Being extra smooth, supple and tender, your baby’s skin is unique and needs daily care as he grows up bit by bit. Being vulnerable to several kinds of rashes, an infant’s skin must be protected at all times. The neck region of the babies is one of the most common areas where rashes occur though the elbow, genitals and thigh region also see rash more than often.
The first six months after birth is the most crucial as most of the rashes occur during this period. With an array of skin rashes occurring in small babies, most of them are harmless and vanish on their own after a few days. However, as a parent you feel the need to take care of the problem and treat it at the earliest. In order to treat a baby neck rash effectively, you must first understand the cause of the rash.
Causes of Neck Rash in Babies
Prickly Heat – Also known as heat rash, this is quite common in infants who are born in summers. It occurs in several areas of the body and is not confined to the neck alone. During summers, the dry heat goes to extreme temperatures irritating the child’s gentle skin and causing rashes to appear. Prickly heat rashes look like small skin bumps which are red in color and itch extensively.
Stork Bites – Appearing as pink spots, stork bites are commonly seen in the babies neck region especially during the first 2 or 3 months after birth and are a common cause of baby neck rash. These are actually blood vessels which collect in a particular area of the dermal layers of the skin and appear as rashes. In most cases, there is no treatment required as these ‘rashes’ disappear on their own a few months after appearing.
Fungal Infection – Neck rash is often the result of fungal infections where fungus such as candida grows and thrives on the infant’s neck region due to the formation of skin folds. Perspiration and moisture add to this growth allowing candida to survive for days.
Spilling Milk in Neck Region – As an infant drinks breast milk several times a day, he often spills excess milk onto his neck region, making it moist and extremely susceptible to neck rash. Though the area is cleaned from time to time, the continuous spilling of milk makes the neck region of the babies a perfect place for rashes to occur.
Irritation in Skin – This is another cause of baby neck rash, especially newborns. The neck region of a newborn is chubby and plump resulting in skin fold formation where two parts of the skin rub against one another constantly. This constant friction and presence of moisture cause neck rash which lingers on till the baby can lift his head without support and move it around freely.
Home Remedies for Baby Neck Rash
Though most neck rashes on a baby’s skin disappear after a few days time, some continue to stay and need to be taken care of externally. The baby might feel uncomfortable as the neck region itches and burns due to the rashes. Use these simple yet effective home remedies for baby neck rash to soothe the area and calm the baby.
Use Breathable and Light Fabrics – Infants should always be dressed in light and breathable fabrics, especially during summers. Making an infant wear stiff and heavy clothing can aggravate the rashes immensely. Use cotton clothes as far as possible and change the diaper every 2 to 3 hours. Also wash all the clothes separately with a mild detergent which is gentle on clothes and free from harsh chemicals. Try to make the little one rest in a shady and cool spot as much as possible.
Cornstarch – Sprinkle just a little bit of cornstarch on the rash-affected areas of the neck after giving him a bath. Cornstarch can be an effective home remedy for baby neck rash which will help keep the affected area moist-free and dry all day long and prevent rashes from increasing.
Cold Compress – Using cold compress on baby neck rash can help to reduce the inflammation and also eliminates the burning sensation. Soak a clean cotton cloth in a tub of cold water and apply on the neck region for a few minutes. When done, pat dry. Repeat the cold compress 3 to 4 times every day. Cold compress is a very simple but yet very effective home remedy for baby neck rash.
Hygiene - Good skin hygiene is essential to prevent babies from developing rashes. Following a good skin hygiene where the infant is bathed regularly and all the body parts dried completely thereafter help prevent rashes from occurring.
Coconut Oil – Applying coconut oil can be a very helpful home remedy to get rid of baby neck rash. Coconut oil helps to make the skin clean and soft while its anti-microbial properties prevent any kind of skin rashes or inflammation. Massage the affected area with coconut oil and wipe off with a wet clean cloth after half an hour to avoid a feeling of stickiness in the area.
Use Baby Lotion and Creams – It is always advisable to use a baby lotion or cream after consulting the paediatrician. Use the lotion or cream in small quantities and refrain from applying it more than twice every day. Also, ensure that the lotion or cream does not contain such ingredients which can either increase the rashes or cause allergic reactions on the baby’s soft skin.
Use Boiled & Cooled Water – Use only boiled and cooled water to bathe your baby as regular water might contain harmful microbes or harsh compounds which can cause rashes in the skin. Also, avoid using hot water and always opt for warm water in winters and cool water in summers for bathing infants.
Oats – This is an effective home remedy to get rid of baby neck rash and is commonly found in almost all American homes. Add a handful of oats to your baby’s bath water as this will help keep his skin fresh and prevent rashes from occurring easily. It will also control the already existing rashes. Another method of using oats is to take a clean cotton cloth and put some oats in it. Seal the cloth and soak it in a tub of warm water for 5 minutes. Squeeze the wet cloth infused with oatmeal water onto the affected area for a few minutes before patting the area dry. This will help eliminate rashes rapidly.
Apply Baby Talcum Powder – Using a good quality baby talcum powder on the rashes will help keep the area dry and moist-free, preventing more rashes from occurring while keeping a check on the existing ones.
Baking Soda – Adding 2 teaspoons of baking soda to an infant’s bath water helps keep all types of fungal infections at bay and soothes the skin which is already affected by the rash.
Rashes on your infant’s neck are not a serious problem as most of it disappears on its own and if it doesn’t, these simple home remedies for baby neck rash can help get rid of it.
However, if neck rash appears accompanied by fever and you notice pus or fluid-filled blisters on your little one’s skin, then it is possible that he is suffering from a severe infection and needs to be checked by his paediatrician at the earliest.