Due to the current global pandemic’s apparent rare symptom of a rash, many mothers are worried that their little one’s skin irritation may be something serious.
Mopani Pharmacy’s Homegrown Babies Sisters shared their expertise on the different sorts of rashes you may expect on your baby and when it is cause for real concern.
This is caused by a Candida Albicans fungal infection, and exacerbated by nappies and other materials that may irritate you baby’s skin, urine and stool. A nappy rash will appear in the groin, buttocks and genitalia – mostly where the nappy touches the skin directly.
To prevent and treat this, you should make sure to change your baby’s nappy as soon as it is wet or soiled. Clean them well and apply a generous layer of barrier cream.
You can also apply a Nystacid ointment and a probiotic spray if a nappy rash is present.
The Malassezia virus may cause baby acne on the face and chest of your baby. It can’t be prevented, and you should under no circumstances pick at it. You can treat it by wiping your baby’s skin with rooibos tea and applying calendula ointment. It usually appears in the first month of the baby’s life and will disappear within a few weeks.
This condition is caused by overactive oil glands, often stimulated by Mommy’s hormones. It appears as scaly patches and scabs with possible redness, on the scalp, eyebrows and behind your baby’s ears. You can gently exfoliate your baby’s skin by using a baby brush during bath time to remove flakes. Do not pick or brush hard. You can use olive oil to soothe the skin, moisturise and aid in healing.
Paediatric atopic dermatitis
There are a few causes, but all leads to an allergic reaction within the skin lipids, causing dry, inflamed, itchy skin. It can appear anywhere, but is usually present on a baby’s cheeks, neck and arms. One outbreak can last six weeks, and the condition will be active up until the age of two years old.
You may use vegetable oils to help the skin restore its natural barrier, but you should seek medical help if it progressively gets worse.
A heat rash can flare up anywhere and at any age, but is most prevalent on the face, back and neck.
It is caused by blocked sweat glands. It can be prevented by dressing your baby in cool cotton clothing during summer and merino wool during winter. You can also minimise sun exposure and use fragrance free, hypoallergenic baby soaps and products. Do not use petroleum, mineral oil based moisturisers.
This may present as small white bumps on your baby’s face, upper body and inside their mouth. When it happens inside the mouth, it can be seen either on the roof of the mouth or on their gums – it will look like their teeth are coming through.
It is usually caused due to pores being blocked by skin cells, and cannot be prevented. Luckily, it should clear up on its own – you should rather not pick at them or squeeze them.
Rash due to viral infection
It is common to get a rash from any virus, not just the coronavirus, since the skin is the body’s largest organ. The coronavirus-related rashes will present as a red rash or hives all over, coupled with “frostbite-type” discolouration of the fingers and toes.
The coronavirus in children often shares symptoms with the Kawasaki disease, such as a persistent fever, swollen lymph nodes, irritability etc.
When should mommy seek medical help?
You should always check in with us at the Homegrown Babies clinic, your GP or your paediatrician on the following conditions:
- If the rash is non-specific
- If it stays for a significant while
- Your baby is constantly crying and has a persistent fever (fever and rash at the same time)
- Your baby is lethargic and has had contact with someone who has Covid-19
How to protect your baby
- Keep your baby away from sick individuals and gatherings!
- Disinfect all high-touch areas and surfaces
- Wash plush toys according to manufacturer instructions; on the warmest recommended setting, dry completely
- Children under the age of two, and other individuals who are not able to remove face coverings on their own, should not be wearing them
- Avoid taking your child to the shops; if you don’t have a choice, maintain a safe distance
- Be sure to wear a face mask when in contact with others, wash your hands before you handle your baby again
- Do not compromise on your baby vaccine schedule during this time – they are still susceptible to many illnesses that can be prevented by routine vaccination