Baby Rash

Babies can develop skin rashes as early as the first few days of their life, and they can appear for a multitude of reasons. But don’t worry too much, in most cases there is no cause for alarm.

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Small rashes are only to be expected when a newborn’s skin is adapting to brand new surroundings and stimuli. Rashes are generally a sign that your baby’s skin is reacting to irritants or changes in environment.

If your baby has a rash that causes discomfort, spreads to different areas, or does not fade over time, it’s a good idea to see a doctor in case it requires treatment.

The majority of skin rashes are harmless and require very little treatment. Prevention, by avoiding irritants and not letting your baby’s skin get too dry, is often your best bet!

Common signs of rashes

Rashes can be as simple as raised bumps on the skin. Other signs of a rash are:

  • Blisters
  • Red spots
  • Swelling or welts
  • Dry patches of skin
  • Cracked or flaked skin
  • Heat or itchiness
  • High temperature
  • Flushed cheeks
  • Lesions

These signs can indicate anything from nappy rash, to eczema or impetigo. Our rash diagnosis guide and images can help with making a clearer verdict.

Rash diagnosis guide

Here’s a closer look at some of the most common rashes, as well as how to recognise and treat them.

Contact dermatitis

  • Signs: small blisters on the skin, on the extremities, torso or face.
  • Cause: continued exposure to an irritant found on clothing, in detergent, or in food.
  • Diagnosis: a doctor will be able to confirm suspected dermatitis by examining the area and asking about lifestyle and diet.
  • Cure: removing the irritant is the first step. Without contact, the rash will fade in a matter of days or weeks. A doctor will be able to suggest creams or medication to relieve any discomfort.

Eczema (atopic dermatitis)

  • Signs: dry, red, itchy patches of skin with small bumps, sometimes with discharge. Commonly found on the face and scalp, also known to spread to the elbows, knees, hands and wrists.
  • Cause: may be genetic or an allergic reaction to irritants, heat, or food.
  • Diagnosis: can be recognised best by a doctor or a family member who also has it.
  • Cure: identify what is triggering the outbreaks and avoid it. Doctors can prescribe topical corticosteroid cream to help with itching. Ongoing eczema may require alternative treatments and lifestyle changes.

Nappy rash

  • Signs: small pink blisters similar to pimples, sometimes with discharge, over the nappy area and lower stomach. Especially common in crevices and folds of skin.
  • Cause: continued exposure to dampness, especially urine and faeces.
  • Diagnosis: not hard to spot and name this one but if sores develop, a trip to the doctor may be in order for confirmation and treatment.
  • Cure: thorough cleaning and drying at every nappy change will foster the best conditions for a speedy recovery. Try Huggies Baby Wipes to gently and effectively clean the area. Air drying and plenty of fresh air will also help, as will liberal application of a barrier cream before the nappy goes back on.

Heat rash

  • Signs: tiny white or reddish bumps most commonly found on the trunk of the body. If left untreated, these bumps can become small, red blisters.
  • Cause: if your baby is overheated, sweat ducts can become blocked by overactive bacteria on the surface of the skin.
  • Diagnosis: this rash is so common that it is quite easy to identify from pictures. Seeking a medical opinion is advised if the rash does not fade with treatment.
  • Cure: remove excess layers of clothing and swaddling as often as possible and expose the rash to fresh, cool air whenever appropriate. Cool baths can also help.

For more information on rashes, take a look at our nappy rash, eczema and dry skin pages.