I think it is important as a Mother to educate myself on conditions that may affect my children. Rashes in babies are a fact of life and being able to determine what kind of rash my child has can save me an unnecessary trip to the pediatrician. Here are the 5 most common types of rashes you can expect to find on a baby:
1. Prickly Heat: I started with this one first because it occurs in the summer. Some people call it a heat rash, but the scientific name is Miliaria Rubra. When pores of your baby’s sweat glands get plugged they form tiny red bumps that look like pimples. There are usually several of them together in one area. Mostly you can find these bumps on your baby where they are wearing clothes. I can’t count how many times I would bring my baby home from a stroll on the boardwalk and found she had prickly heat when I changed her. Prickly heat can last for a couple of days and can be treated with Hydrocortisone cream (not the ointment). I have read that you should stay away from applying lotions. Just keep the babies skin clean and that should be enough.
2. Diaper Rash: I think this is probably the most common type of rash found on babies. I don’t know a single baby who has never had at least 1 diaper rash. Both of my daughters rarely had diaper rash. When they did their skin would become red and irritated. I had a friend whose son got theses rashes whenever he was teething and his rashes would even bleed. The important thing to do is keep the diaper area dry for as long as possible. Try to leave the diaper off for a few minutes in between changing and change the diaper frequently. Stay away from lotions and stick to Desitin or Balmex. Those products create a barrier and allow the affected area time to heal. If the diaper rash persists make sure you contact your doctor. He can prescribe an antifungal cream if necessary.
3. Eczema: The one thing you may want to know about Eczema is that it is genetic. My children’s Father always had Eczema outbreaks in the winter and now so do my children. When you get a patch of Eczema it makes your skin red, swollen, and itchy. The scientific name for it is Dermatitis. These patches are very dry and can sometimes have blisters. If your baby gets a patch of Eczema you should visit your pediatrician. Sometimes Eczema can be caused by a food allergy and your doctor can help determine if that is the cause. He or She should also be able to prescribe an ointment that is very effective. I never wasted time with over the counter medications when it came to my children’s Eczema.
4. Impetigo: My children have never had this type of rash, but I did as a youngster. I still remember how bad it stung when my parent put homemade remedies on it. First, Impetigo is a contagious skin infection caused by the Staph or Strep bacteria’s. It looks like blisters or sores and can be found on the face and hands. When I was a child it was all over my upper lip almost in to my nose. It was so horrible I will never forget it. Second, you will need to visit your pediatrician as soon as possible because you will need to get your baby antibiotics. Remember I said bacteria caused it. Third, Impetigo is extremely contagious. Scratching can spread the infection to other parts of the body and to others who come in contact with the outbreak or even clothing that has touched the outbreak. Fourth, please contact your Doctor before giving your child a home remedy. You may be doing more harm than good in this case.
5. Cradle Cap: As a nursery worker I have seen a few cases of cradle cap. Babies are born with it. It appears mostly on the scalp, but can be seen on the face, neck, or behind the ears. It looks like scales and is caused by clogged pores. Most Moms use baby oil to loosen up the scales on their baby’s scalp. You can then brush them away easier after shampooing. If your baby has a particularly stubborn case of cradle cap you may want to ask your doctor about a special shampoo.