If your baby is entering the teething stage, there’s a good chance a case of drool rash could be in their future. Baby drool rash occurs when a little one’s drool irritates their skin and leads to a red, bumpy rash developing on their chin, neck, or even their chest. While drool rash is most common between the ages of three and six months, according to Pampers, it can occur at any point after baby’s saliva glands kick in (usually between two to three months), whether they’re cutting new teeth or not. Since no one likes to see their little one uncomfortable, the appearance of a drool rash may leave you feeling worried and nervous on your baby’s behalf. But thankfully, this is one infant ailment that’s easy to treat and prevent.
First and foremost, always try to keep baby’s skin as dry as possible. Drool rash develops when a baby’s skin stays damp for too long, so you should keep a soft burping cloth nearby to gently clean up any saliva on their chin, around their mouth, and on their neck. Does your baby tend to drool more during meal times? Make sure they’re wearing a bib to prevent the saliva from soaking into their clothes, which could lead to a rash on their chest as well.
Keeping baby’s skin dry is the key to keeping this particular rash at bay. However, no matter how careful you are to wipe up all of those cute tiny baby bubbles, a drool rash may still occur. The truth is babies drool a lot, and as a result, drool rash is quite common. So what should you do if you notice a breakout of red bumps on your child’s face, neck, or chest? Read on to find out how to handle drool rash effectively, when to visit your pediatrician, and how to tell the difference between a drool rash and eczema (hint: the last one is a trick question).
Can you treat drool rash at home?
Drool rash can be uncomfortable for baby, but it usually only lasts about a week. During this time, there are several things you can do to make your infant more comfortable. Experts recommend gently cleaning the affected area with a warm cloth twice a day. Avoid rubbing the rash since that can cause further irritation. Instead, try pat drying the area.
Next, apply a soothing ointment like petroleum jelly to baby’s skin to form a barrier between the skin and saliva. Petroleum jelly has the added benefit of reducing your little one’s discomfort. Meanwhile, continue to keep your baby’s face as dry as possible by frequently cleaning it — just avoid putting lotion on the rash, as that would cause additional irritation. Finally, at bath time, make sure to use an unscented baby soap that’s as mild as possible.
Is drool rash worth a visit to the pediatrician?
Most of the time, drool rash will clear up with at-home treatment after about a week, but if the rash persists or begins to look crusty, ooze, or blister, it’s time for a trip to the doctor. Additionally, if baby seems to be in pain or is itching excessively, these are further signs their drool rash may need extra treatment than what you can provide at home. Ultimately, you know your baby best, and if they don’t seem to be themselves or you’re not seeing any improvement after a few days, it won’t hurt to book an appointment with the pediatrician.
If you do end up taking your baby in for drool rash, their pediatrician will likely prescribe an ointment to apply to baby’s skin. These prescription-strength ointments will speed up the healing process and help relieve the irritation, making your little one more comfortable in the process.
Is it drool rash or eczema?
When you see those little red bumps on baby’s skin, you may wonder if you’re dealing with a case of drool rash or eczema. After all, eczema also presents as itchy, red, inflamed skin. However, what you may not know is eczema is actually a broad term encompassing several skin conditions — including drool rash.
There are two types of eczema: contact dermatitis and atopic dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is caused by the skin encountering an irritant, which in this case would be drool. Meanwhile, atopic dermatitis usually occurs due to a food allergy, hay fever, or another condition. Ultimately, atopic dermatitis tends to occur due to an overreaction of a baby’s immune system, while contact dermatitis results from an external irritant like drool or laundry detergent. Another way to tell the difference between drool rash and eczema is by taking note of where the rash appears. Eczema is most likely to present on a baby’s scalp, cheeks, torso, arms, or legs, whereas a simple drool rash most commonly forms around the mouth, chin, neck, or chest.
If your baby has a drool rash, don’t panic. This common ailment is usually nothing to worry about and, after about a week of at-home care, your little one’s irritation should subside. If it persists, or you suspect eczema is to blame, a trip to the pediatrician is in order.