Baby Skin Rashes & Conditions – Know All About It

baby skin rashes conditions know all

Baby’s skin is delicate and susceptible to irritation, which often leads to skin conditions. Many of them aren’t harmful and go away on their own. But sometimes a strange spot could be the indicator of something more serious. As a new parent, knowing about this will save you from a lot of unnecessary stress.

8 Different Types of Rashes

Your precious little bundle of joy spent nine months in your womb before it came out and said ‘hello’! This is a drastic change, and your baby – like a LOT of other babies – needs time to adjust to this change. Many skin problems in newborns are caused as a result of this. Here are 8 common baby skin rashes and conditions that your newborn may suffer from.

1. Pimples and White Spots

what Does it Look Like?

milia

During the first few weeks, your newborn might develop tiny pimples on her nose, cheeks and forehead. You might also see tiny white spots on her face (called milia) or on her gums and/or palate (called Epstein pearls).

What Causes It?

Also known as ‘baby acne’, the pimples you see on a newborn are not related to hormonal changes of oil imbalance (as in the case of older children). The most likely cause of baby acne is yeast, a type of fungus. On the other hand, milia is caused by clogged oil glands.

How to Treat It

Newborn baby acne is self-limiting. This means, the condition does NOT need medication or medical attention and will improve and clear out on its own. Similarly, as your newborn grows older, her oil glands will open up, and the milia will disappear too.

2. Red Dots

what Does it Look Like?

Sometimes babies get red dots called petechiae, on the skin. The red dots look like small dots made with a fine-point pen.

What Causes It?

Petechiae is caused by the rupturing of blood capillaries. When the baby squeezes itself out of your birth canal, some of its capillaries may get ruptured, causing petechiae.

How to Treat It

Petechiae does not require medical assistance or attention. The condition will improve on its own in time.

3. Baby Eczema

what Does it Look Like?

eczemaEczema makes the skin dry, scaly and itchy. Sometimes there might be tiny red bumps that ooze when scratched.

What Causes It?

Eczema is usually seen as a result of an allergic reaction. It is most common in babies whose parents have a history of allergies in the family. Eczema is not infectious but can cause your newborn a lot of discomfort.

How to Treat It

The best solution for eczema is to avoid the triggers: dry air, soaps and detergents, etc. Dress your baby in light clothes and use soft sheets to lay beneath him. Consult the doctor for the frequency of bathing, the use of proper soaps and moisturisers, and if the condition does not improve.

4. Diaper Rash

what Does it Look Like?

diaper rash

A diaper rash causes the skin around your newborn’s genitals to turn red, and sensitive. Your baby may cry if contact is made with the affected area.

What Causes It?

Moisture is the biggest enemy of baby skin, and diaper rashes are typically caused by trapped moisture. They may also be caused if there is a considerable delay before the newborn’s soiled diaper is changed.

How to Treat It

Prevention is the best cure for diaper rash. Make sure you keep your baby diaper-free for at least a couple of hours every day. Do not use highly absorbent diapers, as one tends to leave them on longer, thereby predisposing the little one to a diaper rash. Buy the correct size of diapers too (as tight diapers will not allow the skin to breathe).

5. Heat Rash

what Does it Look Like?

heat rashIt is also called as prickly heat or ‘miliaria’. It appears as a red or pink rash all over the covered area of the body. It is itchy and might result in a burning sensation.

What Causes It?

Trapped heat is what causes miliaria in most babies. Moms tend to overdress their babies at times, keeping them covered even in warm or hot weather. This causes the skin to turn red and develop a heat rash

How to Treat It

A cool bath and loose, cool, cotton clothes are a good way to provide relief. Make sure you air your newborn’s skin well enough to allow it to cool down completely, before you dress her, especially after bathing in summers.

6. Spitting Rash

what Does it Look Like?

spitting rashA spitting rash can be observed around the baby’s mouth and on her chin too. It causes the skin around the mouth to turn red.

What Causes It?

