Smooth like a baby’s butt.

That’s how people always describe clear, blemish-free skin.

But then you take a look at your baby and wonder where you’ve gone wrong ⁠— what are all the red, itchy, and splotchy patches doing on their body?

Those itchy red blotches on your baby’s skin are called baby rash. They could be heat rash, drool rash, or nappy rash. A rash is defined as any red eruption of the skin. Though it starts out itchy, it can quickly turn painful and bloody if not taken care of immediately.

What Causes Baby Rash?

A baby’s skin is very delicate and sensitive to irritants, especially since they lack the protective skin barrier that we adults have. As a result, their skin is extremely prone to redness and swelling.

Rashes happen when your baby is exposed to irritants in their everyday lives. Examples include dust, sweat, dampness, fragrances, chemicals, friction, and fabrics. 

Other causes of rash include allergies and bacterial or viral infections.

It can literally appear anywhere on your baby’s face, neck, arms, chest and back, legs, hands, feet, diaper area, armpits, elbows, and wherever there are skin folds that trap moisture and irritants.

Photo by zilvergolf on Freepik

Common Types of Baby Rash

Heat rash

Heat rash is the same as prickly heat or miliaria. Babies commonly develop heat rash due to their underdeveloped sweat glands.

When their sweat evaporates from their body, the dust and dead skin cells are left on their skin, which then proceeds to clog up the pores and cause inflammation of the skin.

Heat rash typically appears in small, red bumps that are individual from each other. They’re often found on the baby’s neck, back, armpits, and tummy.

How to relieve heat rash:

  • Bathe your baby often using warm water
  • Change their clothing as soon as they start sweating
  • Keep their activity area cool and well-ventilated
  • Make sure their clothes and bedding are made of breathable cotton
  • Apply talc-free baby powder onto their skin

Diaper rash

Diaper rash occurs around the diaper area, which includes their inner thighs, genital area, and the buttocks.

The rash that appears here is often red, patchy, and inflamed. This signifies a yeast rash, also known as Candidiasis.

Your baby’s wet diapers may be the culprit here. Moist areas are ideal breeding places for bacteria and yeast, especially since the skin is exposed to the acidity of urine and faeces in the diapers for a prolonged time.

How to relieve diaper rash:

  • Wash your hands before changing your baby’s diapers
  • Use mild and unscented wipes
  • Pat the area dry instead of rubbing at the area
  • Apply talc-free baby powder onto the affected areas
  • Ensure that your baby’s diaper area is thoroughly dry before putting on another diaper
Photo by comzeal on Freepik

Drool rash

Drool rash usually happens around your baby’s mouth, and it’s caused by, you guessed it, your baby’s drool.

Babies drool a lot, especially when they’re teething. They also have a tendency to open their mouths a lot and have limited ability for swallowing back their saliva.

A drool rash usually happens around your baby’s mouth, cheeks, chin, neck folds, and chest. Excessive drooling irritates these areas, also another favourite breeding spot for bacteria.

Symptoms include flat or slightly raised bumpy patches. Some areas may look red and raw while other areas may be chapped and peeling. It is not contagious, but it can cause a lot of pain and discomfort.

How to relieve drool rash:

  • Always have unscented wipes handy to wipe off their drool
  • Never rub your baby’s face — gently dab their drool away to avoid irritating the skin more
  • Use plain or herbal water to gently cleanse their face at least twice every day
  • Change your baby’s clothes when it gets wet from drooling
  • Thoroughly sterilise your baby’s pacifier and toys

Tips for Preventing Rashes

It’s completely normal for healthy babies to develop a rash on their skin, and although it looks unsightly, it usually clears away on its own with some tender, loving care.

Nonetheless, there still are a few things that you should take note of to lower the chances of your baby developing those red, bumpy patches on their skin:

1. Never, ever let strangers kiss your baby’s face

Especially if they are showing symptoms of illnesses. Your baby’s immune system is not as developed as adults’ or older children’s, and your baby risks contracting nasty germs from them.

2. Always make sure to keep your baby’s skin clean and dry

Keep baby wipes handy for cleaning up dirt, stains, and other irritants like sweat and saliva.

3. Constantly check on your baby’s diapers

Change them frequently to avoid exposing their lower areas to urine and faeces for a long period. Use talc-free baby powder with caution, as it may cause breathing difficulties in your baby if inhaled into their lungs. 

Photo by Irina Murza on Unsplash

4. Don’t self-prescribe creams and ointments

Consult with your paediatrician before using any sort of barrier creams or ointments on your baby’s delicate skin. Don’t go for over-the-counter medications unless prescribed by your baby’s doctor.

5. Dress your baby comfortably

Dress your baby in comfortable and non-irritating clothes, preferably made with cotton material. Change your baby’s clothes if it gets damp or wet to prevent irritation.

6. Keep your baby up-to-date with vaccinations

Vaccines protect your baby from other serious types of rash conditions like measles, chickenpox, ringworm and more. Your baby may develop a slight fever as a response, but you needn’t worry as it is a sign that the vaccine is working.

7. Use gentle, unscented, and baby-safe products

There are baby-safe alternatives for bathing your baby and washing their clothes. Remember to wash and sterilise their toys, pacifiers, baby chairs, and cutlery before use.

8. Soothe your baby’s skin with a warm and gentle herbal bath

Keep their skin clean, refreshed, and rejuvenated daily with a nice, warm bath.

Our Baby Herbal Bath is formulated with baby-friendly herbs that help relieve the pain and itching caused by skin rashes.

Cortex Phellodendri Chinense is a common traditional Chinese medicinal herb for treating skin rashes and eczema due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Add to that a soothing blend of gentle peppermint and your fussy baby will start calming down right after this nice, warm bath.

When Should I Consult a Doctor?

Worsened Rash

If your baby’s rash persists for longer than a week and starts to bleed or ooze pus.

Breathing Problems

If your baby is showing respiratory problems, it could be anaphylaxis or an allergic reaction. 

High Fever

If your baby is suffering from a high fever and light sensitivity, it could be meningitis.

Disclaimer:

All information provided above is for informational purposes only, not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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