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Child care Health and fitness

Rashes – what’s common and what’s not

The journey of parenthood can be quite scary if not armed with enough knowledge or the right information. There are too many things that end up happening which can either set off a panic attack or push you off the road of sanity. One of the things that likely come up is baby rashes. As your baby grows, you’ll notice skin conditions developing or growing – some alarming and some not – but how to tell if it’s something you don’t need to worry about or something that needs medical attention? Read on to know more about rashes – what’s common and what’s not.

What causes rashes in babies?

To better understand what’s to be considered as something concerning or not, let’s first understand what typically causes rashes in babies.

Rashes - what's common and what's not - person covering infant with swaddling blanket

Newborn baby skin, even up to toddler life, can be very sensitive and susceptible to irritation – depending on family allergy history and other factors – there are many things that can trigger rashes in baby’s skin. Baby’s skin is easily affected by things like heat, dust, their own drool, and a lot more. Fortunately, most of these skin reactions and conditions are short-lived and tend to clear on their own – of course with proper hygiene practice and constant skin care.

In severe cases, however, there will be a need for creams, medication, ointments, and even steroids. Of course, all these will be prescribed by your baby’s pediatrician and the dosage for the need, depending on the severity of the rash.

Common causes of rashes in babies include:

  • heat
  • allergies
  • friction
  • dampness
  • chemicals
  • fragrances
  • fabrics

Rashes - what's common and what's not - close up photo of baby feet on white background

Common types of rashes

Some of the most common types of infant skin rashes include:

  • Heat rash
    Also called prickly heat or miliaria, occurs when sweat ducts become clogged and the sweat cannot get to the surface of the skin. Instead, it becomes trapped beneath the skin’s surface causing a mild inflammation or rash.
  • Cradle Cap
    Appears as patchy scaling or thick crusts on the scalp and greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales. Cradle cap usually doesn’t bother the infant.
  • Baby Acne
    Also known as neonatal acne, is a common, usually temporary skin condition that develops on a baby’s face or body. It results in tiny red or white bumps or pimples. In almost all cases, the acne resolves on its own without treatment.
  • Diaper/Nappy Rash
    The main cause is wearing a wet or dirty nappy for too long. Soaps and detergents left on cloth nappies after washing can also contribute to nappy rash. Sometimes children also have other conditions like eczema, psoriasis, thrush or impetigo, which might make nappy rash worse.
  • Eczema
    Is most prominent on the cheeks, forehead, and scalp of an infant within the first few months of life, and often tends to make the skin look redder and “weepy” than at other ages. Eczema can appear on other parts of the body as well, including the diaper area.
  • Drool Rash
    Can appear around the mouth and cheeks, in the folds of your baby’s neck, and on your baby’s chest as a result of too much saliva causing wet skin.

When to be concerned with rashes?

If you answer Yes to the following questions below – then it’s a telltale sign that you should bring your child to their pediatrician for a checkup.