What is a Teething Rash?
Teething is a natural process seen in babies when the teeth start to grow out from the gums. This process starts when the baby is around 6 months of age and continues till the baby is about 3 years old. Teething can be quite uncomfortable. It can cause pain and irritation. Because of this, the baby tends to become irritated, fussy, and it becomes tough to soothe the baby down. Another common symptom of teething is drooling.[1,2]
Studies estimate that approximately 90% of babies drool during the teething period. The saliva that comes out during drooling sometimes forms a coat on the baby’s skin, especially around the mouth. This coat irritates the already sensitive skin of the baby and causes a rash. This is termed as Teething Rash. One study states that saliva creates an environment that is best suited for bacteria to grow on the skin. Additionally, the saliva seen with drooling also contains digestive enzymes and food particles which again cause skin irritation resulting in development of rash.[1,2]
The characteristic of a Teething Rash is that they are in the form of small bumps which are raised and erythematous. Sometimes, the skin also becomes chafed. Some rashes also produce a foul odor. Teething Rash is a condition that is not a cause of concern and is not persistent, and it waxes and wanes till the time the teething process lasts.
Teething Rash is generally seen in the face along the cheeks, mouth, chin, and neck. Sometimes Teething Rash can also be seen on the chest as well.[1,2] This article highlights the symptoms as well as what to do for Teething Rash.
What are the Symptoms of Teething Rash?
As stated, Teething Rash occurs in areas where there is accumulation of the saliva when the baby drools during teething. This is mostly around the mouth, although sometimes the chest may also be involved. The rash is red in color and is raised or bumpy. It sometimes has a foul odor to it since saliva can sometimes be malodorous due to food or milk.[1,2]
How To Deal With Teething Rash?
The best way to deal with Teething Rash is to keep the skin of the baby clean and dry. This can be done easily at home by wiping out the saliva that comes out by cotton or a soft damp cloth. Once the saliva is wiped out, then the parents can clean the area with a clean dry towel. It is always better to apply a Vaseline cream over the area to calm down the irritated skin. Changing the wet bedding or clothes is also mandatory.
As much as treating Teething Rash is important, it is also important to prevent the rashes from developing. It involves preventing the saliva from accumulating. This is done by using fresh clean bibs to catch the drool. Giving the baby teething ring to chew to calm down the discomfort due to teething is also effective and it also prevents drool from coming out and accumulating.
It is important not to rub the skin of the baby as it worsens the irritation. It is important to keep the skin of the baby as dry and clean as possible to prevent Teething Rash. Avoid any irritating soaps or lotions and ensure that they are scent free. The skin of the baby should be washed gently with warm water at least two times a day and then should be patted dry with a clean towel.
Some people use pacifier on babies. This should be avoided as the drool can get trapped between the soother and the skin. A visit to a pediatrician is recommended in case the skin gets cracked, bleeds, or the baby is rubbing the area due to irritation. The physician will prescribe mild hydrocortisone cream to calm down the irritation and inflammation. It is vital not to self-medicate the baby or use a cream or lotion suggested by someone other than a physician for treatment of Teething Rash.