A rash is a rash and any parent would be concerned if their newborn develops one. Often, baby acne is mistaken for heat rash. Yes, even babies can develop acne-a condition known as neonatal acne- which is caused due to passage of hormones from the mother to the baby through the placenta. Let us take a look the causes of baby rash on face, treatment and ways to prevent heat rashes in babies.
Red spots on baby’s face- what causes a baby rash?
There are many factors that could cause rashes on baby’s skin. Heat rash, neonatal acne, eczema, scabies, contact dermatitis, etc are just a few conditions that could give rise to rashes and red spots on baby’s face. Insect bites and milk rash can also be responsible for red spots on baby’s face. Monitor the baby for signs of irritability, fever, pain, excess crying, difficulty in feeding etc. If the symptoms persist, do contact your pediatrician immediately.
Baby acne-What is neonatal acne?
Baby acne is characterized by red bumps which may be present on the face, upper torso, back and neck. As stated above, baby acne is caused by passing hormones from mother to baby. The skin reacts to these hormones thinking that it is entering puberty. Thankfully, baby acne is temporary and it gets cleared within a few weeks. Also, unlike adult or teenage acne, baby acne does not leave any scars.
Baby acne vs eczema
Apart from heat rash, baby acne is often mistaken for eczema. Eczema is a fairly common skin condition in babies and it results from allergens in the environment. Anything from dust, to certain medication to detergents can cause eczema in babies. The main difference between baby acne and eczema is that the latter is characterized by intense itching and tends to persist for weeks, even months, or at least as long as the allergen continues to harm the baby’s gentle skin. On the other hand, and as stated above, baby acne usually goes away within a few days and is non itchy.
Baby acne vs heat rash
In babies, just as in adults, heat rashes occur due to plugged sweat glands. Baby heat rash is characterized by tiny red pustules or transparent bumps in the folds of the skin around the elbows, thighs, armpits and even the face. Heat rash may sometimes be accompanied by fever, oozing or pus or watery discharge along with irritability. As in case of baby acne, heat rash in babies usually clears off in a few days as long as you keep the baby cool. You need not do anything for baby heat rash but just take care that the baby does not get overheated. We will discuss some important baby rashes on face home remedy later in this guide to help you out.
What to do for baby acne?
Parents need not do anything for baby acne as the condition clears off within a few days. Mothers must continue nursing the baby. If the baby shows signs of discomfort, apply a mild pediatric skin cream or lotion. Take care while bathing and avoid the use of harsh soaps. Use warm water to wash the baby’s skin.
What to do for baby eczema?
Avoid washing baby’s clothes with harsh detergents. These days, there are special hypoallergenic detergents available in the market. If the rash is very itchy, apply soothing calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream (1%). Keep the baby in a dust free environment.
What to do for newborn heat rash?
There are several things parents can do to treat baby or newborn heat rash and baby acne:
- Keep the baby cool. In summers, bathe the baby with tepid water. Avoid using hot water in winters.
- In summers, run a fan or air conditioner to prevent excess sweating.
- Avoid wrapping the child tightly in blankets in winters. This can cause heat rashes.
- In case of severe irritation caused by heat rash or red spots on baby’s face, apply 1% hydrocortisone cream. This will help combat redness and inflammation. Discontinue its use after 2-3 days.
Newborns can develop many types of rashes and most of them are not serious. However, your doctor may still want to take a look, especially if the rash is accompanied by fever, itching and other signs of discomfort. If the rash does not clear up or appears in a different place, show it to the baby’s pediatrician.