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Blotchy Redness Around Toddler's Mouth After Eating

My son will be 21 months old this month. Since he has been just a little over 1 year old I've occasionally noticed that his face, right around his mouth, breaks out in these red blotches during/after he eats. I first noticed it when he was about 13 months old and eating hummus (the hummus was all over his face). When I wiped it away, it left a red "stain-like" marking all around his mouth. It went away on its own after about 30 minutes. Per doctor's recommendation I stopped feeding him hummus. However, in the past few months I've definitely noticed that almost every time he eats, he gets a more "blotchy-like" redness around his mouth which is also dry patches at times. It is slightly different than the hummus reaction. Once again it typically goes away within about 30 minutes or so, but some of the dryness remains. The dryness could be unrelated to this?? He has never been bothered by any of this and does not exhibit any other symptoms. The first thing that comes to mind is some type of sensitivity or allergy to a food, but since it happens almost all the time he eats I'm not sure how to determine what it would be??? One common thing at every meal is milk but that doesn't touch his skin. Just wondering if anyone has seen this in their children and what it might possibly be??? THANKS!

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My son gets that, too, sometimes after eating. It's usually after we've had spaghetti or something similar. I think it's just a little reaction to the tomatoes, but not an allergy. We had allergy tests done on him last year and he was not allergic to any of them.

Glad you posted that question! Cause my daughter has the same issue. I never said anything it's just something I noticed. I put aquaphore on it and it goes away but always comes back. She does lick her lips while she's eating. Must be something in the spit.

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Hi Allison,

Both my children have very fair skin and therefore is sensetive. My daughter had the same issuse from when she was 12-14 months. Generally with tomato based sauces; it seemed anythings with a hint a acidity in it. My daughter also has excema (sp) and the doc felt it was a topical allergy and may impove with age. It did we still watch he very carefully to make she her face is alway cleaned right away and now that she is 3 today she has had minimal problems. Good luck!

He has food allergies, a "contact dermititis", this may also cause the same reaction inside his body and out by the diaper area. Get him to a doctor for testing.

Common items causing this:
Seeds in and on: fruit,jams and jellies, breads and spices
Milk and dairy, dairy "parts" as in box mac and cheese
Beans, peas, nuts and legumes (Hummis is in this catigory)

There are so many to list but the allergist will check them out for you.
Good luck,
M. in Wisconsin

If it's a general blotchy redness around his lips, it very well could be an allergy to milk (either the casein or the whey protein). Milk allergies don't just have to affect the digestive system; they can also cause skin problems. If it happens every time he eats--and he usually always has milk with the food he eats--then he should be checked for milk allergy. Since he's still a baby/toddler, his pediatrician "might" test him for it. If she refuses, then find a naturopathic or an Integration doctor, who has the test. It costs about $25-$30 and is a saliva test.

Do the corners of his mouth crack? That can signify that he either isn't getting enough of the B-Vitamins or is low on iron. My 9-year-old daughter gets the cracks at the sides of her mouth quite a bit, and it's worse in the winter. She takes a B-Complex vitamin all year round, so when it starts up in the winter, I know she's low on iron and I give her an iron pill.

Remember that food intolerances are different from an allergy. Food allergies usually show up instantly--hives, swelling, can't breathe/swallow. (well, not usually with the milk allergies--I didn't find out I had a casein allergy until I was 40 years old) But food intolerances often have a delayed reaction that can show up a day, two days, four days, even a week later. Which makes it very hard to find out which food your son might be intolerant to.

I know. Been there, done that. My Integration Doctor did what's called an ELISA ALCAT test, which tested me for 100 foods. It's not perfect, but it looks at the most common 100 foods most people eat. That test costs about $199.

I know it's out of your own pocket (but you might be reimbursement through your medical flex plan), but conventional doctors don't test for food problems unless you're in the Emergency Room suffering from a really bad allergic reaction. It's just not something they do.

However, naturopathic and Integration doctors DO test for food and nutrition problems. If I hadn't gotten so horribly sick in Feb 2008 and my doctor of 10-years kicked me out of the clinic (he couldn't find out what was wrong with me and told me to go find someone else who could help me) I would have never found out the TRUE CAUSE of my problems/
sicknesses. We now know the root cause(s) and are working on fixing a lot of nutrient deficiencies and food intolerances.

I SO WISH my parents had discovered my casein allergy when I was little; a lot of the food intolerances I suffer from today might never have occurred. You have the ability and the chance to discover what, if anything, your son is allergic or intolerant to. Good luck as you look into it.

Quick question - Do you notice it while he eats or after you wipe him up? My daughter sometimes gets red, dry patches around her mouth when I wipe her face, especially if I use a wet wipe. Could that be the problem or do you think it is directly related to the food? Just a thought to ponder.

thanks so much for this question and all the answers - I have been wondering about a rash myself. I think u should take him to the docs - better to overreact than underreact - and even if it's not serious - it might be nice to know what it is so u can minimise the amount it occurs..
My youngest son (15 months) gets a simlar sounding rash but, I suspect it is a sensitivity or slight reaction to an additive or something. I have noticed it only occurs when I give him dodgey processed foods. e.g.
I first noticed it after giving him a crispbread with bacon and onion flavoured dip on it.
Then with bbq sauce.
and the other day I gave him half a jam doughnut and the same thing happened.
It's not raised, just red, sort of blotchy and seems to disappear within an hr or so. It looks a bit like sunburn - very red and comes out wherever the product touches his skin & around mouth.. It is not from wiping his face, as it is often in the shape of where the food comes info contace with his skin. I.e if he smears sauce on his cheek, then he will develop a patch of red directly under it in the same shape.

