Facial rash is a common problem that bothers newborn babies a lot. Read on to have a better understanding of the causes and treatment for this annoying condition.
Even though you expect your newborn baby to have a smooth and perfect skin after birth, the fact is that an infant’s skin is more prone to allergies and rashes. Within a few weeks of the baby’s birth, you must have noticed rashes on the baby’s face and neck. It is irritating for the baby. As the little one is unable to express the discomfort, it results in crying and sleeplessness. As parents, you get worried and confused in such a situation. However, you need not panic, unless and until this skin rash is not accompanied by other symptoms like fever, lethargy, cough, etc.
What Causes Facial Rashes in Infants
Newborn babies have highly sensitive skin. Their immunity is still not very strong to withstand environmental irritants and any form of skin infection. These rashes occur due to certain maternal hormones that are passed on to the baby in the final stages of pregnancy. These hormones tend to increase production of oil through oil glands of the skin and cause acne in babies. Usually, this acne disappears on its own after few months. Allergic reaction towards food or medicines can be responsible for this problem. If the baby is still breastfeeding, certain foods like nuts, citrus fruits, or certain medications taken by the mother can cause rashes on the baby’s skin.
Types of Baby Rashes
Infantile eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is reddish, dry, and scaly in appearance. This is commonly found in babies and is often triggered by rough fabric, harsh chemicals present in detergents, and other kinds of skin allergens. Infantile eczema rash occurs primarily on the face and other regions like the head, chest, legs, and arms. Mild skin care products should be used like a chemical-free soap, and moisturizer that contains olive oil. Using a mild detergent for washing clothes is necessary.
Baby acne is a harmless bump on baby’s face. It is pink in color and looks quite similar to a pimple. A baby may be born with acne due to exposure to the mother’s hormones while still in the womb. In some cases, baby acne may appear two to four weeks after birth.
Impetigo is a highly contagious skin condition which gives rise to formation of raised red blisters on baby’s face, nose, and hands. Since this infection is highly contagious, it requires immediate antibiotic treatment as soon as it is diagnosed.
Milia is a condition in which sweat glands are blocked. If your baby is experiencing tiny raised white boils on his / her face that do not cause irritation, they could be caused by milia. However, this condition does not require any cure as the rashes disappear on their own after some time.
This rash appears due to excessive dribbling of saliva. The dribble rash develops around the mouth, on the chin area, and in some cases, on the neck of the bay. Parents can prevent this rash by wiping the saliva from the skin from time to time.
Allergic reactions to certain foods or medicines may also result in rashes on baby’s face. Sometimes, foods consumed by breastfeeding moms can also be the cause. In such cases, avoiding consumption of foods like citrus fruits or nuts by the mother would help in preventing rash.
This condition causes rashes where the baby has hair, and can spread from the face to other regions like shoulders and neck. Seborrheic dermatitis is characterized by red bumps with yellow crusty scales on the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes. This condition develops due to allergic reaction to some foods like baby formula.
Sometimes, dryness may be causing rashes on face. Babies born late often face this problem, as the upper layer of skin becomes extremely dry.
Insect bites also turn into rashes. Heat rash is another common cause and can result in red blisters or spots on the face as well as other body parts like the neck and back. Apart from that, certain harmless conditions like Salmon patches, Erythema toxicum, and Mongolian spots could also cause rashes in newborns.
How to Treat Rashes in Newborns
The main aim of the treatment is to provide relief from itching and skin irritation. Pediatrics often suggest use of hypoallergenic lavender balm to ease off this condition. Apply balm on the skin with the help of a cotton swab only. This will have a soothing effect on itching sensation and have a hydrating effect on the skin. For severe allergic rashes, hydrocortisone cream can be applied. Sometimes, antihistamine medicines are prescribed to control allergies, and in a more extreme condition, steroid is administered. Blisters of impetigo rash have to be treated with antibiotics at an early stage or else, they may aggravate further. Do not apply any oils, lotions or acne treatment ointments on infant acne, as it may clog the skin pores and aggravate them even further.
Apart from these treatments, certain measures have to be taken at home to keep your baby’s skin clean.
» Wash the skin with an organic or hypoallergenic wash and warm water once a day.
» Do not rub it while washing.
» The dampness caused by saliva, sweating, and milk often delays the healing of facial rashes in babies. Therefore, try to keep their face as dry as possible.
» The materials for baby clothes, baby blankets and baby bedding should be made of cotton.
» Use a mild detergent, suitable for babies, to wash your baby’s and your clothes.
» Use of humidifier in homes will also help the baby’s skin remain hydrated.
Touching often worsens baby rashes. Try to keep your baby’s hands away from the cheeks. I know it is difficult, but it is necessary. People have a tendency to squeeze baby’s cheeks, that should be strictly avoided. Keep a close watch on the condition of rashes. If you find any signs of aggravation, report that to your pediatrician.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for information purpose only. Do not use the information presented herein as a substitute for medical practitioner’s advice.