A rash is a swelling or irritation of the skin that makes it appear red, bumpy, scaly, lumpy, or itchy and sometimes be accompanied by a fever. Rashes can be caused by many things such as insect bites, allergies, bacteria, fungi, viruses, heat, moisture, irritation, friction, and saliva. This article will discuss some of the common rashes in babies. One of the most common rashes babies can get is a diaper rash. A diaper rash can be caused by a diaper being to small, wet or soiled diapers being left on too long, a reaction to new foods, a reaction to a new detergent, a reaction to a new brand of diapers and wipes, or a bacterial or yeast infection. Once the cause of the diaper rash is alleviated, it usually clears in three to four days. To prevent a diaper rash, make sure to clean a wet or soiled diaper as soon as possible. If a diaper rash develops clean the diaper area with wipes or a washcloth and water, expose your baby’s bottom to air whenever possible, and use a diaper cream to create a moisture barrier. If the diaper rash is accompanied by a fever, doesn’t get better in a few days, or looks bad, make an appointment with your baby’s doctor to get it looked at. Eczema is a rash that can cause dry, scaly skin with red patches on the face, inside of the elbows, or behind the knees. The patches can be mild to very itchy and in infants are more likely to appear on the body than on the face. Eczema can be caused by genetic and environmental factors. Some children inherit dry, sensitive skin from a parent and some kids may get eczema due to how their body reacts to environmental irritants, such as pollen. You baby’s doctor may prescribe an ointment or recommend and over the counter cream to treat the eczema. You can also try mild, unscented laundry detergents and soap, dress your baby in soft clothes, and only bathe them no more than three times a week to help prevent it from reoccurring. A drool rash is a form of eczema in which the baby’s drool irritates the skin and lips causing a rash around the mouth. It is also called lip licker’s contact dermatitis or teething rash. It occurs most often when babies are teething and drool frequently. The best things to do are wipe your baby’s mouth frequently with a clean, dry cloth, put on an absorbent bib that’s changed frequently, and applying a barrier ointment such as petroleum jelly may help. If the rash is severe, see your baby’s doctor for recommendations. Erytemia Toxicum is a common rash that appears a few days after birth. IT causes multiple red splotches with yellowish-white bumps. The cause is unknown, but it usually clears up on its own in about a week. It may briefly go away then flare back up before going away for good. Baby acne is small red or white bumps that can show on your baby’s cheeks, nose, forehead, back, and/or chest. It is unknown what cause’s baby acne and in cannot be prevented but it will go away on its own and not leave any scars. Milia are the tiny white bumps that appear on your baby’s face, mainly the cheeks, chin, and tip of the nose. It is caused by skin flakes being trapped under the skin. Milia do not require and treatment other than simple skin care. Avoid scrubbing or picking at the spots, gently wash baby’s face with warm water and baby soap once a day and avoid putting lotion or oil on the affected areas. The bumps will generally disappear within the first two to three weeks of a baby’s life. Miliara are small red bumps or sweat blisters in the folds of a baby’s skin. They are also known as heat rash or prickly heat. They typically happen in hot and humid climates or if your baby is overdressed and becomes overheated. They usually go away in a few days and do not require any treatment.
Candice Hutchins is a registered nurse and has been working at the Health West Pediatrics clinic since April of 2019.