29 answers

Face Rash on 4 Month Old.

My 4 month old boy has patches on his face, like on his cheeks one on his forehead and sides of his face. There are a few on his scalp. They are very dry and rough like eczema, which is what I think it is. My dr. has seen it and says its just dry skin however it has gotten worse. He sees the dr. again Tues. I have tried all kinds of lotions and some hydrocortisone(sp.). He drools a lot and sucks on his fists so that does not help, but he is starting to really rub and scratch at his face like it itches. If anyone has dealt with something simiular and has a recomendation I would appreciate it!

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So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the great tips. We went for his check up today and the dr. said he thinks its a milk protein allergy since it has gotten so much worse. He has switched his formula to very expensive Alimentum. Hopefully in a couple weeks it will be gone.

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We've had really good luck with Vaseline on my daughter's eczema. Twice a day, rub it in really well. Works great for us. Hope it helps you too!

Try Baby Aquaphor by Eucerin! Excellent item to have around the house!! It is great for irritated skin and great for diaper rash. It also helps prevent rashes.

My daughter has eczema as well. Another mom told me to put petroleum jelly on her after bath and this has really make her skin better.

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My little one has eczema. I use pure virgin coconut oil on her skin, face included. It works well. No scratching, and no more new patches showning up. You can purchase it at health food stores.

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I'd check his diet, also. If he's on milk-based formula, that might be causing a reaction. But, meanwhile, have you tried Eucerin cream? It's a bit heavy, and I'm not too sure about how it will work on the face. First, I'd probably try a little extra virgin olive oil and see if that gives him some relief. If not, a pediatrician had recommended Eucerin when my daughter had dry skin, but it was on her legs and buttocks. When my son had it, we used olive oil. We also stopped using all baby products and washed him using Dove. No soap on the face at all. Even now, I wash my children's faces with plain warm water and I also use a baby cloth on my five-year old daughter. I suffered with eczema for many years until I was an adult, and Dove was suggested to me many years ago by a pediatrician. The eczema is under control now. I also continue to wash my children's linen and underwear (and even clothes) using Dreft. Expensive, but very mild for children with sensitive skin. When I tried switching to Cheer or Tide, they both broke out in hives. Also, watch how often you are bathing him. I know he's 4-month-old, but try sponging him every other day and not full immersion. Hopefully, this will give him some relief until you get to doctor's office. I vaguely remember another cream that was herbal and available at Wal-mart. It comes in a green container and says specifically for eczema. I think that helped a little for my daughter, but the olive oil worked better and I could also use it for cooking! You can get a separate plastic container to pour the oil for body use. Hope this helps.

My daughter #2 had a rash on her face around 6-8 weeks. The Dr. said it was "normal" for a baby. I began investigating on my own and discovered it cleared up when I stopped drinking milk (I was nursing). The next Dr. I saw said, yes, it probably was a milk allegery. It was hard, but I avoided most milk products while nursing. Around 9 months I tried to eat pizza, and no rash! BUT she got an ear infection that didn't clear up until I stopped the milk products again 6 weeks later. She was tested at 18 months and was allergic to milk, eggs, citrus, cats, and dust mites. The good news is that she outgrew the milk allergy around age 5. Please investigate if there is an allergy connection rather than just treating the symptoms.

My son developed very bad eczema when he was 7 months old. I had recently switched to GAIN laundry detergent and it just triggered it. I found out about a company called Melaleuca, and they have AMAZING products that I can use and do not bother his skin (cleaners, laundry, even the scented stuff doesn't make him itch). He had it all over his body and it looked like an allergic reaction! It actually started on his abdomen, and felt like bumps that were invisible, and then it just got worse and worse until he was a red spotted mess, and one morning his eyes were swollen so back he looked like he'd been in the ring w/Rocky! I tried the steroid creams, cetaphil (soap and lotion), aveeno baby for eczema, anything and everything the Dr. recommended! When I switched to Melaleuca, the main reason I did so, was for their Renew lotion and bath oil. This stuff is a miracle! Safe for babies and faces! I have before and daily progress pictures if you want to see! And check out the website... www.melaleuca.com ! Email me if you'd like to see the pictures ____@____.com!

