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Children's Rashes

Children's Rashes

Children’s Rashes

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About the Author

Asti Renaut

Asti Renaut (BHSc. Comp Med, BA, Adv Dip Nat, Adv Dip Herb Med, MNZAMH)

Asti Renaut is a degree-qualified medical herbalist and naturopath with over ten years clinical experience. Asti practices in Christchurch, New Zealand, treating a wide range of health issues. She especially enjoys working with infants and children, and finally has one of her own to practice on! One of the cornerstones of Asti's practice and philosophy is the importance of education and sharing information. She believes that empowering clients to understand their own bodies and health, and giving practical tips and tools to use from the garden and kitchen are just as important for wellness as qualified professional care. 

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The sudden appearance of spots or rashes on your child’s body will cause alarm bells to ring in any parent’s mind. The first thing is to determine is the cause, and the second thing to decide is what to do about it. Both of these steps can sometimes be more complicated than we hope, but thankfully herbal medicine has some wonderful ways to make our job a little easier. Having gentle, safe and effective herbal creams and balms on hand to ease the symptoms of any skin rash or irritation can help support our child to be more comfortable and less itchy while we work out what is going on. Additionally, herbal medicine can assist with improving healing times, reducing irritation and redness, and promoting tissue repair.

Some common causes of spots and skin rashes in children include:


  • Viral: Including Measles, Chickenpox, Rubella, Slap Cheek, Roseola, Hand Foot and Mouth, etc
  • Post-viral: Often children can present with a benign rash or spots after being unwell.
  • Bacterial: Including Impetigo (school sores), Scarlet Fever
  • Fungal: Ringworm, Athlete’s Foot, Candida/Thrush
  •  Other causes include mites (scabies).

Contact Dermatitis- from anything at all, plants, clothing, etc.

Eczema- this can have various forms, from spotty to rashy, dry to weepy.

Food sensitivity- sensitivities to various foods can trigger skin reactions.

Reactions to medicines or substances ingested- antibiotics, drugs, preservatives, etc.

Nappy Rash- the combination of wees and poos can be especially potent for irritating and breaking down the skin in the nappy area. It is essential to treat this swiftly, especially if there is a risk or possibility of infection. Chamomile, Calendula, Koromiko, Olive Oil and Coconut Oil are all of benefit here.

Obviously, if in doubt, it is always advisable to take your child to the GP for a more in-depth diagnosis.

Topical (on top of the skin) herbal preparations which can be of benefit here include:

Poroporo- our wonderful native herb is like a natural steroid, reducing inflammation.

Burdock- traditionally used for soothing itchy skin and promoting healing of skin conditions.

Kawakawa- this distinctive native shrub has anti inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and has been used traditionally for all manner of skin complaints.

Calendula- nature’s skin healer! Helps to fight infection, nourish the skin and promote tissue repair.

Koromiko- astringent and antimicrobial, traditionally used for sores, ulcers and impetigo.

Chamomile- soothes irritation and speeds tissue healing.

Manuka Essential Oil - a powerful antimicrobial that can be used straight or diluted as a lotion for support of fungal, bacterial and viral infections.

In the bath, home remedies to soothe an itch include Apple Cider Vinegar, Baking Soda, or Rolled Oats.

Internally, herbal medicines such as Echinacea Root can help to support the immune system to fight off infection. If the cause is a reactivity, herbs such as Baical Skullcap and Rehmannia may be of use. And if your child needs extra calming, don’t forget liquid organic Chamomile preparations to soothe a frazzled itchy scratchy nervous system.