The Causes and Treatments of Baby Rash
Soft as a baby’s skin is a phrase often used to refer to a texture that’s clear, smooth, and quite soft to the touch. Parents and day care providers know, however, that a baby’s skin is often far from that ideal. A baby rash can be caused by any of several factors, and sometimes combinations of factors, that can leave the skin red, sore, and itchy.
Most Common, Least Harmful
Parents should consult a pediatrician or a pediatric dermatologist for help in identifying and treating a baby’s skin rash, but two forms of baby rash everyone knows can also be the least troubling.
Sometimes known as diaper dermatitis, diaper rash is a baby rash that occurs on the bottom and groin, and on any other skin that’s usually covered by a diaper. Its characterized by an angry, red irritation that looks puffy, and is accompanied by small dots that look like pimples.
The causes of diaper rash are usually fairly straightforward. Prolonged skin contact with urine and stools will cause it’s tender skin to erupt. Diaper rash can also be caused by allergic reactions brought on by changing brands of disposable diapers, detergents, fabric softeners, lotions, or powders. This type of baby rash is sometimes accompanied by the presence by Candida albicans, a yeast which grows abundantly in warm, moist, dark places.
Keep the baby’s diaper area as clean and dry as possible. After every stool, clean the affected areas carefully with mild soap, plain water, and a soft, clean cloth. Pat dry gently. If it’s an allergic rash that’s come on suddenly, try changing one potential irritant at a time to eliminate the source.
A pediatrician must be consulted for an effective topical treatment for Candida or other yeast infections. We recommend using Diaper Rash Creams to treat, sooth or prevent diaper rash in babies.
Cradle cap is a common baby rash that affects the scalp. Sometimes called seborrheic dermatitis, this rash is characterized by a yellowish, waxy, scaly cap on the baby’s scalp.
There is no agreement on the cause of cradle cap. It is neither caused by bacteria, fungus, nor poor hygiene. It can appear on babies as young as 3 months, but more typically occurs from ages 6 to 12 months. It doesn’t itch or bother the baby, and is generally thought to be harmless.
There is no recommended treatment for cradle cap. It looks strange, but it’s not hurting the baby. It will likely clear up on its own in a few months. If its bothersome, parents can try shampooing the kid’s head more often with a very gentle, diluted shampoo, then brushing the scalp with a soft-bristled brush.
How to Care for Baby Skin
When babies are born, their skin has not had any direct exposure to oxygen or other environmental factors. In fact, newborn baby skin is coated in defense mechanisms that allow the baby to live within the amniotic fluid of their mother’s womb. For this reason, the newborn baby skin may have a very natural but confusing appearance.
It should be understood that newborn baby skin is very thin, so the underlying veins are usually visible. The baby may also be covered in a fine layer of protective hair, but this is usually shed in the womb. A newborn can also be covered in a waxy material called vernix. This protects the baby’s skin and helps facilitate movement through the birth canal. It is perfectly normal and will dissipate over time.