TEETHING RASH vs HEAT RASH
teething rash heat rash
Last week my blog was on whether drooling necessarily meant that your baby was teething and now that we have had the first few hot days that herald the beginning of summer, I got to thinking about how one knows whether a baby who is drooling (possibly teething!) has a heat rash or is it “drooling rash?”
Now that the hot weather is on its way and if your baby also happens to be drooling a lot how do you tell the difference between “heat” rash and the “drool” rash?
Well, for a heat rash (sometimes known as “prickly heat”) you are specifically looking for a rash with tiny red bumps and these will be surrounded by redness on the skin. Also, if one uses one’s noggin, heat rash will likely be found on clothed parts of the body such as the groin area, the armpits and the abdomen and back of babies. For older infants you could also discover the rash on the neck, shoulders and chest. Heat rash is caused when your baby gets too hot and starts to sweat. This sweat then gets blocked and trapped under the skin (which is common in infants), and then a heat rash develops.
Now, “drool” rash on the other hand is caused by all that drool which wets a baby’s chest and neck and causes the soft skin to become saturated with the drool (yuk!). The chest rash can look a bit like eczema. Generally speaking, the ”drool” rash doesn’t have the tiny red bumps like heat rash and just looks like a very red area of the skin.
Now that the hot weather is on its way, if your baby also happens to be drooling a lot you may want to know the difference between “heat” rash and the “drool” rash and what are the treatment options for these rashes.
“Heat” rash: Start by cooling your baby down. This means you have to adjust the temperature of the room and make sure the baby is appropriately dressed, especially in the summer months where there is more risk of developing a heat rash. Prickly heat can also occur in winter if one overheats the room and overdresses the baby. Give the affected areas a breather by choosing loose fitting clothes for your baby. Although it’s tempting to bundle your baby, it’s not always necessary and loose fitting cotton clothing can keep your baby warm and still give the skin a chance to breathe. The prickly sensation which often accompanies this rash may cause your baby to start scratching. If this is the case, try some calomine lotion for several days. If the scratching persists then consult your paediatrician for advice. This also applies if you are unsure as to whether the rash is heat rash or not!
“Drool”rash: This one is quite simple to treat really! A thin layer of Vaseline or even Acqueous cream can protect the skin as well as treat the irritated area. To prevent further skin damage, after baby’s bath unscented moisturiser can be soothed onto the area. To try to prevent the rash from forming, wipe up the drool as often as you can and keep the skin dry by changing the bib or whatever baby is wearing as soon as it becomes really wet from all the drool. Seek the advice of your paediatrician if the rash does not improve with these over the counter baby creams and also if the rash becomes red, weepy, cracked or painful, as I’m sure you don’t want your little bundle of joy to suffer!