What Causes Skin Rash In Newborn Babies

Wearing Dirty Or Wet Diapers For Too Long

Newborn Rashes

As a rule of thumb, dirty diapers must be changed as soon as they are soiled. It doesnt matter if theres only very little poop or just a stain in the diaper. They are a breeding ground for germs, and you dont want your poor babys skin to be exposed to that. While each diaper can hold up to several urines passes, you must immediately change a soaking wet diaper. The acid in the urine causes irritation and redness to their genitals, and it can quickly escalate into painful skin rashes in babies.

Timely diaper changes and thorough cleaning between each change is essential to ensure that the babys sensitive areas are protected from rashes.

When To Seek Help

Many babies develop a skin rash in their first days or weeks as their sensitive skin adapts to a new environment. Most rashes are harmless and go away on their own. But if your baby seems unwell, or if youre worried, you should see your doctor. They can advise about the cause and whether treatment is necessary.

Whatever their age, you should take your child to the doctor if they have a rash and persistent high temperature, cold or cough symptoms or swollen neck glands.

Common Newborn Skin Rashes And Bumps

Article Contents

Its normal for the irresistibly soft and smooth skin of your baby to encounter the occasional bump in the road. Babies can develop bumps and rashes on their skin from birth, and the more you know about their sensitive skin, the more confident you can feel about caring for it.

Causes of bumps and rashes

How to treat skin these common skin conditions

  • Gently wash their face with warm water and patting dry.
  • Use a gentle, safe, and hypoallergenic baby wipe to clean the skin from anything that may cause skin irritation.

Things to avoid

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Itchy Sores Or Blisters

Red sores or blisters that burst and leave crusty, golden-brown patches could be impetigo. The redness may be harder to see on brown and black skin.

The sores or blisters can be itchy, get bigger or spread to other parts of the body. They often appear on the face, hands or around the middle of the body.

Speak to a GP if you think your child may have impetigo.

Hand Foot And Mouth Disease

Heat Rash On Baby

Hand, foot and mouth disease is a mild but highly contagious viral illness that causes a rash on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. It is not the same as the foot-and-mouth disease that affects farm animals.

The disease is common in childcare and kindergartens. Your child might feel unwell and have a fever and blisters on the hands and feet and in the mouth, and also in the nappy area, that last 7 to 10 days. Children with hand, foot and mouth disease should stay away from childcare or school until all the blisters have dried up.

Hand, foot and mouth disease usually resolves on its own without major problems but in rare cases it can be more serious especially in people whose immune system is not functioning normally or pregnant women. These rare problems include infections of the brain and heart muscle and miscarriage in pregnant women.

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When Should You Call A Doctor

Always call a doctor if you have any concerns, if your baby is not acting normally, or if the skin shows signs of being infected. The signs can include:

  • Increased pain, swelling, or warmth in the area.
  • Red streaks extending from the area.
  • Pus.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin.
  • Fever of38°C or higher.
  • An extra fussy baby.
When to call a doctor

Skin problem

Diaper rash

  • The rash isn’t better after 2 or 3 days. Your baby may have a yeast diaper rash.


  • The birthmark bleeds or grows quickly.


  • Your baby has a rash with blisters.


  • Your baby’s yellow tint gets brighter or deeper, or it hasn’t decreased by your baby’s 5th day of life.
  • Your baby seems very sleepy, is not eating well, or does not act normally.
  • Your baby shows signs of dehydration, such as having fewer wet diapers.
  • Your baby has a rectal temperature that is less than36.6°C or is38°C or higher. Call if you cannot take your baby’s temperature but he or she seems hot.
  • Your baby has any new symptoms or does not get better as expected.

If you have concerns about what lotions or other products to use on your baby’s skin, talk with your baby’s doctor at the next visit. Not all newborn skin conditions need to be treated with lotions and creams. You don’t usually need to use lotions and other products on healthy newborn skin.

