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6 Common Newborn Rashes And What To Do About Them

Updated on June 13, 2024
newborn_rash_6_f9081c46-25a8-4d5f-a324-c1b850da386b - Mustela USA - 1

As you cuddle with your newborn after bringing them home from the hospital, you might notice a rash. While newborn rashes usually aren’t a cause for concern, some parents worry when they see the irritation develop.

Typically, the most common newborn rashes go away on their own and can be treated at home with the right products. That’s why we at Mustela have created a comprehensive guide to understanding these rashes and have developed the right skincare products for your newborn!

Find out what the most common newborn rashes are, what causes them, and what to do about them.

What Causes A Newborn Rash?

Dad holding baby after bathtime

Simply put, newborn rashes are skin irritations that lead to redness and bumps. They usually aren’t due to any underlying conditions and are actually very common. The good news is newborn rashes typically resolve on their own with the right treatment.

Common causes of your newborn’s rash include:

  • Bugs and bug bites
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Allergens (think animals and dust mites)
  • Heat
  • Moisture

6 Common Newborn Rashes

Sibling putting cream on her baby sisters newborn rash

1) Eczema

Eczema often causes patches of dry, scaly, or itchy skin on babies’ cheeks, elbows, and knees. Unfortunately, these patches can sometimes get infected and make your little one uncomfortable.

Because your newborn’s skin is so delicate, it’s easily irritated. And since everything in their environment is new to them, it can be hard to figure out what’s causing their eczema flare-up.

But don’t worry! Because eczema is so common in newborns, we have some tried and true remedies to help treat this type of irritation.

How To Care For Your Baby’s Eczema

The good news is that most babies eventually outgrow their eczema, and it can be treated at home with the right care and products.

To start, try our Eczema Bath Time Set. It includes our Stelatopia Cleansing Gel, Stelatopia Cleansing Oil, and Stelatopia Emollient Cream.

This trio cleanses, hydrates, and soothes your baby’s eczema-prone skin with the most gentle ingredients. For best results, simply follow these steps:

  • Apply Stelatopia Cleansing Gel and Stelatopia Cleansing Oil to your baby’s wet skin or pour directly into the bathwater
  • Lather and rinse your little one
  • Gently pat them dry (don’t rub)
  • Apply Stelatopia Emollient Cream to their skin (apply two times per day to affected areas)

    2) Diaper Rash

    Baby crawling near Mustela newborn rash cream

    Diaper rash is a red, bumpy rash located in your baby’s diaper area. It can be caused by several things, such as:

    • A wet or dirty diaper for too long
    • A diaper that’s too small
    • A specific brand of diapers, wipes, or cream
    • A certain formula
    • Something mom ate (if your baby is breastfed)
    • A new detergent if you’re using cloth diapers
    • An infection (yeast or bacteria)

    How To Care For Your Baby’s Diaper Rash

    Sometimes you can treat your baby’s diaper rash the same day you notice it! To properly care for your newborn’s diaper rash, keep their diaper area clean and dry and use a diaper cream to soothe the area.

    Your current diaper cream not getting the job done? Try our Diaper Rash Cream 1 2 3. Using only gentle ingredients, it relieves your baby's irritation and redness at every diaper change, and it’s clinically proven to work on the very first use!

    We also recommend our Environmental Working Group (EWG) Verified Diaper Cream with Olive Oil and Aloe. Made with 99.7% naturally derived ingredients, this easy-to-apply formula moisturizes and calms your baby’s bottom.

    For an on-the-go, convenient way to soothe your little one’s skin, try our Diaper Rash Sprayable Cream! With a touch-free applicator and natural, skin-loving ingredients, this cream helps seal out wetness to eliminate irritation.

    And if your baby has very sensitive skin, try our Certified Organic Water Wipes with Cotton and Aloe to gently soothe their skin. Follow this with our Diaper Rash Cream at every diaper change or as often as your baby needs it.

    3) Cradle Cap

    Cradle cap consists of crusty, oily, or scaly patches (or flakes) on your baby’s scalp. When you first notice your baby’s cradle cap, it can be alarming to see so much flaking skin. But rest assured that it’s common among newborns and doesn’t irritate your baby.

