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Six Common Children’s Skin Rashes in Japan – Heat, Virus or Bug?

If your child suddenly has a skin rash the cause could be heat to a virus – check out six common children’s skin rashes in Japan. The summer months in Japan are warm and moist with lots of outdoor play which can lead to skin rashes and bug bites. Inspect your child’s body closely each night and if more than 3-4 small bumps appear take action quickly to prevent further spreading.  To help you out we consulted with one of our family’s dermatologists (Dr. Chin-huai Keong, M.D., Ph.D.@ Garden Clinic Hirooabout the most common cases of “rashes and skin bumps” that result in trips to the doctor. When in doubt it is always best to visit your doctor, but if you can’t wait to find out try to determine from the below six skin rash types.  To help you survive the Japan summer with kids, we also have some recommendations here –Tokyo Hot Summers, Keeping the Kids Cool,  Five Ways to Protect Baby this Summer and Japanese Sun Protection Guide.

1. Mizuibo  水いぼ (みずいぼ) – Water Warts / Swimming Warts/ Molluscum Contagiosum  

2. Tobihi 飛び火 (とびひ) –  Impeti

3. Mushi-sasare  虫刺され  Insect Bites 

4. Kemushi  Hifuen 毛虫 皮膚炎 –  Caterpillar Dermatitiss

5. Asemo (汗疹) – Heat Rash or Prickly Heat Rash

6. Hiyake (日焼け) – Sunburn

Six Common Children’s Skin Rashes in Japan – Heat, Virus or Bug?

Some Common Children’s Skin Rashes in Japan – Heat, Virus or Bacteria?

Children’s Skin Rashes in Japan

1. Mizuibo  水いぼ (みずいぼ) – Water Warts / Swimming Warts/ Molluscum Contagiosum  

Q. What is Mizuibo?

A. Water warts or Molluscum contagiosum is a common skin disease caused by a virus. The Molluscum is light pink or skin-colored bumps on any part of the skin. The bumps look like they have water or a liquid in the tops, therefore, called mizu (water) ibo (warts). Children tend to have a higher incidence of the bumps in the torso area – stomach, chest, and armpits. Most infections will show about 10-20 bumps.  It is easy to spread from person to person through skin contact. Sharing towels and clothing can also transmit the virus.

Q. Is there an at home treatment? When should we head to the doctor?

A. When a child gets this condition, the skin often clears on its own in 12-18 months.
You can use an antibiotic ointment and cover with a large band-aid. Change the band-aid each morning and night, keep the area clean and dry.   If the child continues to get more bumps or has more than 10-20 bumps or the bumps have been scratched and ooze liquids, visit a dermatologist for treatment.  Broken skin can lead to a secondary bacterial infection.

Q. What are the typical treatments for Mizuibo at a Japan clinic?

A. Most Japanese doctors will quickly remove the bump heads with a small tool (this is relatively painless), a procedure known as curettage. An anesthetic tape known as Penles tape (available at the doctor’s office) may be applied to the skin prior to help reduce the pain during the removal process.  An antibiotic ointment or cream may be prescribed to help prevent a secondary infection.

Q. Can my child attend school with Mizuibo? Can they go in a pool?

A. Most schools and daycares will allow children to attend but the bumps have to be kept covered with a bandage. Children with mizuibo may be allowed to enter pools or water play area but its best to check with the school/pool authorities first.

 

+++++++Some Common Children’s Skin Rashes in Japan – Heat, Virus or Bacteria?

Tobihi 飛び火 (とびひ) - Impetigo, Six Common Children’s Skin Rashes in Japan

2. Tobihi 飛び火 (とびひ) –  Impetigo

Q. What is Tobihi (Impetigo)?

A. Impetigo begins as a red sore near the nose or mouth, which then breaks, leaking pus or fluid. The fluid scabs into a honey-colored scab then transform to a red mark. If left to heal, and not picked at, the sores will not leave scars. Touching and scratching the sores will cause them to spread easily and quickly to other parts of the body.  Most children get impetigo through skin-to-skin contact with someone who has it. Strep and Staph cause most cases of impetigo.

