Health A-Z

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Harvard Medical School

1SHARES

Prevention

Prevention depends on the cause of the rash:

  • Infections Check that you and your children are up-to-date in your routine immunizations. Wash your hands frequently, bathe regularly and avoid sharing clothing or personal grooming items with other people. To prevent Lyme disease, wear light-colored clothing that contrasts with the dark tick and covers most of your skin when you go into the woods. Use approved tick repellents. Be aware that you are more likely to be exposed to ticks in areas of the country where Lyme disease is common.

  • Allergic reactions Avoid the specific food, medicine, skin care products or cosmetics that you had a reaction to. Never take a medicine prescribed for someone else.

    If you suspect that you are allergic to insect stings, talk to your doctor. You might see an allergist for testing and possible desensitization therapy. You also may need a bee-sting kit, which contains emergency medication to prevent potentially life-threatening reactions. Make sure you know where the kit is at home and consider getting an extra one if you participate often in an outdoor sport. Keep the second in your sports bag.

  • Local irritants For diaper rash, change diapers as soon as they become wet or soiled. Make sure that your baby's bottom is completely clean and dry before closing up the fresh diaper. For sensitivity to chemicals in cleaning products, switch to laundry soaps and fabric softeners that are free of dyes and perfumes. For irritation due to cosmetics, use hypoallergenic products that contain fewer skin-irritating preservatives and fragrances.

  • Poisonous plants Learn to recognize poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. When you hike in the woods or do yard work, cover exposed arms and legs with long-sleeved shirts and long pants.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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