Skip to main content
Slapped cheek syndrome

Slapped cheek syndrome is an infection that mainly affects children. It usually causes a rash on the cheeks.

The main symptom of slapped cheek syndrome is a rash on 1 or both cheeks. It may be harder to see on brown and black skin.

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 rash on 1 or both cheeks. It may be harder to see on brown and black skin.

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:

S_1017_slapped-cheek-syndrome_C0181015.jpg
A red rash may appear on 1 or both cheeks. It may be less obvious on brown and black skin. Adults do not usually get the rash on their face.

slapped cheek syndrome 2
A few days later, a spotty rash may appear on the chest, arms and legs. The rash can be raised and itchy. It may be harder to see on brown and black skin.

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 the symptoms.


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 about 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.