Many babies develop rashes soon after birth. Most of these are common and do not cause any harm. Many can be treated at home.
Common newborn rashes
Appearance: In baby acne, white or red pimples develop on your baby’s cheeks, nose, chin or forehead.
Cause: They are caused by exposure to maternal hormones in the womb.
Home care: It does not need any treatment. It usually clears up within a few weeks or months.
Appearance: In diaper/ nappy rash, baby gets red and sore skin on bottom or genitals.
Cause: They usually develop due to prolonged exposure to a wet or dirty diaper.
Home care: Allow your baby’s bottom to dry out between diaper changes. Apply diaper rash cream or ointment before every diaper change. Change diapers often. Avoid using powders as inhaling it may damage the baby’s lungs.
Yeast diaper rash
Appearance: This looks like bright red diaper rash, often with smaller red bumps or spots around the edges. They usually don’t clear up with 2-3 days of typical diaper rash home care.
Cause: These are fungal infections that usually develop on moist and dark areas.
Home care: You must take your baby to a doctor as these needs to be treated with medicine.
Heat rash (prickly heat)
Appearance: These rashes develop as small pink or red spots on your baby’s skin. It usually develops in areas that overheat and sweat, e.g., neck, armpits and diaper area.
Cause: It develops due to overheating caused by overdressing or during hot weather.
Home care: Shift your baby to a cooler place or remove excess layers of clothing. You can try giving your baby a cool bath. Use loose-fitting clothes for your baby.
Appearance: They look like thick, yellow, crusty, scaly, or greasy patches on the top of baby’s head.
Cause: It is usually a build-up of oil, scales and dead skin cells.
Home care: Use mild baby shampoo to wash your baby’s hair. Use a soft-bristled brush to loosen scales. For stubborn scales, rub mineral oil on your baby’s scalp, wait for a few minutes and then brush and shampoo the hair.
Appearance: These rashes look like red patches of dry, scaly and itchy skin.
Cause: These are caused by dry, sensitive skin. It is usually associated with allergies.
Home care: Consider using a gentle soap and skin moisturisers for your baby. Don’t use fabric softeners while washing clothes. Prefer giving your baby short, warm baths only every 2-3 days to avoid drying out the skin.
- Common Newborn Rashes and Birthmarks[Internet]. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/common-newborn-rashes-birthmarks/. Accessed on Feb 26, 2020.