Skin Infection and Your Baby
The changes in hormonal levels during or shortly after birth can lead to baby acne.
Washing, especially scrubbing can further irritate the skin and make the condition worse. Baby acne will disappear
on its own anytime within a few days to a few months. If the baby is allowed to scratch the acne, it can become
A baby's skin is not just tender and soft, it is susceptable to many skin infections. Some common skin
conditions and infections include: baby acne, candidiasis, chapped skin, cradle cap, diaper rash, eczema, heat rash
or also known as prickly heat and impetigo.
Some of these skin conditions if untreated can become infected. It is important to understand the
differences between skin conditions and skin infections.
The changes in hormonal levels during or shortly after birth can lead to baby acne. Washing, especially
scrubbing can further irritate the skin and make the condition worse. Baby acne will disappear on its own anytime
within a few days to a few months. If the baby is allowed to scratch the acne, it can become infected.
Candidiasis is a yeast skin infection. It looks like diaper rash except that there will be pus-filled bumps,
especially in the groin area or lower abdomen. This skin infection will not respond to the typical diaper rash
ointments and creams. Anti-fungal creams must be used to treat this skin infection.
Chapped skin can result from cold weather or from drooling. Babies who have "double chins" may experience
chapped skin between the chins. Clean the irritated area and apply some baby lotion or petroleum jelly to the area.
If the irritation becomes worse or looks to be infected, see your pediatrician.
Cradle cap is a skin condition that is harmless and painless to the baby. The best way to rid your baby's scalp
of the greasy yellow-brown patches is to comb or brush the hair to loosen the scales and tehn wash with a mild baby
shampoo and gently pat the scalp dry. Never put any pressure on the soft spots (fontanels) on the baby's top of the
head. Cradle cap can become infected, so contact a pediatrician if you notice that the condition looks worse.
Irritants in the diaper area or wetness on skin cause diaper rash. Symptoms are redness and possible warmth to
the touch. The reddened area can spread and even cover the baby's thighs. Clean the skin carefully and apply baby
rash cream or ointment. If there is no improvement within 7 days see your pediatrician.
Eczema is an itchy, red and scaly rash that can be on the baby's cheeks, legs or even in the diaper area. The
rash will be red, tiny bumps, which may ooze. Be careful, because if the baby scratches, the area may become
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Heat rash also known as prickly heat is a skin condition that can appear on the neck, under the arms or around
the edges of the diaper. You will see this rash during hot weather when the baby is overdressed, but it can occur
anytime of year. To bring relief, cool down the baby by removing clothing and apply a cool washcloth, or give the
baby a lukewarm bath. If the rash worsens or the baby develops a fever, make an appointment with the
Impetigo is a skin infeciton that is caused by bacteria. There are usually fluid-filled blisters that rupture
and ooze. A yellow crust will appear. Impetigo is itchy and can spread easily when scratched. You will need to
bring the baby in to the doctor's office. The usual treatment is an antibiotic.
Skin conditions can become infections when they cause breaks in the skin for bacteria or viruses to enter.
Identifying whether or not what the baby has is a skin condition or skin infection often times needs a doctor's