The child is filled with red dots: what are they?

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Catherine Le Nevez
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The baby is filled with red dots

Baby's skin is very vulnerable and delicate, therefore easily susceptible to irritations, which can occur with the appearance of "red dots", often without itching and without fever. In most cases they do not signal a disease, but they are annoying for the little one and create apprehension in the mothers. So what to do if the child has gorged himself with red dots?

Causes: sudamine, atopic dermatitis or exanthematous disease such as the sixth disease?

  • sudamine: more likely when it occurs in the parts where you sweat the most
  • atopic dermatitis: itching and red spots on the skin of the face, arms and legs
  • exanthematous disease: if there is fever


In the newborn, the most common manifestation with red spots is sudamine which can appear on the skin due to the obstruction of the ducts of the sweat glands that have not yet learned to function perfectly.

Sudamine is more common in those parts of the body that are covered or sweat more.

atopic dermatitis

The presence of red dots on the skin of the face, arms and legs, in association with itching, could instead lead to suspect atopic dermatitis, but it is the pediatrician who must evaluate it.

Exanthematous disease

If there is fever, we must think of an exanthematous disease, caused by a virus or a bacterium: once again it is up to the pediatrician to make the diagnosis and then indicate the cure.

The most frequent is the 'sixth disease', which occurs in very young children, generally in the first 3 years of life, has a particular course: the red dots (or spots) appear after a few days of fever, that is in healing phase.

In any case, one should always look at the general condition of the child: if he is lively, has an appetite, is responsive and proves to be well, the red dots are not a worrying sign.

(Consultancy from the Del Paesena Society of Pediatric Primary Care)

  • exanthematous diseases
  • Sudamina
  • dermatitis
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