Baby Rashes are often hard to describe in words, and though most rashes aren’t too serious, some are signs of illnesses that need prompt medical attention. It’s always to reasonable to show an unidentified rash to your baby’s doctor or nurse practitioner.
Common diaper rashes
Most babies have sensitive skin in the early months. The diaper region is particularly apt to suffer because diapers retain water next to the tender skin and don’t allow the area to breathe. In fact, any of us would get a rash in the groin if we had to wear a diaper 24 hours a day. That’s why the best treatment for almost any baby rashes due to any diaper is usually to have the baby go diaper less for as long as possible—a few hours a day is ideal. Right after a bowel movement, for example, is a good time to let your baby hang in the breeze, since there is less likelihood of action in that area in the near future.
Fold a diaper underneath your baby or put him on a large waterproof pad, and try to keep the diaper under him (even so, boys are apt to spray—so keep some paper towels handy). The warm air and lack of contact with material usually does the trick. Almost all babies develop a few spots of diaper baby rashes from time to time. If it is slight and goes away as fast as it came, no special treatment is necessary, except air-drying.
Don’t wash the diaper area with soap while there is a rash, because soap can be irritating. Use plain water instead of diaper wipes. You can give the skin a protective coating by slathering on petroleum jelly or any of the diaper ointments. Some diaper services use special rinses in the case of diaper rashes. If you wash the diapers at home, you can add a half cup of clear white vinegar to the last rinse.
In older babies, diaper baby rashes are often caused by the skin’s being in prolonged contact with the warm, acidic urine. Air-drying and frequent diaper changes usually do the trick. A diaper rash caused by yeast (also called candida) will have bright red spots that often come together to form a solid, red area bordered by spots.
The folds in the diaper area are usually bright red with bright red spots on the prominences. Treatment is with a prescription anti yeast cream. A rash with blisters or pus (especially with fever, but even without) is likely to be causes by bacteria and should be treated by a doctor.
Baby Rashes from diarrhea
Irritating bowel movements during an attack of diarrhea sometimes cause a very sore rash around the anus or a smooth, bright red rash on the buttocks. The treatment is to change the diaper just as soon as it becomes soiled no small task. Then clean the area with oil or, if the area is too sore to wipe, hold the baby’s bottom under warm water from a running faucet, pat him dry, and apply a thick covering of a protective ointment ( one brand is as good as another). If this doesn’t work, the diaper should be left off and the diaper area exposed to the air. Sometimes it seems that while the baby has diarrhea, nothing helps very much. Fortunately, this rash cures itself soon after the diarrhea is over.
Baby Rashes on the face
There are several mild face rashes that babies have in the first few months that aren’t definite enough to have names but are very common. Milia are minute shiny white pimples without any redness around them. They look tiny pearls in the skin. In this case, the oil glands in the skin are producing oil, but since they haven’t opened up to the skin yet, the oil packets just sit there.
Over the next weeks or months, the oil ducts open up and the oil is expressed. Some babies have collections of a few small red spots or smooth pimples on the cheeks and forehead. They look like acne, and that’s exactly what they are. They are caused by exposure to the mother’s hormones in the womb. These may last a long time and get a parent quite upset. At times they fade then get red again. Different ointments don’t seem to do much good. These rashes and spots always go away eventually.
Erythema toxicum consists of splotchy red rash patches that are a quarter two a half inch in diameter, some with a tiny white pimple head. In darker-skinned infants, the splotches can be purplish in color. They come and go on different parts of the face and body. We don’t know what causes this common rash, but once it goes away, it doesn’t come back. Larger, pus-filled blisters or pimples may be infections and should be reported promptly to the doctor or nurse practitioner.
Baby Rashes on body and scalp
Prickly heat is very common in the shoulder and the neck region of the babies when hot weather begins. It is made up of clusters of very small pink pimples surrounded by blotches that are pink in light-skinned babies and may be dark red or purplish in dark-skinned ones. Tiny blisters form on some of the pimples. When they dry up they can give the rash a slightly tan look.
Prickly heat usually starts around the neck. If it is bad, it can spread down onto the chest and back and up around the ears and face, but it seldom bothers a baby. You can pat this rash several times a day with absorbent cotton dipped in a solution of bicarbonate of soda (one teaspoon bicarbonate of soda to one cup water). Another treatment is dusting with cornstarch baby powder (we don’t recommend talcum powder anymore because it can irritate the lungs).
Baby Rashes most prickly heat goes away on its own without any special treatment. It is more important to try to keep the baby cool. Don’t be afraid to take off the baby’s clothes in hot weather. After all, there’s no evidence that early experience of nakedness leads to children’s growing up to be nudists. Cradle cap (seborrhea) is a usually mild disorder that appears as rash patches on the scalp on the scalp that look like greasy yellow or reddish crusts.
Seborrhea can also occur on the face, in the diaper area, and elsewhere on the body. You can oil the patches to soften them then wash with a mild dandruff shampoo, brushing out the scales that come from the patches. Don’t leave the oil on long before shampooing it out. Medicated shampoos and prescription medication can also help. Cradle cap rarely persists beyond the first six months.
Impetigo is a bacterial infection of the skin
Such baby rashes generally not serious, but it is contagious and should be treated promptly by your doctor or nurse practitioner. It starts with a very delicate small blister that contains yellowish fluid or white pus and is surrounded by reddened skin. The blister is easily broken, leaving a small raw spot. It does not develop a thick crust in infants as it does in older children. It’s apt to start in a moist place, such as the edge of the diaper or in the groin or armpit. New spots may develop.
Over-the-counter antibacterial ointments and air-drying can help. Arrange clothing and bedclothes so that they do not cover the spot or spots, and keep the room warmer than usual to compensate, if necessary. Prescription antibiotic ointment usually solves the problem quickly. During impetigo, disinfect the diapers, sheets, underclothing, nighties, towels, and washcloths, using ordinary sodium hypochlorite bleach in the wash according to the directions on the bottle to get rid of baby rashes.