Baby Rash or Hives

care-guides

It can be very unsettling to see raised bumps or red spots on your baby’s skin. From heat rash to allergies, knowing the causes of your child’s rash and what to do about it is essential for keeping both you and your baby comfortable.

Why do rashes seem so common in infants? 

Newborns and infants have thinner and more delicate skin than adults, which makes them more susceptible to rashes, irritation, and other skin problems. Additionally, babies' skin barrier is not fully developed, which makes it more permeable and less effective at retaining moisture. This can make them more prone to dryness and irritation.

Common rashes that newborns and babies can have include:

  • Eczema: Also known as atopic dermatitis, is a dry, itchy skin condition that can appear as red, scaly patches.
  • Heat rash: Also known as Miliaria or “prickly heat”, caused by sweating in warm weather or overheating. It appears as small, red, or pink bumps on the skin.
  • Neonatal acne: Caused by hormonal changes that occur in baby's body after birth, which can cause the oil-producing glands in the skin to become overactive.
  • Erythema toxicum: A rash that looks like small red or yellow bumps or blotches on the skin that may be surrounded by a pale halo and may have a white or yellow center.
  • Hives: Also known as Urticaria, which are raised, itchy, red welts on the skin.

It's always a good idea to consult a pediatrician if you have any concerns or if the rash is severe or accompanied by other symptoms. Summer Health can connect you in 15 minutes to answer your questions and assess your child’s skin concern.

Source: NHS

The 101 on rashes and how you can treat them from home

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis,

Eczema is a common skin condition that is characterized by dry, itchy, and inflamed skin that can appear as red, scaly patches, often on the face, scalp, elbows, and knees. The exact cause of eczema is not known, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It's important to note that eczema is a chronic condition, and managing it often requires a combination of strategies and a long-term commitment to skin care.

Here are some ways to treat eczema in babies from home:

  • Moisturize the skin frequently: Use a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated and reduce itching. Ointments tend to work better than creams or lotions so a nice and cost effective option is Plain Vaseline (not the baby scented one).
  • Avoid irritants: Identify and avoid any environmental irritants, such as certain fabrics, laundry detergents, or soaps that may be triggering the eczema. Using a fragrance free, hypoallergenic detergent is a great option when it comes to cleaning baby’s clothes. 
  • Bathe in lukewarm water: Use a mild, fragrance-free soap or shampoo, and limit the time spent in the bath to prevent drying out the skin.
  • Keep baby's nails short: Long nails can cause more scratching and further irritation of the skin.
  • Dress baby in soft, breathable fabrics: Avoid tight-fitting clothes, opt for cotton clothes instead.
  • Use a humidifier: If the air in your home is dry, it can make eczema symptoms worse.
  • Consider using over-the-counter or prescription products as advised by pediatrician: The pediatricians at Summer Health can provide you with a custom recommendation for your child’s skin in 15 minutes, and if appropriate, send a prescription to your local pharmacy today.

If the eczema is severe or not improving within a few weeks, or if there are signs of infection, such as fever, yellow crusting, or swollen lymph nodes, it's important to seek the advice of a pediatrician.

Heat rash, also known as Miliaria or “prickly heat”

Heat rash is a common skin condition that occurs when sweat glands become blocked and sweat is trapped under the skin. It appears as small, red, or pink bumps on the skin, often on the face, neck, chest, and folds of the skin.

Here are some ways to treat heat rash in babies from home:

  • Keep baby cool: Dress baby in lightweight, breathable clothing, and keep the room temperature cool. You can even remove baby's clothes and let their skin air out as much as possible.
  • Keep baby dry: Use a soft towel to gently pat the skin dry after bathing, and avoid using talcum powder, which can cause further irritation.
  • Apply a light, fragrance-free moisturizer: This can help to soothe the skin and reduce itching.
  • Try to avoid situations that can make your baby overheat: Such as being in a hot and humid environment, or using too many blankets or layers of clothing.

It's important to note that heat rash usually clears up on its own within a few days, but it's always a good idea to consult a pediatrician if you have any concerns.

Neonatal acne

Neonatal acne is a common skin condition characterized by small, red, or white bumps on the face, particularly on the cheeks, forehead, and chin. It is caused by hormonal changes that occur in baby's body after birth, which can cause the oil-producing glands in the skin to become overactive.

Here are some ways to treat neonatal acne from home:

  • Keep baby's face clean: Gently wash baby's face with a mild, fragrance-free, and pH-balanced baby cleanser, once or twice a day.
  • Avoid using lotions or oils on the face: These can clog pores and make baby’s acne worse.
  • Avoid picking or squeezing the pimples: This can cause further irritation and lead to scarring.
  • Keep baby's face dry: Pat the face dry with a soft towel after washing, rather than rubbing it.

It's important to note that neonatal acne is a temporary condition and usually clears up on its own. It generally affects baby’s between 2-6 weeks of age and really requires no treatment other than what is mentioned above. This type of acne is different from infantile acne which happens more around 2-6 months of age and does generally require treatment. Ifyou have specific questions about your baby’s neonatal acne, Summer Health can connect you with a pediatrician to discuss your baby’s skin needs. 

Erythema toxicum

Erythema toxicum is a common rash characterized by small, red or yellow bumps or blotches on the skin. These bumps may be surrounded by a pale halo and may have a white or yellow center. The exact cause of erythema toxicum is not known, but it is believed to be related to baby's immune system and the maturation of certain skin cells.

Here are some general tips on how to care for a baby with erythema toxicum:

  • Keep baby clean and dry: Gently clean the affected area with warm water and a mild, fragrance-free soap.
  • Avoid using lotions or creams: These can irritate the skin and make the rash worse.
  • Dress baby in soft, breathable fabrics: Avoid tight-fitting clothes, opt for cotton clothes instead.
  • Keep baby's nails short: Long nails can cause more scratching and further irritation of the skin.

It's important to note that most babies with this rash do not experience any discomfort or other symptoms. It is not contagious, however, if there are any doubts or concerns you should consult with your pediatrician.

Hives, also known as Urticaria

Hives are a common skin condition characterized by raised, itchy, red welts on the skin. Hives can appear anywhere on the body and can range in size from small to large. The exact cause of hives can be difficult to determine and can be triggered by a variety of factors, such as allergies, infections, medications, or environmental factors like temperature changes.

Here are some ways to treat hives in babies from home:

  • Keep baby cool: Dress baby in lightweight, breathable clothing, and keep the room temperature cool. Place a cool, damp cloth on the hives to help reduce itching and inflammation.
  • Give baby an oatmeal bath: Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to soothe the skin and reduce itching.
  • Keep baby's nails short: Long nails can cause more scratching and further irritation of the skin.
  • Identify and avoid any known triggers: If you suspect that a specific food, medication or environmental factor, such as lotions and detergents, are causing the hives, avoid it.

If the hives are severe or accompanied by other symptoms such as difficulty breathing or swelling of the face or throat, or if they do not improve within a few days, seek the advice of a pediatrician. If your baby is over 6 months of age, there are medications we can use to help hives resolve. Summer Health can connect you to a doctor in 15 minutes to address your child’s needs. 

In Conclusion

Rashes can be uncomfortable for anyone — especially babies who don't yet understand why their skin may feel different than usual! Fortunately there are ways to make sure your little one stays comfortable while you work out which kind of rash they may have so that you can determine how best to treat it going forward. For any questions that may arise, Summer Health is always available to get you answers from pediatricians in 15 minutes, 24/7.