A Guide To Baby Rashes, Including How To Treat And Prevent Baby Rashes Such As Heat Rash, Roseola, Diaper Rash And More.

Your little one's smooth, baby-soft skin is suddenly covered in a bumpy, blistery rash. And as a new parent, you're in panic mode. Before you make any "rash" decisions, apply ointment that could make things worse, or rush to the emergency room, learn to identify the most common baby blotches and rashes.
Dawn Papandrea

Here is a list of the most common baby rashes and how to treat them.

Atopic dermatitis/eczema
“Eczema is sometimes called the ‘itch that rashes’ since the more they scratch the worse the rash becomes,” explains Dr Andy Clark, a Texas-based pediatrician and pediatrics expert on JustAnswer.com.

What it looks like: Dry, thickened, scaly skin, or tiny red bumps

Where it is: Forehead, cheeks, or scalp

Fact: Ten to 20 percent of babies have it in the first year of life.

How to make it better: Use mild or oatmeal-based soaps, limit bath time and use lukewarm water. Apply moisturizing ointment, cream, or lotion right away. And, keep nails short to minimize scratching that breaks the skin. “Bad cases respond to steroids, and you can start with over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream,” says Dr. David Hill, a pediatrician and professor of pediatrics at UNC Medical School. “When these measures aren't helping, it's time to consult a doctor.”

Baby acne
“Acne is caused by lingering maternal hormones stimulating the sebaceous glands, and goes away in a few months. A doctor may recommend a topical benzoyl peroxide treatment if not,” explains Dr Anatoly Belilovsky, a renowned New York pediatrician.

What it looks like: Small whiteheads surrounded by reddish skin

Where it is: Cheeks, forehead, chin

Fact: Flare ups can be caused by excess saliva, spit-up milk, or rough fabric.

How to make it better: Don't put creams or oils on your baby's skin, because these can make the acne worse. Just let it be.

Heat rash
Heat rash, or prickly heat, is very common in babies for the first few months, says Dr Clark. “It is more common when the temperature is fluctuating quite a bit from lows in the morning to hot and humid in the evenings, so temperature variation plays a role here.”

What it looks like: Tiny bumps (and sometimes blisters)

Where it is: Chest, neck, diaper area

Fact: When baby sweats too much and his pores clog up, heat rash develops. “Parents tend to keep babies too wrapped up as a rule when they really only need perhaps one more layer than the parents have on and the house should be kept at the temperature that is comfortable for the parents,” explains Dr Clark.

How to make it better: Remove clothing layers, place him on a cotton towel to absorb his sweat. Apply cool, wet washcloths to the rash areas. Do not apply cream or lotion. New Jersey mom of three, Jen Maidenberg, swears by a natural remedy: cornstarch. “It really helped heal my 10 month old’s rash this summer,” she says.

“Roseola is a viral rash caused by the Herpes Type 6 virus,” says Dr Clark.  “The rash of Roseola appears only after the fever subsides, and pops up within 24 hours and only then can the doctor make the diagnosis retrospectively.”

What it looks like: Pinkish small flat spots or raised bumps

Where it is: Stomach area

Fact: Roseola is a common mild virus that affects babies between 6 months and 3 years of age. “Roseola lasts all of three days, and by the time parents usually see it, you are so happy the fever broke that the rash is of very little consequence,” says Dr Belilovsky.

How to make it better: Roseola just needs to run its course, but treat the fever with plenty of fluids, and call your doctor for further instructions. “The rash does not itch and is actually what you want to see as that marks the end of the virus and then the child starts feeling better,” says Dr Clark.

Read more on baby rashes:

Tags: bumps eczema rash roseola spots

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