Overview of Acrodermatitis

Children have been affected by numerous diseases over the years and will continue to do so. It is because their immune systems are still developing and sometimes genetics play a role as well. Acrodermatitis is one of the many common skin conditions that affect children.

The full name of Acrodermatitis is “Papular Acrodermatitis of Childhood”. The name itself indicates that it primarily affects children, mainly from ages 3 months to 15 years. It is also known as Papular Acrodermatitis, Gianotti Crosti Syndrome (GCS), or Infantile Acrodermatitis. 

It causes red or purple, itchy blisters. Since red blisters are an indication of many infections, a thorough check-up is required for the diagnosis of the disease.     

If a sibling of a child has had interaction with the disease, chances for the child himself to develop the disease are also high. Children can still carry the disease even after being cleared of all symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms of Acrodermatitis

Symptoms of this syndrome develop over three to four days. Some of the common symptoms are below:

  • Asymmetrical spots (5-10mm in diameter)
  • Red spots or patches on arms, legs, and buttocks
  • Non-itchy spots in the beginning
  • Swelling and tenderness in the abdomen and lymph nodes
  • Flat patches, firm to the touch
  • Purple spots at a later stage
  • Mild temperature
  • No rash on the back, chest, or belly area

Types of Acrodermatitis

Causes of Acrodermatitis

  • The exact cause of this disorder is unknown but it is linked with many other infections.  
  • It is mainly linked to a viral infection. The virus itself is contagious and can be contracted by other children.  
  • In America, the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is associated with acrodermatitis while in Italy; the Hepatitis B virus is associated with acrodermatitis. In Pakistan, EBV is the main virus connected with this syndrome.

Usually, vaccines work against bacteria or viruses that attack our bodies. In very rare cases the opposite happens. In this scenario, vaccines lead to the development of acrodermatitis, such as;


Risk Factors of Acrodermatitis

Many other infections can also cause acrodermatitis. Some of the other viruses associated with this disorder are as follows:



Acrodermatitis is a medical condition that is caused by viral infections. The best preventive means to lower the risk of acquiring this disease is by avoiding any viral infection. You should make sure that your child is taking care of his or her personal hygiene. 

  • Make sure their hands are clean and properly sanitized 
  • They are wearing neat and clean cloths 
  • Tell them to maintain a safe distance from anyone who is sick


Since it is similar to many other rashes, just symptoms are not enough for a proper diagnosis. Tests are performed to rule out other infections and diseases and to confirm this disorder:

Treatment of Acrodermatitis | When to Consult a Doctor

The symptoms of acrodermatitis usually go away on their own after four to eight weeks. They may last longer than this as well. Acrodermatitis isn’t treated but the virus that caused it is treated instead. 

Hydrocortisone creams or antihistamines can be used to ease itching and irritation. If hepatitis B is found to be the cause of acrodermatitis, it can take the liver up to a year to recover. 

It is important to contact the doctor when a rash appears. It is necessary to treat the cause of the condition as soon as possible. This way long-term complications can be avoided.

In case of any concerning signs and symptoms, you need to consult a certified dermatologist as soon as possible.