Springdale Mason Pediatrics

Measles Vaccine Rash

Definition

  • Mild pink rash that occurs 6-12 days after the measles shot

Call or Return If

  • Fever lasts over 3 days
  • Rash lasts over 4 days
  • You think your child needs to be seen
  • Your child becomes worse

About This Topic

Symptoms

  • The rash is made up of small pink spots.
  • They occur on both sides of the body. Usually, occurs only on the chest, stomach and back.
  • Most children with a rash also have a fever. The fever is most often between 101 F and 103 F (38.3 C and 39.5 C).

Cause

  • One of the body's normal reactions to the measles shot.
  • The rash means the shot is working. This is not an allergic reaction.

After Care Advice

Overview:
  • About 5% of children have a pink rash after a measles shot.
  • A fever also occurs in most of these children.
  • The rash and fever mean the shot is working. Your child's body is making new antibodies to protect against the real disease.
Treatment:
  • The rash is harmless and cannot be spread to others.
  • Creams or medicines are not needed.
Fever:
  • For fevers above 102° F (39° C), give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen. Note: Lower fevers are important for fighting infections.
  • For ALL fevers: Keep your child well hydrated. Give lots of cold fluids.
What to Expect:
  • The measles shot rash and fever lasts 2 to 3 days.
Return to School:
  • The rash cannot be spread to others.
  • Your child does not need to miss any child care or school.

Author: Barton Schmitt MD, FAAP
Copyright 2000-2020 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC
Disclaimer: This health information is for educational purposes only. You the reader assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
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