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Slapped cheek syndrome

Slapped cheek syndrome is an infection that mainly affects children. It can cause the cheeks to turn bright red.

The main symptom of slapped cheek syndrome is a bright red rash on both cheeks.

Slapped cheek syndrome usually goes away on its own. You can ease symptoms with things like painkillers, moisturisers and antihistamines.

Slapped cheek syndrome can spread to other people by coughing or sneezing near them, or by touching contaminated objects.

Read more on the NHS website.

The main symptom of slapped cheek syndrome is a bright red rash on both cheeks.

Check if it's slapped cheek syndrome

The first sign of slapped cheek syndrome is usually feeling unwell for a few days.

Symptoms may include:

A slapped cheek syndrome rash on the face.A bright red rash may appear on both cheeks. It may look as if the cheeks have been slapped. Adults do not usually get the rash.

A slapped cheek syndrome rash on the body.A few days later, a lighter-coloured rash may appear on the chest, arms and legs. The skin is raised and can be itchy.

Read more on the NHS website.

Slapped cheek syndrome usually goes away on its own. You can ease symptoms with things like painkillers, moisturisers and antihistamines.

Self-care

You do not usually need to see a GP for slapped cheek syndrome.

There are some things you can do to ease symptoms while it clears up.


Do

  • rest
  • drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration – babies should continue their normal feeds
  • take paracetamol or ibuprofen for a high temperature, headaches or joint pain
  • use moisturiser on itchy skin
  • speak to a pharmacist if you have itchy skin – they can recommend the best antihistamine for children

Don't

  • do not give aspirin to children under 16

Read more on the NHS website.

Slapped cheek syndrome can spread to other people by coughing or sneezing near them, or by touching contaminated objects.

Read more on the NHS website.