Why A Roseola Rash Is Good News for Sick Kids

Roseola rash is part of roseola, also known as sixth disease, a common viral infection that’s caused by two strains of herpes virus. The spotty virus-cased roseola rash tends to occur after several days of high fever. Read on for everything there is to know about roseola, from symptoms to treatments.

What are the symptoms of roseola?

Some kids experience mild respiratory symptoms at the beginning of roseola. Next comes a high fever that’s between 102 and 105 degrees that lasts for three to seven days. Once the fever abates, the roseola rash appears.


What does roseola rash look like?

This rash causes pink or red spots on the body, but they don’t usually itch. Roseola rash most often appears on the belly, back, or neck but can sometimes be seen on the arms, legs, or face. It can last for just a few hours or last for two days. The good news: Once the rash appears, a child with roseola is no longer contagious.

When do children tend to get roseola?

Children between the ages of 6 months and 2 years most commonly get the virus. Once you’ve had roseola, you typically don’t get it again.

What is the incubation period of roseola?

The incubation period of roseola can last up to two weeks. Your child may first show symptoms of the illness anywhere from 5 to 15 days after being exposed.

Should you call the doctor?

Roseola doesn’t typically require medical care. Antibiotics won’t help, and the illness will go away on its own. However, if your child’s fever is quite high, a precautionary visit to the doctor is wise. Also, as many as 15 percent of young children experience a febrile seizure along with the high fever that roseola brings. If your child has a febrile seizure, contact your doctor.

How is roseola treated?

Treat your child’s fever with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. For children under one year, double-check with your doctor before using these medicines. Encourage your child to rest and drink plenty of fluids.

How long is a child contagious?

Children are contagious during the first phases of roseola infection. Keep them home until the fever has been gone for 24 hours.

Roseola isn’t fun — but once the roseola rash appears, you’re in the home stretch. And remember, just one round of roseola is enough to give your child immunity for life.

Photo: Getty