21 answers

Baby's Legs Turn Bright Red in Bath

Two nights ago, my husband noticed our almost one year old (birthday Thu!) baby's legs turn bright red in the bath. It looked like a severe one degree burn. The water was luke warm and she wasn't complaining of anything or acting hurt at all. My husband had just finished painting in that room and had scrubbed out the bath and rinsed it three times. I thought maybe she had a chemical reaction. However, the red went away almost immediately. My three year old had a bath right after her and nothing happened to her skin.
Last night I gave the baby a bath and the same thing happened almost instantly. This time the three year old was in the bath with her. Nothing happened to the three year old's skin. I took the baby out of the bath and her legs started changing back to the regular color.
When I say bright red...it's bright red.
I'm going to try giving her a bath in the sink tonight (Ugh...she will try so hard to crawl out!) and see if the same thing happens.
In the meantime, I wondered if anything like this has ever happened to anyone else?
**Thanks to all who have responded already. You've made me feel better. However, the key points that have me baffled are...she just started doing this two nights ago, with no change in our water source or the water temp...and my three year old's skin didn't change.***

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

We had her 1 year check up and the doctor believes she is just sensitive to temp change (like when you see a fair skinned child's cheeks get really red when they play alot). She believes we have nothing to worry about. She agreed with many of you who said she just has sensitive skin. My baby girl is a redhead and will most likely deal with this type of thing her entire life. Thanks again to all of you for your thoughts and insights.

Featured Answers

if you are on city water the city could be pumping a little more chlorine into the water mix. I was told to add chlorine to my daughter's bath to possibly help with her escezma and the my son got in the bath with her too. His legs were bright red while her's were not. I have seperately tested them and if I add chlorine (even 1/4 cup to a large spa tub) my son has a reaction to it.

Hi K.
I'm a mother of 4. It sound a though you baby has sensative skin or maybe the water might be to hard for her skin. Also it might be the soap, baby lotion, the reason I say that because my niece daughter was skin would breakout when she used any Johnson and Johnson products when she was a baby. I hope I was helpful.


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Hi K.,
I was going to say exactly what Sharie said. We all tollerate different temperatures of water. When my five year old and I take a shower together what he thinks is warm actually burns me. I always used the baby temperature float in the tub with all three of my kids. The water actually felt kind of cold to me when the temperature float would say it was perfect.

1 mom found this helpful

I second the idea of ruling out the chlorine in the water by researching and buying a filter to filter out the chlorine, lead, etc. Your daughter may have developed a sensitivity to these substances. And they not only can affect your cosmetically, but they aren't good internally either (Chlorine scars your arteries which causes cholesterol to stick...research it). I would also suggest changing the soap to something organic. The Miracle II is a good gentle, general all-purpose soap. If your daughter may always have sensitive skin, then you may have to change some basic things (water, soaps) that other people appear to tolerate and that appear harmless, but really are not. I'm familiar with the bath ball (that filters chlorine) that the other mom referred to. Also google for the best shower filters that do the same.

Do you think it is an allergic reaction to the paint that the baby is breathing in?

Hopefully you used an Eco-Friendly Paint that wouldn't effect your family but if not that might be the problem some people esp baby's are more sensitive to fumes then others.

I have to agree with the sensitive skin.. When my son was a baby (he is now almost 17) he had the same problem. When he was put in to take a bath, his legs and arms (what ever part of him that was in the water) would turn bright red, but as soon as he got out, it would change back to normal. We had well water, so I knew it couldn't be chemicals in the water. He is a blond, and had/has fair skin, that could ? be part of it?
Hope everything checks out well with the Doctor ;)

I don't know what causes this, but a few years ago my legs starting turning red like this. It doesn't happen when I shower, only when I sit in the tub for a period of time. It didn't burn, itch, or anything like that so I have never had it checked out by a doctor. Maybe it's just something in our skin, pigment, whatever that causes us to do this. If you are concerned and she does this even after the sink bath I would recommend a doctor's visit. Especially since she's so young. Hope everything turns out ok.

Hi K.. Cculd the redness be due to the substance that baby is bathed inn? Are you guys using a new bubble bath? My girls, when they were much younger had a similar reaction to a new bubble gum scented bubble bath. I changed to a natural soap and it stopped immediately. It was weird, but the herbal doctor had always reminded us to read the ingredients...and I did! Whew, the extreme chemicals were quite visible and shouldv'e caught my eye earlier. So, now the bath beads, salts and especially bath wash with propylene glycol (found in anti-freeze, garage floor paints, etc.) in it never make their way into our home. although each child/person' skin is diffeent those unnecessary harsh chemicals have no business in our health products. So, try that and I pray that it helps.

Its just due to the water being warm. my baby legs do the same thing every night. no biggie.

The patteren suggests your daughter is very sensitive to chemicals. I do it when I sit in the sun wearing colored denim. If lots of water was used, the water comming from the tap might have more chlorine. That can cause such a reaction. Chlorine filters can be gotten at your health food store to remove the chlorine. You just put them in the bath water for a few minutes. I have used this and it helps. Best wishes with you young ones. F. in Georgia

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