Amongst the many concerns that plague parents, a baby skin rash is one of the most common. It is quite alarming to see a cluster of red spots that formed in either your baby’s bottom or her chest. Add to that fact is the amount of irritation, discomfort, and in some cases, pain the skin rash is causing your baby.
The good news is that they are treatable and can easily be prevented. The measures you have to take when it comes to both are not that difficult to do, too! We have listed the common baby rashes below along with the accompanying treatment and prevention for each.
Erythema Toxicum/Newborn Rash/Flea-Bite Rash
Cause: This happens when the newborn’s eosinophils reacts to the outside-of-womb environment for the first time. It usually appears on the second day after birth while some babies have it two weeks after birth. It starts as a papule (white small dots) then slowly turns into red rashes.
Prevention and Treatment: No treatment is necessary. It is an unpredictable and sporadic rash. It may be gone after a few hours; some lasts for days.
Causes: Prolonged contact of the feces or urine in the skin will result to a rash in either the buttocks or the baby’s vaginal or penile region. When the urine is left in the diaper for a long time, it breaks down into ammonia and may cause ammonia dermatitis. It is more common in baby’s who are more than 6 months old because they produce more amount of urine.
Prevention and Treatment: Change the diaper as soon as it is soiled. Apply Desitin cream to prevent diaper rash. Let the baby be diaper free for a couple of minutes to allow the diaper area to breathe. Try changing the brand of diaper; your baby maybe allergic to the current brand that he/she is using.
Miliaria/Prickly Heat Rash
Cause: It occurs most often during summer or in areas where the weather is constantly hot. It can also happen when the baby is too warmly dressed or placed in a hot room. You’ll first notice a cluster of red rashes (papules) on the baby’s neck. They may eventually spread to the chest, ears, and face if not treated immediately.
Prevention and Treatment: Bathing the baby for twice a day will cool down the skin and avoid the worsening of the rash. Adding one teaspoon of baking soda to a half-filled tub will improve the rash as well. Dress your baby in light, cotton clothes, and don’t expose him to cool areas to avoid exacerbation.
Infantile Seborrheic Dermatitis/Cradle Cap
Caused: Cradle Cap is caused by a naturall skin flora that acts as a protection called Malassezia. Sometimes, this skin protector gets inflamed resulting in thick, salmon-colored flaky patched on the baby’s scalp, behind the ears, and near the belly button. Areas that is rich in sebaceous glands such as the scalp is the main target.
Prevention and Treatment: Wash the scalp once a day using a mild baby shampoo and warm water to soften the flakes. Never wash the scalp more than once a day. Doing so will produce more oil in the scalp and worsen the cradle cap. Gently remove the flakes by brushing the scalp with a soft-bristle baby hair brush while it’s still damp.
Atopic Dermatitis/Infantile Eczema
Cause: Infantile eczema maybe caused by an allergy to milk formula (happens more on formula-fed babies). They are also common in babies that are given solid food before they turn 6 months. Tight clothing, soap, sweat, and heat increases itchiness.
It mostly forms around the neck, behind the ears, the cheeks, the scalp, forehead, and extremities.
Prevention and Treatment: Since the rash is vesicular (fluid-filled sacs) in nature, the goal should be to eliminate secondary skin infection. Since the lesions are very itchy, expect the baby to constantly scratch it. Once it happens, the vesicles rupture. The open lesions are now highly vulnerable to infections.
To soothe itchiness, bathe the baby or apply wet dressing on the affected areas for 15-20 minutes. After you have removed the dressing, apply an emollient such as petroleum jelly. Do not apply topical steroid cream without consulting your pediatrician. He may suggest using an occlusive dressing along with the cream to hasten the healing process.
Even though skin rashes are treatable, you still have to still watch for warning signs – open wounds, fever, bleeding. It is always best to seek medical advice before they develop.