You walk in to watch your gorgeous little bundle of joy sleeping peacefully in her crib. She shifts positions, pulling her head up slightly, giving you a great view of her neck. Startled, you look closer, only to realize your beautiful child has a baby neck rash. It’s red, bumpy and irritated.
This is not an unusual occurrence for parents. Discovering a rash under baby’s neck is almost like a rite of passage for babies and their caregivers. The condition is certainly uncomfortable, and can sometimes seem to take ages to heal. In this article, you can learn all about baby neck rashes, why they appear and the quickest, most effective ways to treat them.
Baby Neck Rash Causes: Why Do They Appear?
The same folds of skin and chubby rolls that make your baby so cute are part of the reason baby neck rash appears in the first place. The warm skin and folds are perfect for holding moisture and hosting fungus, easily creating ideal conditions for a rash under baby’s neck. However, to cure your precious little one, you have to know what you’re dealing with first. This will enable you to choose the best treatment option. Here are some of the most common baby neck rashes:
Heat Rash Excessive sweating, warm weather or bundling up your baby too much can easily result in a heat rash on baby’s neck. Because your child’s sweat glands may not be fully mature, they can clog easily, causing the sweat to overflow into the surrounding tissue. This creates a red, bumpy rash also known as “prickly heat.” Unfortunately, this rash can be quite uncomfortable, and itch or sting. The best way to combat this type of rash is staying cool and dry. Keep baby cool by removing layers and pat the neck area periodically.
Yeast Rash The fungal infection candidiasis can appear nearly anywhere on the human body, including on your baby’s neck. Candida is a fungus that lives in the body and is usually harmless. However, sometimes, when the conditions are just right, it grows too much and turns into a nasty rash. The moisture from your baby’s drool can create the perfect conditions for a yeast rash under baby’s neck. Yeast infections are also more common if your baby’s just taken antibiotics. This medicine can cure your baby of a bacterial infection, but can also upset the order of microbes, including the candida fungus. Look for a red rash that’s raised and bright that doesn’t improve after implementing home treatments for typical non-yeast rashes.
Drool Rash Does your baby drool a lot? Especially when teething, babies tend to create a lot of excess saliva that results in drooling. A constantly moist mouth and neck area can result in irritation that is essentially a rash on baby’s face and neck from drooling. Unfortunately, until your baby stops drooling so much, even if the rash heals, he or she could get it again and again. Staying dry is the key to preventing this type of rash from returning again and again.
Allergies Baby’s skin is susceptible to allergens. Some babies develop an allergy that results in a rash in the neck area. This hypersensitivity may be caused by the detergent you use to wash baby’s clothes, bath soaps, shampoos, or skin care products. Always choose products with as few ingredients as possible and opt for detergents designed for sensitive skin. Some detergents are fragrance-free and quite mild; seek out one of them.
Knowing the cause of baby neck rash is the first step toward finding a solution so you can heal the rash and help your little one feel better. For some rashes, like the yeast rash, you may need to visit the doctor for a diagnosis and a medicated cream. Severe rashes that include blisters or small purplish dots can be indications of more dangerous conditions. If you notice these, see your doctor immediately.
Most rashes under a baby’s neck, however, are not too concerning and can often be treated at home. In the following section, we’ll discuss the best way to take care of baby neck rash.
Baby Neck Rash Treatment Options
When faced with a rash, one of your first thoughts is, “What can I put on it to make my baby feel better?” For a parent, seeing a rash on their child inspires action. You can practically feel the discomfort, itchiness and warm sensation a rash causes yourself! You’ll find yourself thinking: “Can I put diaper rash cream on my baby’s neck rash?”; “What is the best cream for baby neck rash?”; or “Should I put coconut oil on it?”
Here are some guidelines for taking care of your poor little baby’s neck rash so that he or she can feel better soon:
- For all rashes, it’s best if you can keep the skin dry. Use a soft cloth to pat (not rub! this will irritate your little one’s skin) your baby’s wet chin and neck dry as often as necessary. For babies that are drooling, you may also use a bib to catch the saliva and keep it from accumulating and sitting on your baby’s neck and chest. A bib (try a stylish bibdana if you like) also provides an easy way to keep a cloth handy – use the bib to wipe your baby’s mouth periodically. You’ll probably have to do several bib changes throughout the day too.
- An ointment or even diaper rash cream can form a helpful barrier on your child’s neck if drool is the principal cause of the rash. You can try petroleum jelly as well. Any of these ointments should be applied after drying the neck area first. They’ll keep the moisture from getting on your baby’s skin.
- Continue with regular bathing and cleaning. It’s important to keep the area clean. A warm bath can also maintain the area affected by the rash hydrated and comfortable. However, always be sure to pat the area dry after the bath.
- Coconut oil and moisturizing lotions can also help sooth the rash area. However, pick these lotions carefully. When looking for lotions, pick options that are fragrance-free and good for sensitive skin. Apply these following a bath after you’ve patted the skin dry.
- Powders such as cornstarch or baby powder can be helpful when treating heat rash. The powder can sometimes calm the itch and help keep the skin dry. However, powders are not generally recommended for young babies. Why? The particles of powder are so fine that they can get into your baby’s respiratory system, causing trouble. So, avoid these if at all possible.
If you try one of the above home remedies without any success, it may be time to seek assistance from your child’s pediatrician. There are prescription ointments that can help clear up stubborn rashes that just won’t go away. However, in most cases, a home remedy will do the trick.
Have you experienced a baby neck rash? How did you handle it? Tell us your tips and tricks in the comments below.
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