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

What can I do next?

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.

W.

More Answers

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

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 - it sounds like sensitive skin. My son is the same way - a warm, not hot bath will turn his skin red...kind of like a "slapped" bright red. It happens when he's outside playing hard too. A little warmth is all it takes. This started when he was about 8 months old and we've had it ever since (he's now 7). I don't think it's anything to worry about as long as it's consistent and you know it's not chemicals and you know she's not ill. Peace! ~ K.

I'm not sure if this will help but a friend of mine had that happen to her and it happened when she got in the shower or when she worked out and was hot and sweaty. After going to the doctor for several weeks they finally told her she had lupus of the skin. I hope that is not the case with your child but it is something to look at. Hope this helps.

this has been happening to me the last 2 days. except mine burns like crazy. almost like a chemical burn. the first time it happened i had put a lavender foam bath in there so i assumed it was that. but then i took one last night with nothing in it and i felt like i was on fire again. thought it was strange that you daughter is having the same thing starting at the same time. only it doesn't burn her? wondered if it may be the water???

Have you noticed her legs turning red while she is sitting on the floor? I am wondering if maybe sitting in that position could be causing her legs to fall asleep. My daughter fell asleep in her crib one time with her arm back behind her hanging through the railings of the crib. It turned her arm bright red, like a burn, but it was just asleep.
S.

Any chance the baby is on an antibiotic? My daughter's do that when she's on atbx because it causes them to be more sensitive to the temperature.

How about soap, did you change soaps maybe?

Good luck!

My baby has a slight case of eczema and it's mainly on his legs. When he bathes, his legs turn bright red while in the water, then a few minutes after he's out, they look normal again. This is really the only time you notice where the eczema is.

She may have developed an allergy/reaction to the chlorine in the water. DwellSmart has balls that you can put in the bath tub to remove most of the cholorine. You might want to give one a try or, look for a similar product that will filter out chlorine. If it happens in sink as well, then the cholorine is a more likely suspect. Good luck.

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.

W.

This happened to my daughter after I had used "Goo-Gone" to remove something sticky from the tub. Did you or your husband use any adhesive/paint remover that got in the tub or on his skin? I had rinsed the tub well but it sticks to the walls of the tub and if they are allergic to it , it will affect their skin. I have talked to other parents whose kids are allergic to adhesive removers. They use adhesive remover pads in the hospital to remove tape from IVs. I don't know what chemical it is in the products but many people are allergic to "adhesive removers". I list it as an allergy on my childs records.

K.,

This might be really off but, both of my kids legs used to get really red and like mottled in color. My doctor described it that thier circulatory system showed through their skin. As they got older and their skin became thicker it stopped. I have had other people tell me that they had noticed this same thing on their children. I don't know if the water temp would trigger this. Is seems like I noticed my kids legs doing that when they were cool. Like I said, it might be way off. My kids have very silky beautiful skin. It's like my husband's so, I had never seen anything like this on any of the kids on my side of the family but, his sister's kids legs did the same thing. I'm sure that your pediatrician would probably know. It's a good sign that she isn't complaining about it that it's probably not a big deal. I hope this helps!

Have you changed soap or shampoo or have you scrubed a little harder than you usually do? Maybe those are some things to consider. I wouldn't worry too awful much if it dosen't seem to bother her at all and it goes away afterward.

If you don't have one already get one of those temp/bath toys. The normally have a dot on the bottom of them that turns white if the water is too hot. What may feel luke warm to you might be too hot to the baby's skin which is a lot more sensitve than ours but not hot enough for her to react in pain. If that isn't the case then you might want to switch cleaners for your bathtub and see if that helps.

S.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.