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What are the causes of a red rash in a baby?

It is common for babies to develop a rash, as their skin is generally more sensitive. There are numerous potential causes for a red rash in a baby. Some are not serious, whereas others may warrant more urgent medical assessment. If your baby appears unwell, it is recommended you promptly see a doctor. Most rashes are transient and not serious. These include erythema toxicum ('normal newborn rash'), milia (blocked oil glands) and prickly heat. Generally, dressing your baby in light, cotton clothing can improve some of these conditions. Other conditions such as seborrhoeic dermatitis, eczema, nappy rash, ringworm, slapped cheek, hives, and impetigo, can benefit from smoothing creams, such as calamine lotion. While these conditions are generally not serious, it is always best to see a doctor to accurately diagnose the rash, as additional treatments may be needed.

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About this article

Author: Lauren Donley BSc (Hons)
First answered: 10 Apr 2015
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Votes: 433 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Prickly heat


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