Most mothers will tell you that their baby’s skin broke out in a rash during their first year. Why is this? A human’s skin protects their body from all sorts of elements and bacteria, but it takes approximately a year for it to do it’s job at the right speed and to function effectively. The skin starts out much thinner and does not regulate temperature as well as a more mature adult.
- Diaper rashes. Of course, every baby gets diaper rashes. The reason for this is the diaper area is warm and moist causing the skin to break down. The way to keep diaper rashes under control is to change your baby often, use some sort of cream, and let it get some air occasionally.
- Intertrigo. This is found mainly in the folds of a baby’s skin, especially in the neck area. It looks red and raw. Your baby may totally ignore it or may be in some pain. This rash comes from a lot of drooling or spit up in these creases because these folds are not getting any air. Wash out the folds very well and apply some petroleum jelly. As your baby gets older he’ll lose some of his baby fat and this will go away.
- Prickly heat. Also known as Miliaria, and it may occur on the face, neck, back or bottom. It looks like tiny red bumps. Because a baby’s skin is not great at regulating body temperature, overheating him, like bundling him up too much, will set off this prickly heat rash. Take your baby out of the heat and dress him in loose, light clothing. The rash should get better slowly after 30 minutes.
- Seborrhea. This rash can appear on the scalp and eyebrows, behind the ears, or on the neck, cheeks and chest. If this rash is on the scalp or eyebrows it looks like dandruff, or like thick yellow crusty scales. Behind the ears, it looks cracked and scaly, on the chest and neck it may be pimply and on the cheeks it’s red and bumpy. It probably will not bother your baby at all. the best cure for this is to rub a little olive oil or baby oil on your baby’s scalp to loosen the scales and then gently brush them off. You can also wash any of the spots lightly with a small amount of anti dandruff shampoo.
- Eczema. Eczema can appear anywhere on a baby’s body starting at around 3 to 4 months old. Up to 20 percent of babies will develop this itchy rash. Eczema erupts in dry blotchy areas on the skin. It can cause the skin to turn red, ooze pus and crust over. Anything can be a trigger for babies that are prone to eczema. Wash the skin with a gentle cleanser, and then slather moisturizer on damp skin twice a day. For very severe cases speak with your doctor.
- Contact Dermatitis. This is a skin reaction to something your baby came in contact with like soaps, detergents, grass, etc. It looks like red itchy bumps. If it’s all over your baby’s body then it’s probably a soap or detergent. If it’s in the chest and arms area it’s probably a new shirt. If the rash looks dry, try moisturizing it. If it does not bother your baby, remove the thing that’s bothering him. Try a new soap, or remove the shirt.