A spitting rash, as the name suggests, is caused if the baby’s spit and drool is allowed to sit without being cleaned properly and in a timely manner.

How to Treat It

A spitting rash too is not a grave condition and does not require medication. Make sure you wipe your baby’s spit off her mouth and chin (irrespective of whether it is plain drool, or drool produced during feeding).

7. Blotchy Skin

what Does it Look Like?

During the first few days after birth, some newborns get blotchy skin. The condition – also known as ‘erythema toxicum’ – is characterised by tiny red pus-filled bumps all over the newborn’s body.

What Causes It?

Blotchy skin might sometimes be due to extreme cold weather. Some connection between blotchy skin and harsh detergents has also been drawn, but remain unproven. The most commonly accepted cause of erythema toxicum is the activation of the immune system when the baby comes out of the mother’s womb and is exposed to the environment.

How to Treat It

There is no specific treatment required for blotchy skin, as it is a self-limiting condition and will typically resolve within a couple of weeks.

8. Scaly Scalp

what Does it Look Like?

craddle capAlso known as cradle cap, a scaly scalp is characterised by oily, yellowish scales on the crown of the baby’s head.

What Causes It?

The surge of hormones experienced by a mother in the last few weeks of her pregnancy cause cradle cap in some babies. These hormones sometimes trigger oil production in the baby, leading to cradle cap.

How to Treat It

Cradle cap can be treated by applying oil or shea butter and scrubbing before shampooing with a mild baby shampoo. Breastfeeding is also thought to ease the condition.

WATCH: Paediatrician Jennifer Shu Explains Common Types of Baby Skin Rashes

Key Takeaway: This video shows several examples of babies suffering from some of the common baby skin rashes that plague newborns. Watch paediatrician Jennifer Shu as she explains each condition.

Tips to Avoid Skin Rashes in Babies

Most of the conditions mentioned above are benign. They do not require medical attention or assistance. There are several things you can do to avoid your newborn’s sensitive, delicate and soft skin from getting damaged. Here are some general tips regarding the same.

  1. Make sure you keep your baby clean at all times! While a bath may not be recommended for newborns, make liberal use of medicated baby wipes.
  1. Moisture is the main culprit for most baby skin conditions. Ensure you never let moisture get trapped between the skin folds of your baby’s body.
  1. Neither under-dress your baby, nor over-dress her. An under-dressed baby is more likely to lose skin moisture, while an over-dressed baby is susceptible to excess heat.
  1. Do not be afraid to ‘air’ your baby’s skin. Leave her free of clothing for a while, especially between changes and after a bath (for older babies).
  1. As unbelievable as it sounds, baby skin does not require to be powdered! In fact, powder can cause the baby’s sinuses to be inflammed, or can even give the poor one a cough.
  1. Babies need sunscreen too, as they too are susceptible to sunburns. Consult your paediatrician about the same.
  1. Buy paediatrician-approved baby products.
  1. While babies never come in direct contact with detergents, indirect contact is established through the baby’s belongings – her clothes, toys, bath-wear, napkins, etc. Make sure you use a very mild detergent for washing your baby’s belongings (including her toys).
  1. Always wash your own hands thoroughly (with a mild hand-wash, needless to say!) before handling your baby. Also, make sure you yourself maitain good personal hygiene so as to never become the source of the infection!
  1. Give your baby enough and quality nourishment to strengthen her body from within.

When to See a Doctor

Most skill subside on their own. It can take anywhere between 2 and 6 weeks for a skin condition to disappear. However, if your baby’s skin condition is accompanied by other symptoms, it is definitely a cause for worry! Watch out for the following:

  • Fever
  • Pain
  • Crankiness
  • Fluid-filled bumps
  • If the condition does not subside within a month’s time

Baby skin rashes, although they do not cause much harm, can look really unpleasant, and it may cause you a lot of distress to see your baby so. But remember, more often than not, there is no cause to worry! Make sure your baby is well-fed, clean, and well-rested, and the rash will disappear in no time.