My 7 year old daughter a few weeks ago got a bunch of “mosquito bites” on her legs. Well, that’s what I thought they were at first. After a few days they started growing into what looked like long red burns or scabs all over her legs. We had a wedding to attend and I was mortified of what people may be thinking. We put all types of ointments and creams on them, and it seemed to be making it worse with each new cream I would run out and buy. She complained that it itched so badly but I had to remind her to not touch them. I had set up an appointment to see our Doctor after about a week of this. Then next thing I know, they were just gone! Completely disappeared. I wish I had a photo. Could this be psoriasis? My question is, what do I do from here since they’re gone and it’s not like I can take her in with completely clear legs to see what it may have been? Any suggestions?

kelsiej September 25, 2019

Questions Answered by Leading Local Doctors

Nick Celano, MD
San Diego, Dermatology
Jordann H.,
I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter's recent rash but I'm happy that it went away. From your history the rash seemed to have a rapid onset and was intensely itchy leading me to believe that the rash was either an allergic contact dermatitis to something she brushed up against (maybe poison oak) or indeed was a reaction to bug bites. The rash produced by poison oak, known as rhus dermatitis, often is linear, crusty and blistered in nature in the location where an individual brushed up against the plant while walking or running. This rash usually starts 12-24 hrs after the exposure to the plant. Alternatively, bug bites are often linear in nature, where an insect will bite in groups of three known as the breakfast, lunch and dinner sign. Furthermore, with bug bites, individuals can develop linear streaks up their extremities called a superficial lymphangitis. This occurs when the allergic response involves the lymphatic system. Unfortunately, for both conditions, over the counter anti-itch creams often aren't strong enough to alleviate a patient's symptoms.

I do not believe your daughter has psoriasis as psoriasis rarely just disappears and often is a chronic, lifelong condition.

In regards to what to do next, make sure your daughter wears protective clothing when outdoors, both to limit brushing up against poison oak and to avoid bug bites. If the rash recurs, she should see her pediatrician or a dermatologist who can prescribe an appropriate treatment for your daughter. And don't forget to take a picture :) Hope that helps.

Nick Celano, MD
San Diego Family Dermatology- Pediatric Dermatologist