If you press on a rash and the skin doesn’t change color, it might mean the person has a very serious illness called meningococcal disease, which can lead to a deadly condition called septicemia.
In a video on Instagram, someone explained a helpful way to check if your child’s rash is concerning. If the rash changes color when you press it (kind of like it goes pale), that’s a good sign, and you should keep an eye on your child for any other worrying signs.
But if the rash doesn’t change color when you press it, that’s not a good sign. It could be a sign of something more serious like meningococcal disease. In that case, it’s a good idea to see a doctor right away to get the rash looked at. Most of the time, if a child has a rash that doesn’t change color when pressed and they are otherwise well, it may not be something very serious. However, because it could be a sign of a very sick child, it’s better to be safe and have a doctor check it.
In the video, the person presses on a child’s red skin, and the area turns white under their thumb. This means the child didn’t need to see a doctor, according to the person in the video. Meningococcal disease is caused by a kind of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. It can lead to different illnesses like meningitis and bloodstream infections, such as septicemia. Septicemia from meningococcal disease happens when these bacteria get into the blood, multiply, and produce harmful poisons. These poisons attack the walls of blood vessels, causing blood to leak out, and that’s what creates a rash that doesn’t change color.
Symptoms of meningococcal septicemia include fever, feeling very cold and shaky, being tired, throwing up, and having cold hands and feet. People might also feel severe pain in their muscles, joints, chest, or belly, breathe quickly, have diarrhea, and later on, develop a dark purple rash.
If you or your child have these symptoms, it’s really important to get medical help as soon as possible. Doctors usually treat it with antibiotics and may give oxygen through a face mask if there are breathing problems.
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