My 4-month-old had a similar problem. he has very delicate skin, had terrible baby acne for 6 weeks. When the acne finally cleared he started getting those rough red patches. I took him to the dr -- she said it was wind/sun/cold weather chapping! Their little faces are so delicate that they can get chapped after only a few minutes outside in the wind and cold [and they are too young for sunblock]. I slathered him with A&D -- the same stuff we use for diaper rash -- and I mean a LOT, so his skin was shiny, and it helped immensely. A&D is particularly good b/c it doesn't have a lot of stuff in it and won't hurt if he gets it in his mouth. I bet plain vaseline would be fine too, or if you use lanolin try that. I try to remember to put some on before we leave the house so I don't need to put so much on all the time.

Hope this helps ...

my son had the same problem. it spread all over his little body. it was eczema. we use eucerine (in the jar, not the bottle)as his daily lotion. also, hydrocortisone for any flares. we put baby oil or olive oil in his bath water, also. my boy had it on his scalp too so we'd put eucerine on his scalp too and it cleared up. the eucerine really helped to clear his whole skin. also, try using a humidifier during the winter months since that is when eczema gets worse. if you keep the moisture in the air it will help with his skin as well as help him avoid colds! :-)

good luck

Aquaphor has worked great for my 7 month old who has the same problem....

hi T.,
i'm very annoyed with your doctor. 'just' dry skin? when it's that persistent and itchy, it needs more than a toss-off like that.
that being said, i'd be extremely leery about putting steroid cream on such a tiny baby. the repercussions could be far worse than the original problem. i echo the suggestion of virgin coconut oil (it's solid until you apply it to the skin) or extra-virgin olive oil, just a dab. these are wonderful natural emollients that will not harm your baby.
good luck!

Hi T.. I am a medical professional with some experience in the field of dermatology. I have some ideas for you and your son. If it is dry skin, make sure he is only getting a bath 2-3 times/week MAX. It doesn't have to be with soap either. Frequent bathing really dries out babies skin. Gently blot the bath water off with a towel and apply lotion while he is a bit damp. Secondly, it could be something called seborrheic dermatitis..kind of like patches of dandruff (rough, dry, flaky skin). There is no know cause and very common starting at 2-3 months in children. You can treat this with head and shoulders shampoo and gentle (soft brush/toothbrush) exfoliation on the patches. The most common areas affected are forehead (above the eyebrows and eyebrows), scalp, and cheek area (by the nose). This can be treated with a non-steriodal cream from your PCP or derm doc. It also could be contact dermatitis...allergic cause? Possible triggers: his soap, laundry detergent (ALL free is a good brand to try), your laundry detergent/soap etc. There are many possibilites for all of this. Try to be patient and make sure you see a dermatologist if his patches don't resolve or are getting worse. I would advise against any steriod cream (hydrocortisone) on the face as it can have a rebound effect and irritate him even more...Good luck with everything. I hope he will be fine soon! Rebecca

Hi T.,

This sounds really gross - but we had a similar problem and used Crisco, the kind that comes in the round tub, within three minutes from bathtime because that's when it absorbs best. Also, if it's cold or windy where you are, make sure you use a layer of some type of gentle lotion when you take him out. We also only used soap it is was absolutely necessary and when it was we used an Aveeno Baby soap formulated for dry skin.

Good Luck!

check this site:


the excema oil is great for all kinds of skin problems. Also, the baby balm is really good for baby rashes from diaper rash to pacifier rash. I use these products on my twin boys and love them. Plus, the ingredients are all natural and there are no chemicals.

We've had really good luck with Vaseline on my daughter's eczema. Twice a day, rub it in really well. Works great for us. Hope it helps you too!

Try lots of Vaseline. Give him a bath everyday and wash him with dove no scent soap. The lather his face with lots of Vaseline. This is what we did for my son who has eczema and it worked.