Q. Is there an at home treatment? When should we head to the doctor?

A. To prevent the spread of impetigo to other people the skin, any open wound should be kept clean and covered to keep fluids from an infected person away from the skin of a non-infected person. Scratching can spread the sores so keep the children nails short.  Other precautionary actions: Stop sharing personal items with other children at home, wash clothing/ towels/sheets with hot water.

Q. What are the typical treatments for Tobihi (Impetigo) at a Japan clinic?

A. Doctors will typically prescribe a topical and/or oral antibiotic. Mild cases may be treated with an antibacterial ointment.  In most cases, one course of antibiotics will usually clear the impetigo, although there are some antibiotic-resistant cases.  Impetigo is highly contagious, and while it often clears on its own in a few weeks, treatment is recommended at an early stage to reduce the risk of complications.

Q. Can my child attend school with Tobihi (Impetigo)? Can they go in a pool?

A. Yes, provided the child has already been on an antibiotic treatment for at least 24 hours, and the impetigo sores are properly covered to prevent spread to others.

+++++++Some Common Children’s Skin Rashes in Japan – Heat, Virus or Bacteria?

 

Six Common Children’s Skin Rashes in Japan3. Mushi-sasare虫刺され Insect Bites – Most insect /mosquito bites are harmless, causing little more than mild swelling, some itching, and discomfort.
In children, insect bites may sometimes trigger a more intense reaction than just a red bump (welt). The skin on the bitten site may be redder, swollen, and sometimes blisters may form.  Itching may become intense and the child may scratch the skin, leading to open sores and secondary infections.

Q.  Is there an at home treatment? When should we head to the doctor?

A. Clean the insect bite with soap and water, apply a cool compress to reduce pain and swelling. If there is an open sore apply an antiseptic cream on it and dress the skin. Oral antihistamines may help reduce itching.
Usually, the signs and symptoms of a bite would disappear in a day or two. If you have concerns, or there is a secondary infection on the skin, please visit your child’s doctor or a dermatologist.

Bee and wasp stings are painful, and they can cause the skin to swell and turn red. 

If your child starts to show signs of breathing difficulty, the face starts to flush and swelling up, and an itchy rash starts to spread across the body, seek medical attention immediately. Your child is likely showing a severe allergic reaction to the sting, also known as anaphylaxis.
This usually occurs within minutes after a sting and it is a medical emergency.

Q. How can we prevent insect bites and their complications?

A.  Don’t bother insects, wear protective clothing when outdoors, use insect repellents, do be careful when eating outdoors as food attracts insects. 
If your child has a history of a severe allergic reaction to insect bites or stings, always carry an emergency epinephrine kit (or EPIPEN).

*EPIPENS are available for prescription in Japan, so please speak to your doctor about getting an epipen if your child has severe allergic reactions to insect bites or food (e.g.peanuts)

+++++++Some Common Children’s Skin Rashes in Japan – Heat, Virus or Bacteria?

Six Common Children’s Skin Rashes in Japan4. Kemushi  Hifuen 毛虫 皮膚炎 –  Caterpillar Dermatitiskemushi caterpillar, Six Common Children’s Skin Rashes in Japan

Q. What is Kemushi?

A. Kemushi is a type of “hairy” caterpillar that has very toxic inflammation causing hairs. Symptoms due to these caterpillars are redness, rash, itchiness, small red bumps and pain.  In most cases, direct contact with the insect is necessary to provoke a reaction. However, the irritating hairs can also be detached and can go airborne adhering to skin or clothing causing a rash.

Q. is there an at home treatment? When should we head to the doctor?

A. Yes, Remove the caterpillar hairs with tweezers or sticky tape. Wash the area with soap and water. Keep the area cool. Clothing should be removed and laundered thoroughly. If the itching or pain is unbearable, go to the doctor.

Q. What are the typical treatments for Komushi rash at a Japan clinic?

A. Dermatologists will prescribe topical steroids and oral antihistamines to treat the inflammation and irritation.  With appropriate treatment, the rash usually disappears within a week.

+++++++Some Common Children’s Skin Rashes in Japan – Heat, Virus or Bacteria?

