Rash on Baby’s Face


The most common form of baby rash is known as prickly heat rash or miliaria. Baby rash occurs when the sweat ducts are clogged and perspiration is trapped under the skin.

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Baby rash can develop in infants as well as adults. In adults, baby rash occurs in the folds and creases of the skin; and it may be caused due to friction by synthetic fabrics or due to tight clothing. Babies and infants develop baby rash on the face, neck, chest, groin, shoulders, armpits and elbow folds.

Types and symptoms of baby rash

  • Baby rash is classified as per the nature of its formation and from the color of the skin. Baby rash may be flat, lumpy, bumpy, scaly or blistery and such abnormalities of the skin may be deep, skin-colored, more pigmented, reddish or lighter than skin color. Some types of baby rash may be more prickly and itchy.
  • Chronic dampness and the contact of skin with fecal material and urine may cause skin irritation leading to the development of diaper rash.
  • Erythema toxicum has the appearance of red, irregular and flat patches, normally with a white bump in center which tends to look like a pimple.
  • Baby acne appears on the cheeks of babies in the form of red bumps with white spots in the middle or only white bumps. Baby acne is usually caused due to maternal hormones.
  • Cradle cap occurs in the form of scaling, greasy or crusty patches and blotches on the scalp.
  • Hives appear bearing the form of red welts, differ in size and shape and move around the body.
  • Baby eczema appears in the form of dry, red or pigmented, itchy and scaly patches of skin. Sometimes the patches may ooze fluids and crust or break. Chronic eczema may cause the affected areas to thicken. Eczema tends to run in families and is usually caused due to food allergies or irritation caused by hard fabrics or other substances like bubble baths.
  • A yeast infection comes up in the form of creamy whitish sores in mouth, which may cause bright red patches or rashes bordered by little red bumps on baby’s bottom

Unsuitable clothing, hot and humid climate can also cause, reddish fine spots over the skin of the baby. Baby rash is caused due to clogging of undeveloped sweat gland ducts in babies. Sometimes, baby rash in the form of small red bumps or tiny blisters may occur in adults as well.

There are three types of baby rash or miliaria

Miliaria crystalline-

  • This type of baby rash is the mildest, and generally affects the sweat ducts present in the topmost layer of the skin.
  • It causes small, clear and superficial blisters and occasionally forms tiny bumps which break easily.
  • The blisters are not painful and non-itchy. They disappear on their own, but may relapse under hot and humid conditions. Infants are at greater risk to develop this type of baby rash than adults.

Miliaria rubra-

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  • It generally tends to affect the sweat ducts present in the epidermis. Prolonged exposure to hot environments or excessive bed rest can cause baby rash in adults. One to three weeks old infants can also get this form of baby rash.
  • The affected area may develop red lumps, be prickly and itchy and may show diminished or absent sweating.

Miliaria profunda-

  • Adults with persistent cases of miliaria rubra normally develop this rare form of baby rash which occurs deeper inside the skin and affects the dermis. Excessive and laborious physical exercise leads to such type of baby rash.
  • It results in the development of lesions which appear as goose pumps, are flesh-colored and thick.
  • Negligible sweating would result in and indicate the signs of heat exhaustion like hypertension, nausea, racy heart beats, dizziness and headaches.

Baby rash may result in some complications that include:

  • Infection of baby rash by bacteria and other microorganisms can result in inflammation of the rash. Infection of the rash leads to symptoms such as oozing of pus from lesions or bumps, inflammation of lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin, excessive pain and redness, cold or fever and swelling or warmth over the affected portion.
  • Untreated instances of heat exhaustion caused by baby rash may lead to a heatstroke.

Causes of baby rash

Some of the factors causing baby rash are shown below:

  • Baby rash is caused due to clogging of sweat ducts and trapping of perspiration inside the skin. This prevents the evaporation of sweat which results in inflammation of the skin and the development of rashes.
  • Hot and humid climate, underdeveloped sweat ducts, excessive physical exertion, wearing synthetic fabrics and tight clothing which prevents perspiration, excessive use of creams and ointments, medications and over eating may also result in the development of baby rashes

Baby rash treatment

  • Baby rashes can be treated with calamine lotion for removing itching; anhydrouslanolin for stopping further formation of new lesions and duct clogging. Baby rash cases of serious nature may be treated with the use of topical steroids
  • Avoiding hot climate, synthetic fabrics, tight clothing, heavy use of cream and ointments are the preventive measures which can avoid the occurrence of baby rash.

Baby rash pictures

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