I very much understand your frustration. I get very annoyed when I am brushed off like an over protective mom, and feel like scraming "There's something not right PAY ATTENTION!!!!"
Anyway, the only lotin that I have found that has helped my sons eczema is Renew from Melaleuca. He is now 10 (almost 11) and recognizes the difference from the Renew and the lotion that his dad has at his house. I have some trial sizes if you would e-mail me at ____@____.com I can arrange to send it to you.

My daughter has eczema as well. Another mom told me to put petroleum jelly on her after bath and this has really make her skin better.

We used a prescription compound of aquaphor and 2% hydrocortisone. Worked like a charm!

I used Aveeno Baby Calming lotion on my daughters face and it made a big difference. It could aslo be that his skin is sensitive to the soap/wash you are using. My kids couldn't use Johnson & Johnson, but were fine with Aquaphor, Aveeno and Avon products.

Oh boy do I know how you feel!! My second son started out like this right at 4 months as well. It took getting a referal to a dermatologist to diagnose him with eczema. He also has it in other places now as well. The dermatologist said that it does get worse in winter weather and that there are a few things to do about it.

I give my son an Aveeno oatmeal bath everynight, you do not use soap every night, once a week is enough, just let him soak, but for no more than 10 min, quickly dry him off, you have 3 minutes before the moisture evaporates off his skin. Next you can apply a cream, or vaseline, or even a Eucerin cream(the Dermatologist told me that lotions are the WORST for eczema, they do not hydrate enough and can leave skin dryer once evaporated). However I found that to be very messy and use a Creamy Petroleum Jelly found at Dollar General. I love it, it keeps his skin moist without making the greasy mess.

For his face, I was prescribed a Hydrocortisone cream to use sparingly, to much use can thin the delicate skin. In between uses, I bought Gentle Naturals Baby Eczema Cream. This is available at Target and Wal-Mart found in the baby section. I also use Aveeno Anti-Itch Cream with Natural Colloidal Oatmeal, it contains Calamine, to go on top of the Baby Eczema Cream. The label says not to use on children under 2, but the dematologist said that it was okay to use because it is Steroid Free. Check with your doctor to see if your 4 month old can use it, it really helps with the itching.

I have to agree with the post about food allergies. My son has food allergies and even though he is on a soy based formula, and does not get rice flour, yes he is even allergic to rice cereal, he still has it. The dermatologist wanted to know evrything that he eats, and what detergent to use. He said to use the Dreft as it is the one with the least irritants.

I also have to keep Neosporin on hand, because my son has scratched his head so much at times that he has cut it. I usually find this in the morning as he does it at night. Please know that you are not alone. If you have any questions, please ask.

either eucerin or aquafor which you can get at any store or a lotion called renew that you can order through melaleuca (online) - my kids and myself have extreme dry skin and it helps. melaleuca is a co with all natural products that are great for the skin and people with allergies. good luck

My son did the same thing and after months of different treatments various doctors we found out that my son was server food allergies - no one in my family that ever had them so I had never given it a thought. He was allergic to the formula and baby food we were starting him out on. He was also reacting to my husband eating nuts and trace amounts of that touching him when he was kissed. Your son would have to be 6 months old to be allergy tested but I'm so glad that I did it. My son's rash started on checks and by the time he was 6 months it was everywhere. Everyone who ever saw him would comment and I felt like I was failure because I couldn't fix it. He scratched so much when I would pick him up he'd scratch me if he couldn't scratch himself. He would also scratch until he almost bleed. It was awful. My doctor tried many different prescription creams until we found one that helped. Momentasone (sorry spelling is probably off) - it helped him the most but you have to be very careful to use it. The Momentasone never got rid of the rash completely but it reduced the inflammation and itching - which is key. Also reducing baths help allot - baths tend to dry out the skin so I'd only do it every 10 days or so and that helped allot. Once we changed his diet it went away. Now if he's around certain foods or has too much corn or soy he'll break out in a rash but it's normally gone in a day or two. My son is 19 mths so he's introduced to things every day and we are learning daily what to add on the list of what not to give him. Best of luck and my heart goes out to you.