Treatment For Facial Rashes In Infants

If your baby has facial rashes, the first and foremost thing you should do is to ease the irritation that happens because of the rash. This will provide your baby with some relief and prevent the rash from spreading or worsening.

Your doctor may suggest some lavender balms that you can use to apply on to your babys skin using a cotton swab. This will help hydrate the skin and lower the pain and discomfort for the baby. In severe cases, a doctor might recommend using hydrocortisone cream or even suggest administration of anti-histamines to bring the rash under control.

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Using A Product That Does Not Suit Their Skin

We all love the gentle sweetness of the fragrances used in baby products. But its certainly not the best for babies. Each babys skin is unique and reacts to different products differently. Fragrances have been proven to be notorious irritants even to adults with sensitive skin, let alone babies. Some additives and certain types of surfactants in body washes also may cause skin irritation. Some tips on choosing products for your precious ones have been mentioned later in the skincare routine below.

A Note About Steroid Creams

Pediatrics & Child Health Care : Treatment for Skin Rash on a Baby

Your pediatrician may recommend steroid creams for your newborns rash. The creams work by reducing inflammation in the skin. Because inflammation is part of the bodys immune response for fighting infection, steroid creams should only be used as directed by your pediatrician and usually only applied to the skin once a day in younger children. Steroid creams should not be used for more than one to two weeks at a time, if you do not see any improvement at that point, please contact your pediatrician.

More Information About Common Newborn Rashes

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When To Be Concerned About Baby Rashes

Now that you are familiar with some of the most common kinds of baby rashes, youre probably wondering, when should I be concerned about my babys rash?

The truth is, many baby rashes are harmless, and some will come and go on their own without any medical treatment. The other good news is that there are vaccinations to prevent many serious rashes from developing in the first place.

With that said, there are some signs you should keep an eye out for when you notice a baby rash on the body. Some baby rashes can indicate a potentially grave condition, particularly if the rash is persistent or if baby is experiencing swelling or wheezing.

Contact a doctor if baby experiences any of the following:

  • If there is pain at the site of the rash
  • If baby runs a fever
  • If the rash develops bruise-like lesions
  • If the rash oozes, bleeds or blisters
  • If the rash continues to spread across babys body
  • If baby develops any cold symptoms
  • If baby has swollen neck glands or swollen lips
  • If the baby rash doesnt go away after two days

Its true babies tend to get rashes left and right, but that doesnt mean you should shrug them off as nothing. Whenever you notice a baby rash on their face or body, keep a watchful eye on it and look out for other symptoms. When it comes to babys health, its always best to be precautious and proactive.

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Immediate Action Required: Call 999 Or Go To A& e Now If:

your child has a rash, is also unwell, and has any of these symptoms:

  • a stiff neck
  • seems confused
  • a high temperature
  • their rash does not fade when you press a glass against it
  • difficulty breathing , breathlessness, or they’re breathing very fast
  • their skin, lips or tongue look pale, blue, grey or blotchy

These can be signs of meningitis.

It can be harder to see a change in skin colour on brown and black skin. Check the soles of the feet, palms, lips, tongue and inside the eyelids for colour changes.

As a parent, you may know if your child seems seriously unwell and should trust your own judgement.

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Common Newborn Rashes And Birthmarks

Many newborn babies have skin conditions. Some are born with birthmarks. Some get rashes in their first few months of life. Most bumps and spots on a babys skin are harmless and usually clear up on their own.

Its important to know which rashes and birthmarks are common. This will help you spot an uncommon condition that should be seen by your doctor.

Keep Your Baby Comfortable

Does my baby have acne or a rash? Diagnosis and treatment

Keeping your baby comfortable is an important step on the road to rash prevention and recovery. Tight, red, swollen, and itchy skin can make your baby unhappy and make it difficult for them to sleep and feed.

Here are some effective tips for keeping your little one comfortable while you treat their baby skin rash.

