1. According to Kids Health, calamine lotion may also be a helpful treatment for bug bites, poison oak, or poison ivy infections 1. It may be necessary to have your child evaluated by a physician if the bumps are worsening, causing discomfort, or lingering for long periods. Your child may need a dose of Benadryl to treat hives or severe itching, but you should always consult a physician before administering any medication to your child.
Bald Patches in Children
Kids Health reports that to prevent mosquitos or chiggers from biting your child’s legs, you should use an insect repellent that contains 10 percent to 30 percent DEET. If hives are the cause of your child’s small red bumps, you may need to determine if your child is allergic to something he is eating or something that is touching his skin. Keep your child away from wooded areas that may contain the poison ivy or poison oak plants, especially if your child is more susceptible to these outbreaks 1. In addition, you may also want to spray or remove any plants in your yard that you believe may be poison oak or poison ivy 1.
Infection of the skin where the bumps occur can develop if your child continuously scratches the area. According to Kids Health, you should seek emergency assistance if your child’s leg begins to swell or her tongue or throat begins to swell because this can indicate a severe allergic reaction.
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Bald Patches in Children
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- Kids Health; Poison Ivy/Oak/Sumac
- Kids Health; Hey! A Chigger Bit Me!
- Boston Children's Hospital. Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac.
- American Academy of Dermatology. Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac: Who gets a rash and is it contagious?
- Prok L, McGovern T. Patient education: Poison ivy (Beyond the Basics). UpToDate. Updated March 25, 2019.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Outsmarting Poison Ivy and Other Poisonous Plants. Updated August 6, 2016.
- Porter R. Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac. National Capital Poison Center.
- Usatine RP, Riojas M. Diagnosis and management of contact dermatitis. Am Fam Physician. 2010;82(3):249-55.
- MedlinePlus. Bentoquatam Topical. Updated February 15, 2018.
- American Academy of Dermatology. (2018). Poison ivy, oak, and sumac. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/itchy-skin/poison-ivy-oak-and-sumac
- Curtis G, Lewis AC. Treatment of severe poison ivy: a randomized, controlled trial of long versus short course oral prednisone. J Clin Med Res. 2014 Dec;6(6):429-34. doi: 10.14740/jocmr1855w.
- Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. Elsevier; 2016.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2016). Outsmarting Poison Ivy and Its Cousins. https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm049342.htm
Kristie Jernigan is a health writer with over 17 years of experience as a medical social worker. She has worked mainly with the elderly population and with children. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and early childhood from East Tennessee State University and a Master of Science in health care administration and gerontology from the University of Phoenix.