Hi, T., Your little boy could be reacting to chemical irritants in his every day products. You might want to try switching to a more natural line of products. Here are some places to go for more info: saferforyourhome.com; Google - The Kids Safe Chemicals Act. Feel free to contact me if I can provide more info or any help. Good luck! N.

Try Baby Aquaphor by Eucerin! Excellent item to have around the house!! It is great for irritated skin and great for diaper rash. It also helps prevent rashes.

I agree with the previous post about the soap/lotion you are using could be doing it. Also what kind you and other who hold him are using. With my now 6 year old I could only use Dove soap (plain, not scented) on myself especially since I was nursing. Also what you wash EVERYthing he'll be in contact with. Many think about the baby's clothes being washed in sensitive detergent (ie..dreft, Ivory - I use Free & Clear products) but remember he's against your clothes and others all of the time too. I semi co-sleep with my now 4 1/2 month old, so my own sheets & blankets are washed Free & Clear also. Have to keep it up anyways because 6 year old is still super sensative. We have to be careful even trying on clothes.

Ask your dr about safe lotions to use maybe even something on the natural side.

Good luck!

T.... I am so sorry you are dealing with this. It can be an absolute NIGHTMARE! My son has one spot on his face (just one little circle the size of a quarter) that get's really really bad in the winter. We tried removing ALL the chemical irritants and changing detergents and everything else we could think of which just made everything more frustrating. A dermatologist is going to tell you to use Cetaphil body wash and only wash his face every other day. To keep it as dry as humanly possible, and to only use vaseline and possibly a SMALL amount of hydrocortizone on the area. Ours clears up a little in the summer but still requires treatment. The hydrocortizone wasn't quite enough so we have prescriptions Benz.... Hydrocortizone mix. We're not supposed to use it regularly but in the winter we have to use it every other day and sometimes every day and in the summer every 4 or 5 days. I understand they will grow out of it eventually. Good luck and God Bless. Message me if you need the name of a good dermatologist.

lots of ideas to help eliminate what it is not - run a cool mist vaporizer (will help the dry skin), use unscented laundry products and if needed, unscented bath products. Keep nails short/put socks on their hands when sleeping if they're rubbing when laying around. My daughter had cradle cap for a couple of months and it eventually went away - used very light coating of petroleum jelly. Gotta remember babies are growing and reacting to their new environs and the skin might be adjusting.

Vaseline, several times a day especially after bath time when his skin is warm. Dont waste your time buying those expensive lotions like eucerin, if you look at the main ingredient it is petroleum jelly anyway! Good luck!

I second the idea of investigating food allergies. My second son had terrible eczema. By the age of 9 months or so it had gotten to the point where it was all over his body, would even get oozy and crusty at times. It was awful. At about 13 months he had a severe allergic reaction to egg and when we took him to the allergist, we found out he was also allergic to milk, i.e. formula (which he had been drinking his whole life). Within 2 weeks of getting off the milk, his eczema was essentially gone. He still has dry skin, but easily taken care of with a little lotion, cortisone occasionally. That said, my other two sons also have patches of eczema, which at times do flare-up, and they don't have food allergies! I use All Free and Clear laundry detergent and Dove unscented soap and it seems to help.

I've found that Aquaphor works very well. My 2 year old had very dry/cracked/bleeding skin around his mouth and was getting worse from being wet all the time (i.e. drooling during naps and teething). After many different medications that the pediatrician recommended, what finally took it away was rubbing some vaseline on before he took naps and through the day. It hasn't come back since. My 3 month old has very dry/chapped skin on his face and the Auqaphor seems to work for him.

Back when he was a baby, my son got raised/rough eczema rashes when I bathed him every day during the winter. Cutting the baths to every other day and putting olive oil on his skin after the bath seemed to prevent outbreaks.

Putting Cetaphil lotion on the rash helped it go away, but it still took about a week. This child also got rashes from a scented tear-free baby bath soap (I don't remember the brand -- it was probably a generic knock off) and from clothes when I washed them in Dreft or Oxi-clean.

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