Six Common Children’s Skin Rashes in Japan5. Asemo (汗疹) – Heat Rash or Prickly Heat Rash

Q. What is Heat Rash or Prickly Heat Rash?

A. Children of all ages can get heat rash, but it’s most common in babies and younger children. If your baby has heat rash, you’ll most likely see it in the folds of his skin and on the parts of his body where his clothing fits snugly, including his chest, stomach, neck, crotch, and buttocks. To prevent heat rash, keep the body cool, dry and wear very light loose clothing. Here are some great products to keep baby and toddlers cool. (link to post)

Q. Is there an at home treatment? When should we head to the doctor?

A. Bath or shower in cool water with nondrying soap, then let your skin air-dry instead of toweling off. Use calamine lotion or cool compresses to calm itchy, irritated skin. Avoid using creams and ointments that contain petroleum or mineral oil, which can block pores further. If the rash does not go away in less than four days  or appears very itchy, head to the doctor to check if it is another type of rash.

+++++++Some Common Children’s Skin Rashes in Japan – Heat, Virus or Bacteria?

6. Hiyake (日焼け) – Sunburn – Sunburns are a sign of skin damage. They are caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation on the skin resulting in cell damage.  Many parents are aware of sun protection and the use of sunscreens, but sunburn can still occur if sunscreen is not applied properly, or if the child spent long hours in the sun. Children with fair skin tend to burn more easily. Symptoms of sunburn develop after 2-6 hours of sun exposure. When your child gets a sunburn, the skin turns red and hurts. If the burn is severe, swelling and blisters may develop. Your child may start developing a fever/chills, headache, weakness, and nausea.  A few days later, the skin starts to peel and may itch as the skin tries to get rid of sun-damaged cells.

Q.  Is there an at home treatment? When should we head to the doctor?

A. If it is simply mild redness and swelling on the skin, keep your child well hydrated, cool the skin with a refreshing bath and apply a soothing moisturizer to the affected area.  You child should be seen by a doctor for sunburn treatment if the sunburn is severe with blisters and covers a large portion of the body, the sunburn is accompanied by fever/chills, severe pain, headache, nausea, dehydration etc. or the skin is showing signs of infection like swelling, pus or red streaks.  Your doctor might suggest a corticosteroid cream for your sunburn, or a short course of prednisone for severe cases involving large areas of your body. Antibiotics are most often not required unless you develop an infection.

Q. How can I prevent sunburn?

A.Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.

Dress your child in sun-protective clothing, such as lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and pants; add a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection. Make sure you keep your child in the shade, use an umbrella, canopy or stroller hood.  Avoid using sunscreen on children younger than 6 months old if possible, but use a minimal amount if needed. Use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and a PA (+++) . Sunscreens without chemical absorbents are less likely to irritate your child’s skin. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.  Make sure your child drink plenty of fluids on hot days.

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*Reference material was obtained from the Internet mostly from https://medlineplus.gov.

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Six Common Children’s Skin Rashes in Japan – Heat, Virus or Bug?

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Dr. Chin-huai Keong, M.D., Ph.D.from the Garden Clinic HirooThis Article was written with the support and contribution of Dr. Chin-huai Keong, M.D., Ph.D.from the Garden Clinic Hiroo

Dr. Chin-Huai Keong is a dermatologist certified by the Japanese Dermatological Association since 1993. She received her medical and doctorate degrees from the prestigious Tokyo Medical and Dental University. Before establishing Garden Clinic Hiroo in 2009, Dr. Keong worked for many years as a dermatologist in several
major hospitals in the Kanto region, and also at the International Clinic where she gained extensive experience in serving the foreign community in Tokyo.
Dr. Keong speaks several languages and is fluent in English and Japanese. Dr. Keong is professionally affiliated with the Japanese Dermatological Association, the Japan Organization of Clinical Dermatologists, and the Minato-ku branch of the Japan Medical Association.

Webpage: www.gardenclinic-hiroo.com

Facebook:www.facebook.com/gardenclinichiroo 

Tel : 03-6427-9198

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