    It’s important not to pick at the patches or try to scrape them off. By doing this, you could actually make the rash worse and cause an infection.

    How To Care For Your Baby’s Cradle Cap

    To properly care for your newborn’s cradle cap, use a mild shampoo on their scalp, like our Foam Shampoo For Newborns. It gently exfoliates and rinses away cradle cap flakes while also helping reduce the chance of their recurrence.

    Next, use our Cradle Cap Cream to gently massage your baby’s scalp. You can even leave it in overnight and rinse it out the next day with our Foam Shampoo For Newborns.

    Pro Parent Tip: Use a soft brush to gently loosen and brush the flakes away.

    4) Heat Rash

    A heat rash is something you may already be familiar with because you’ve probably experienced it at some point in your life. On a newborn, a heat rash looks like fine, clear, or red spots.

    It’s common during hot and humid weather and often results from overdressing your baby. However, the good news is it disappears on its own and usually goes away quickly.

    How To Care For Your Baby’s Heat Rash

    If you suspect your newborn’s rash is due to the heat, move them to a cool area and check what they’re wearing. You may need to remove layers to allow them to cool down.

    Pro Parent Tip: During hot seasons or outings, your baby’s skin loses a lot of moisture as they sweat. Try using Hydra Bebe Body Lotion to give your baby’s skin long-lasting moisture no matter the weather!

    5) Spit-Up Or Drool Rash

    Baby taking a bath to soothe newborn rash

    If your baby spits up or drools quite a bit, they may develop a rash around their mouth.

    This is a spit-up (or drool) rash and is actually a type of eczema caused by your baby’s saliva irritating their skin after using a pacifier, teething, or drooling.

    But it can also be caused by a formula allergy. For example, if your baby is spitting up frequently, a specific ingredient in the formula may irritate your baby’s sensitive skin and cause bumps around their mouth.

    How To Care For Your Baby’s Drool Rash

    The best way to care for your baby’s drool rash is to keep their face clean and dry. Use our Cleansing Wipes to quickly clean and wipe up any spit-up or drool. In addition to cleansing, these wipes also relieve and moisturize your little one’s delicate skin!

    Pro Parent Tip: Try using an absorbent bib instead of a damp one to wipe your baby’s face.

    6) Erythema Toxicum

    Erythema toxicum is often called E tox, and it appears as multiple red splotches with yellowish-white bumps. It can show up in the first few days after birth and, as with many newborn rashes, it’s very common.

    How To Care For Erythema Toxicum

    Erythema toxicum usually clears up on its own after about a week, but it’s important to care for this rash in the meantime by keeping your baby’s skin clean.

    We also recommend soothing your little one’s skin with our Soothing Moisturizing Body Lotion, which is EWG Verified and specifically designed for babies with sensitive, rashy, or reactive skin.

    Our fragrance-free formula protects and relieves your newborn's sensitive skin while providing the moisture they need.

    When To See A Doctor

    As you’ve discovered, most newborn rashes go away on their own and can be treated at home with the right products. But in some cases, your baby’s rash needs to be looked at by their doctor.

    Call your little one’s doctor right away if your baby has a rash in addition to one or more of the following symptoms:

    • Fever
    • Infected skin
    • Abnormal behavior
    • Increased pain, swelling, or warmth in the affected area
    • Pus coming from the rash

    The Best Skincare For Your Newborn

    A basket full of Mustela baby skin products

    A newborn rash can be alarming when you don’t know what’s causing the irritation. The good news is these kinds of rashes likely go away on their own and typically don’t cause your little one too much trouble.

    The most common newborn rashes are eczema, diaper rash, cradle cap, heat rash, spit-up or drool rash, and erythema toxicum. To properly care for your baby’s rash, it’s important to keep their skin clean and dry and use a lotion that will moisturize and hydrate.

    Mustela has everything you need to care for your little one’s skin. From diaper rash cream to gentle shampoos, we have you covered. Choose the product that best fits your newborn’s skin care needs to start treating their rash today!

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