Skin sensitivity is not an uncommon problem for newborns, but when your newborn gets a rash of any kind, it can be quite alarming. A baby’s skin is prone to visible irritation and inflammation of all forms, but these irritations are most commonly seen as blotches and rashes. Not all rashes are an immediate cause of concern because a newborn’s skin and hormones, like everyone else’s, can take time acclimating to a shift in lifestyle. And by a lifestyle shift, yes, we mean moving from the womb to the world. Other rashes can be caused by an allergic reaction or infection and should be brought to your pediatrician’s attention for treatment. Here are some of the most common types of baby rashes, explained.
Despite popular belief, acne isn’t only for teenagers. In the first couple of months, it’s common for babies to breakout in the form of small red bumps with whiteheads. Baby acne typically appears on the cheeks, but can also develop on the nose, forehead, scalp and behind ears. Gentle and regular cleansing should clear it up in no time.
Cradle cap is a yellowish, scaly rash that appears on a baby’s scalp as a result of excessive oil production near hair follicles. Occasionally, this rash can spread to the face, ears and neck as well. However, cradle cap shouldn’t itch or bother your newborn and should disappear within a few weeks or months with regular, gentle washing with a quality baby shampoo to prevent the rash from spreading.
Eczema is an itchy inflammation that can flare up on infants and can continue into early childhood. This red, blotchy rash can appear on a baby’s face, scalp and body, but is typically found behind the arms or knees. Avoid bathing your baby with soap or very hot water and use certain ointments or creams to soothe the itchiness.
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) is also known as the coxsackie virus because this rash is normally caused by a virus named coxsackievirus a16. HFMD can cause irritating ulcers or sores near or inside the mouth and painful blisters on the hands and feet. In addition to these sores, your newborn may also have a fever, which makes for one very cranky baby. Your baby's immune system should clear up the virus within 7-10 days without treatment.
The diaper phase is a messy one and diaper rash is just another one of the side effects. This baby rash appears as a red inflammation in the diaper area and can be caused by wet or infrequently changed diapers, diarrhea or exposure to new kinds of foods or medications. With over-the-counter ointment and more frequently changed diapers, this rash should clear up within a few days. Sometimes babies may develop a fever, in which case you should consult with your doctor.
As a new mommy, baby rashes can be scary, but they don’t have to be. Make sure you know what symptoms to look out for so you can recognize a baby rash when you see one. And a pro tip? Always buy babywear made from organic cotton to protect your little one's sensitive skin from unsafe materials and unnecessary breakouts.
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