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Rash On The Face And Body

Scarlet fever causes a rash that looks like pinpricks and feels rough, like sandpaper. The rash can be red, but this may be less noticeable on brown and black skin.

Scarlet fever usually starts with a white coating on the tongue, a sore throat, headache and a high temperature.

See a GP immediately if you think your child has scarlet fever. It’s treated with antibiotics.

Measles usually starts with the same symptoms as a cold, plus a high temperature, sore eyes that are sensitive to light and grey spots inside the cheeks.

After a few days, a spotty rash appears on the head or neck and spreads to the rest of the body. The spots can appear red or brown, but they may be less noticeable on brown and black skin.

Give Your Baby A Warm Bath

Another great way to keep your baby comfortable during a rash outbreak is to let him soak or play in the tub. The water will soothe and cool hot, dry skin. You can even help the rash heal by adding a bath product like Mustelas Stelatopia Bath Oil. These specially-formulated oils soothe and cool tight, swollen skin and make your baby feel good all over.

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How Can I Prevent Diaper Rash

To prevent diaper rash, keep your baby’s skin as dry and clean as possible and change diapers often so that poop and pee don’t irritate the skin.

Try these tips:

  • Change your baby’s soiled or wet diapers as soon as possible and clean the area well.
  • Occasionally soak your baby’s bottom between diaper changes with warm water. You can gently scoop the water over your baby’s bottom with your hand or squeeze it from a plastic bottle.
  • Let your baby’s skin dry completely before you put on another diaper.
  • Pat the skin gently with a soft cloth when drying it rubbing can irritate skin.
  • Put the diaper on loosely to prevent chafing.
  • Change diapers often ideally every 2 hours or so and after every poop.

Applying diaper cream or ointment with each diaper change can help some babies with sensitive skin, but not all babies need this.

If you use cloth diapers, check the manufacturer’s directions on how to best clean them. Only use detergents in the amount recommended, and run an extra rinse cycle after washing to remove traces of soap or detergent that can irritate your baby’s skin. Avoid using fabric softeners and dryer sheets even these can irritate skin.

Some babies get a rash after switching to a new type of diaper. While experts don’t recommend any particular brand, if your child is sensitive, look for diapers free of dyes or fragrances. Some babies are sensitive to baby wipes water and a washcloth work just as well and may be a gentler option.

Symptoms Of Severe Diaper Rash

Pediatric Answers : What to Do for a Rash on a Baby’s Face & Chest
  • Your babys skin is red, raw, broken or bleeding.
  • Your baby has a rash with blisters, pimples , sores, boils or other red bumps.
  • The rash covers a large area. It may have a bright red border or be worse in the creases and folds.
  • The rash is painful to the touch.
  • Your baby seems sick, unhappy or unable to sleep.
  • Theres blood in babys poop.
  • You may be wondering Really? Can diaper rash cause fever? While it seems weird, the answer is yes if babys severe diaper rash is the result of a bacterial skin infection.

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What Are The Most Common Skin Conditions In Newborns

It’s very common for newborns to have rashes or other skin problems. Some of them have long names that are hard to say and sound scary. But most will go away on their own in a few days or weeks.

Here are some of the things you may notice about your baby’s skin.

  • It looks like pimples.
  • Babies often get pimples on their cheeks, noses, and foreheads. This baby acne may show up during the first few weeks of life and usually clears up on its own within a few months. Baby acne has nothing to do with whether your child will have acne problems as a teenager.
  • Tiny white spots very often appear on a newborn’s face during the first week. The spots are called milia . Sometimes white spots appear on the gums and the roof of the mouth , where they are called Epstein pearls. The white spots go away by themselves in a few weeks and aren’t harmful.
  • The baby sometimes has tiny red dots on the skin.
  • You may notice tiny red dots on your newborn’s skin. These red dots are called petechiae . These are specks of blood that have leaked into the skin. They are caused by the trauma of being squeezed through the birth canal. They will disappear within the first week or two.

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