Roseola

Recognizing signs and symptoms of roseola

Roseola is a childhood skin condition that generally affects babies and toddlers. It is characterized by a very high fever and pink rash that spreads over the entire body. The roseola virus is a common one, and will strike most children before the age of 3. It is also known as sixth disease, being the sixth most common childhood rash to strike children. Another name for it is three-day fever, as generally, the fever will last for three days before the appearance of the rash.

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Causes of roseola infantum

While roseola can affect eighteen year olds and older teenagers, generally, it is a disease that appears in young childhood, between the ages of 6 months to 2 years. It is caused by two herpes viruses, and is generally a simple disease with no complications in healthy children. There is no specific vaccine for this disease. Occasionally, liver disease may occur as a result of roseola, but this is highly unlikely in healthy children.

Symptoms of roseola

Generally, the illness begins when the child contracts a fairly high fever, between 102.2-104°F. This fever may run inexplicably with no other symptoms for up to three days, when a rose-coloured rash will break out over the child's entire body, often appearing worse on the limbs. The rash is not itchy and does not bother the child. In rare cases, febrile seizures, or seizures brought on by a very high fever, may occur before the breakout of the rash. These are generally not serious and will pass quickly.

Roseola eczema may also appear on the child's body, but as roseola is a term for all rose-coloured rashes, this is not indicative of the disease itself.

Roseola rash treatment

There is no real antibiotic or treatment for roseola. Generally, a child with a fever is given a lot of fluids and medication to bring the fever down. There is no treatment for the rash, as it is generally not bothersome to the child. If any complications such as febrile seizures occur, treatment in the emergency room may be required. However, most children are not seriously ill with this disease and do not require much medical treatment.