Ever heard the expression “soft as a baby’s bottom”? It comes from the fact that babies truly have the softest, most delicate skin. The downside of this is that they are usually very sensitive to skin irritations and allergens, which can turn their smooth skin into something rough, red and bumpy.
There are several reasons for allergic rashes to appear. As soon as you see the characteristic angry, bumpy skin, it’s important to investigate what caused it. Not only will you be able to get treatment quickly, but sometimes just removing the cause will make the rash go away.
When do allergic reactions happen?
For the skin to break out in a rash, your baby will have to come into contact with something that it is allergic to. You may also notice your baby coughing or sneezing, as well as watery eyes and a runny nose.
It’s quite common for younger infants to react quite strongly with contact allergies. These can be caused by a particular brand of diaper, hygiene products that are scented and even strong dyes in fabrics. It’s always best to look for hypoallergenic products and check for reactions whenever you try something new.
Characteristics of an allergic reaction
A basic skin allergy presents as red spots. This can also include dry, flaky skin and, in some cases, small blisters. These are all very itchy for your baby and often feel warm to the touch.
Major causes of rashes in babies
It’s a common practice to swaddle a baby in layers of clothing and blankets, but sometimes this can be the cause of a rash. A new baby doesn’t yet have properly functioning sweat glands and when they get too hot, their skin can break out in a rash. These rashes usually occur in the warmest parts of their bodies – around the neck, under the arms and in the pelvic area (under the diaper).
Breathable fabrics will go a long way to preventing rashes and allergic reactions. Natural options like cotton are usually the best because synthetic fabrics tend to constrict and don’t allow air through. Cotton is also usually softer and far more comfortable on brand new skin.
Too much sun
Newborns are extremely sensitive to direct sunlight. While a small amount of exposure in the milder parts of the day are good for your baby and allow it to build up a tolerance to the sun, it’s definitely best to ensure that your baby isn’t exposed during the hotter hours.
There are also all the usual suspects for allergic reactions that adults suffer from too, including insect bites, reactions to certain medications, mites, dust and animal hair. In a newborn baby, the reactions are usually a lot stronger than they are in an adult. Your baby may also be allergic to something you are eating and then passing through via your breastmilk.
How to treat skin allergies in your baby?
Firstly, a visit to the pediatrician is necessary. Most of the time, your doctor will be able to diagnose the problem visually and can prescribe medication. This is usually in the form of corticosteroids in an ointment, as well as antihistamines and a specialized moisturizer for a baby.
These medicines should clear up a rash quite quickly and give almost instant relief from the itching and irritation. However, it is essential to work out what is causing the allergic reaction. If this cause is left in place, your baby’s reaction to it will just get stronger and stronger.
Home remedy to relieve itching
You will need:
- 250gm of melon
- 50gm of cucumber
- 20gm of watercress
Blend the ingredients together in a food processor until you have a pulp. Cover the affected area of skin with the mixture and leave it for about 15 minutes. Wash it away with hypoallergenic soap and water, then dry thoroughly. This should reduce the inflammation and itchiness.