When Your Baby Has a Rash


At 24/7 Pediatric Care Centers, we know that with all of the excitement surrounding the arrival of a newborn, the first few days at home can be bewildering. Among the concerns parents may have — including the newborn’s eating and sleeping patterns – are rashes.

Most rashes are commonplace and disappear in the first few weeks. They can include red blotches and pimples on the face. White spots on the gums and roof of the mouth are common. They do not harm the baby and go away without treatment.

Over the first year, other rashes may appear. They can be caused by something as simple as drooling during teething, resulting in a rash around the mouth and on the chest.

Common rashes are usually harmless to babies’ general health but may make them uncomfortable. You can take simple home measures to relieve the baby’s discomfort and promote healing.

Cradle Cap. Dead skin cells and skin oils can combine to form a yellowish, scaly crust on the baby’s head or around the face and ears. Avoid scratching at the scales. Shampoo with baby shampoo or apply mineral oil to relieve the condition.

Heat Rash. This rash, also called “prickly heat,” is common during warm summer months. It can occur in multiple body areas and causes itching and discomfort so that the baby becomes fussy and hard to comfort. To reduce the temperature of the baby’s skin, remove blankets and dress him in light, loose clothing. Bathe him periodically with cool water.

Diaper Rash. A red rash in the diaper area can occur when diapers soaked with urine and/or feces are left on too long, or if the baby is sensitive to diaper material. Make sure to change diapers frequently, at least every three hours, as prevention.

  • If diaper rash develops, clean the area gently with a mild soap.
  • Avoid using baby wipes with alcohol or propylene glycol as ingredients.
  • Leave the rash area diaper free for frequent periods to promote healing.
  • Protect the healthy skin near the rash, not on it, with creams like Desitin or Diaparene.
  • If the skin becomes raw, sit the baby in a baby tub with warm water to which 2 tablespoons of baking soda has been added. Never leave the baby alone in the tub!
  • If diaper rash keeps recurring, change brands of disposable diapers or switch to cloth. If you are already using cloth, try switching to an additive-free laundry detergent.

Call us at 24/7 Pediatric Care Centers if your baby’s rash appears to become infected or you detect pain, swelling, pus or red streaks in the rash area. Please also contact us if the baby develops a temperature over 100 degrees or becomes very fussy even after you’ve performed the procedures for rash relief.

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24/7 Pediatric Care Centers are Jacksonville pediatricians, Jacksonville Beach pediatricians, and Fleming Island pediatricians providing care for children from newborn to 18 years. Our 24-hour office also provides services for non-life-threatening illnesses to registered patients 24 hours a day.

24/7 Pediatric Care Centers is not a substitute for Emergency or Trauma-related medical care.
If you feel your child is experiencing a life-threatening event, immediately call 911.