A., when our son was little, he use to get what sounds just the same, from syrup. For him, it seemed to be the corn syrup in the faux syrup we were eating. He would get syrup "stains" in the form of a red raised mark for about 1/2 hour, then it would go away. Needless to say, we switched to real syrup after that! So, check to see if there are any common ingredients in the foods that cause a problem and try to avoid them. That's really all you can do. No, as an 8 year old, our son has been tested for any food allergies and has come up negative. Sometimes it's just an irritation.

My daughters both got that after eating hummus. It's from the acidity in the lemon. They can still eat it, just wipe it off the face. With everything else, I'm not sure. Sounds like a sensitivity to something?

I have also noticed the same thing and it started with hummus! How interesting. I have been noticing it again recently around my daughter's mouth, but it's not every time and she doesn't seem bothered by it. So, I haven't done anything about it. I assumed it was a sensitivity to something as well, and I will have to pay more attention to see if I can determine what it is. Sorry, this isn't much help...good luck. Please, if you find out it's really bad, let me know, so I can act accordingly.
thank you

Both my kids have this issue with anything acidic that stays on their face too long - ketchup, spaghetti sauce, (anything tomatoe based), sweet & Sour sauce, BBQ sauce... It always goes away after about 30 minutes. We just try to wipe their faces during meals and actually my 3 yr old son does it himself now! He tells me the redness does hurt, when it's rubbed by a napkin, so we try to be gentle when cleaning their faces, often just using water and our hands after the meal is over.

My doctor thinks they will outgrow this - both kids have sensitive skin to the point we can only use Dreft on anything that touches their skin and we have to be careful about the chemicals we use to clean or they will get hives if they come into contact with them.

Good Luck. Hope this helps.

My baby gets what sound like the exact same thing. It's eczema. Keep it clean and moisturized and use hyrocortizone if it is stubborn. If specific foods seem to irritate more, avoid them.

I could have written this post. I have absolutely NO idea what this is from and my doc tells me it's probably just from drool. But it pretty much happens every time she eats and where the food actually touches her face. The only common factor with these meals is milk--which like you said, doesn't touch her face so it seems illogical. Last night she had grilled chicken, steamed carrots, and boiled potatoes and she broke out more than ever. I can't imagine that she is allergic to every food I give her to eat! (Especially that meal, those seem like pretty tame things to me!) Let me know if you find out anything!

My son gets that, too, sometimes after eating. It's usually after we've had spaghetti or something similar. I think it's just a little reaction to the tomatoes, but not an allergy. We had allergy tests done on him last year and he was not allergic to any of them.

Hi A.,

My son gets the same thing. He is constantly licking his lips with his tongue & that seems to trigger the blotches of redness and dry patches. When he was younger the drool from teething triggered it too. So my Dr & pharmacist recommended putting Aquaphor on it especially at night after they go to bed so that they aren't rubbing it off. It seems to do wonders for my son.

Good Luck!

I second that it's eczema and my daughter had this problem til about 3 years old then we never had it around he mouth anymore. Still has it on her legs and such but not around the mouth area.

Glad you posted that question! Cause my daughter has the same issue. I never said anything it's just something I noticed. I put aquaphore on it and it goes away but always comes back. She does lick her lips while she's eating. Must be something in the spit.

I had this happen to one of my kids, it kept getting worse,and lasting longer till it didn't go away, it was all around her mouth and chin.We went to the Md got perscription cream and everything. Then one day I ran out of dish washer soap, my mom brought some over, different brand,and the redness and dryness went away. when that soap was gone, went back to my norm, casade, and it reappearred on her face, changed brands and it has been gone for about 18 months.turns out my little ones skin was sensitive to the soap!!! who would have thought!! I don't know if that is what is going on with your son, just thought I would mention it, if it is, at least it is an easy fix!!good luck!!

It could be from the slobber they seem to get all over their face when they eat and it could be causing irratation, or it could be allergies. Wash his face right after eating and write everything he ate down. Make a mark whenever it happens and see what pops up as the common ingredent. If it happens with bread, pasta, cookies.. it could be a wheat allergy. My son had lots of trouble when he was a year old with allergies and he did outgrow it when his digestive system could handle it. The dryness around his mouth could be ezimia (Not sure how to spell it). It might need a little .5% cortizone cream on it.

that happens with my kid sometimes too. usually its just because she had ranch dressing or some other slightly acidic substance on her face. i give her a little bit of children's benadryl and it clears up right away. the pharmacist said about half a teaspoon for a 20 month old that weighs 25 pounds.

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