The skin of our little ones is very delicate, so it requires a lot of care not to damage it. However, soaps, creams, and temperature changes (among other factors) cause irritation, which manifests itself with hives. We tell you why rashes appear in babies.
It is very common that we see red pimples on our child’s face or body; this rash usually appears in newborns. Most of these rashes go away without any treatment, as his skin adjusts to the outside world and reacts, explains the Mayo Clinic organization.
It is important to be aware of these rashes so that we do not worry and apply unnecessary treatments that may harm his skin.
Types of the rash
The most common rashes in babies are as follows, according to the National Library of Medicine:
- Diaper dermatitis: It is a rash that appears due to prolonged humidity, urine, and feces. Very common in children under two years of age.
- Heat rash or prickly heat: The heat or overcovering the little ones obstructs the sweat glands, generating small red bumps on the face and chin due to retained sweat.
- Erythema toxicum: Contrary to its name, this type of rash is not caused by any toxic substance. They are small red pimples with a white center. They appear throughout the body after five days of birth and disappear between 7 and 14 days.
- Baby acne: It is caused by exposure to the mother’s hormones. These are red bumps. In most cases, acne appears between the first 2 and 4 weeks of life, although it can appear up to 4 months after birth and last up to 12 or 18 months.
- Eczema: It consists of the appearance of dry and red areas that cause itching. It is usually hereditary and can go away on its own.
- Hives: These are red welts that seem to move around the body, they can last a few weeks, and their cause is uncertain.
While most rashes go away after a few weeks and don’t require treatment if they persist, you should see your doctor to evaluate your little one, as these rashes may be due to atopic dermatitis.
It is the most common dermatological condition in babies; it is generated by having hyperreactive sensitive skin. It reacts exaggeratedly to changes in climate, types of fabric, foods such as cow’s milk, soaps, and detergents. Karin Carpizo Lugo, dermatologist and member of Top Doctors Mexico, explains that “atopic dermatitis is a hereditary chronic inflammatory condition that mom or dad suffers from”.
“One of the triggering factors is genetics. Maybe the parents only have allergic rhinitis now, but when you ask them, they tell you that they did have atopy; sometimes, both parents had it. This does not mean that if only one of both had it, it would be milder or stronger in the baby because they both had it. It’s not like that”, she said.
She explained that little ones with atopic dermatitis require a lot of skincare; they should avoid creams and soaps with fragrances, and the detergents to wash their clothes should be special for babies since others should irritate them.
In newborns, this condition is more visible on the face, but as they grow, it appears in the flex areas, that is, in the folds of the legs, arms, and neck. Foods such as chocolate, strawberries, gluten, and cow’s milk should be avoided since they can worsen the skin.
Dr. Rossana Llergo Valdez, president of the Mexican Foundation for Dermatology, advised parents on some care measures to prevent rashes:
- Short baths: No more than 10 minutes to avoid dryness.
- Moisturizing: After bathing, fragrance-free cream should be applied.
- Soaps: No dyes or perfumes; these can dry out or cause itching.
- 100% cotton clothing: Synthetic fabrics cause irritation and, with it, itching.
- Avoid sudden temperature changes: Both cold and heat can damage children’s skin.
- Do not overdress: You will prevent the sweat cells from perspiring.
- Beware of the sun: The skin’s natural defense mechanisms against UV light are not mature; our baby could sunburn.
- Do not use home remedies: If a rash appears, do not apply any home ointment, it could harm your little one.
Do not forget to consult a dermatologist to take care of your baby’s skin and treat any condition in time.
Translated by: Ligia M. Oliver