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The skin of an infant is very tender and smooth. As parents, it is important that we take utmost care of our child's supple skin. The infant's skin, if not taken proper care of, can easily be vulnerable to rashes. The occurrence of rashes is common especially in the folds of the skin such as around the elbow, thigh and neck. Rashes around the neck are most common in babies.
A baby's neck tends to have more folds, as they appear quite chubby. The skin around the neck is very delicate and therefore rashes can occur faster. The chances of rashes are higher when the infant is unable to hold the neck up by themselves. Most of the rashes are not a case of worry as they heal quite soon on its own. The chances of rashes around the neck area reduce as babies learn to keep their head up without external support.
What Is Neck Rash?
When the skin around the neck turns itchy and red in infants, it is referred to as a neck rash. The skin having rashes appears scaly or bumpy. You are more likely to see the rash in the folds of the neck. The infants who are commonly affected by neck rash are the ones who come in the age group of four to six months. The neck rash could have appeared due to various reasons, some of them being a fungal infection, skin irritation or prickly heat.
What Causes Neck Rash In Babies?
Before you proceed to treat the neck rash in your infant (sometimes with home remedies), it becomes important to identify the primary reason behind the occurrence of the neck rash. The following list compiles some of the most common causes of neck rash in infants:
1. Stork bites
A reddish or pinkish patch might appear on the baby's neck. This also sometimes looks quite similar to a birthmark. This happens when the blood vessels underneath the skin get dilated or stretched. This is more noticeable when there is a change in the room temperature or the baby cries. Such kinds of rashes are temporary and will vanish soon.
2. Skin irritation
The creases across the folds of the baby's skin rub against each other constantly and might be the cause behind the appearance of a rash. Not just that, the baby's skin also rubs against the clothes. The continuous friction causes irritation and results in a neck rash.
3. Fungal infection
Fungal infection can lead to a neck rash in infants. Wet and warm places are most appropriate to allow growth of fungi such as Candida. The folds of the child's neck serve to be the perfect breeding place for such fungi. The chances of this are higher when sweat and moisture are trapped in the folds of the baby's neck.
4. Prickly heat
Common during summers, babies are prone to prickly heat development quite easily. When the temperature is high, sweat gets trapped under the skin blocking the sweat ducts. This causes red bumpy appearances around the neck which is extremely itchy. These are also otherwise referred to as sweat rash or heat rash.
5. Milk drool:
It is common for breastfed babies to have minor rashes around the neck region. This usually happens when some of the breastmilk gets spilt onto the neck region of the baby during a breastfeeding session. If the skin is not cleaned to remove all the spilt milk then it continues to remain moist and results in the development of neck rash.
Symptoms Of Neck Rash In Babies
The following are the typical symptoms of a neck rash.
• Appearance of red spots
• Itching and pain on the affected site
• Fever in some cases
• Possible loss of appetite
• Irritable and distressed baby
Treatment For Neck Rash
The following are some of the general treatment methods for curing neck rash:
• Keeping the skin clean: Doctors advise the use of mild baby soaps/body washes to soothe the infant's skin. One should use gentle strokes while rubbing the soap on the body. The neck should be patted dry with a soft towel. The skin folds should be air dried and kept moisture-free.
• Treating neck rashes: The irritation accompanying the rash can be treated by rinsing the neck with cool water. Most of the skin rashes do not need any medical intervention. Doctors usually prescribe a fungal cream or a yeast cream to treat fungal infection. It is seen that the application of 1 per cent hydrocortisone cream is quite useful in treating neck rashes.
• Treating heat rashes: During summers, keep the child lightly dressed so that the skin can breathe easily. Keep the baby in a cooler room so that prickly heat causes minimum discomfort. Lacto calamine usage is widely accepted to treat prickly heat.
Home Remedies For Treating Neck Rash In Infants
The following home remedies can effectively treat neck rashes in babies.
• Cornstarch: If a neck rash has developed, then post bathing apply corn starch on the affected area to keep it moisture free.
• Light, cotton clothing: Always dress your infant in cotton, breathable clothing. Synthetic clothing might irritate the skin further. Do not overdress your baby.
• Cold compress: Application of cold compress on the rash can reduce the irritation. This can be done a few times a day. However, remember to pat the area dry.
• Coconut oil: Because of its anti-microbial properties, coconut oil application on the rashes works wonders.
• Baking soda: While bathing the baby, consider putting about two spoons of baking soda in the water. This has been found effective in treating rashes in infants.
• Use of lukewarm water: Instead of using normal water to bathe your baby, use water which is slightly lukewarm.
• Use of baby talcum powder: You can sprinkle baby powder on the folds of the skin to ensure that it remains moisture free.
• Use of oats: While bathing your baby, you can add about two to four spoons of oats in the water. This will also help to heal the rash.
Consider the following preventive measures while dealing with neck rashes in babies.
• Avoid overdressing the baby. Do not put on a heavy blanket on the child all the time. Overdressing might make the baby sweat immensely.
• Do not keep bathing the baby multiple times. This can lead to the skin becoming excessively dry. Use a damp cloth to wipe your baby clean instead.
• Ensure that your baby's neck is clean and dry all the time.
• Keep the baby is an airy room when the temperature is high outside. Humidity might cause severe rashes.
• Always remember to clean up dribbled milk or baby's drool that might have accumulated in the folds of the baby's skin.