48 answers

Pacifier Rash

My 2 YO daughter has developed a rash around her mouth - it's been about 6 weeks or so I would say. I think it is from her pacifier, but it seems to get better, only to get worse again. She only uses her pacifier for naps and bedtime and her pacifiers have vent holes. I wash the pacifiers with soap and hot water every time. The rash looks better in the morning, but seems to get worse throughout the day. I tried A&D ointment, but she hated it (probably because of the smell!). I switched to putting Vaseline around her mouth before giving her a pacifier but it just isn't clearing up. One day I think it's better, then the next day it seems worse. It's been cold here, too, so that might be part of it, too? I don't want to minimize it, but I also don't want to take her to the doctor if she's just going to tell me it's from her pacifier! Any ideas?

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It sounds like what my grandson had a few months ago. Doctors said it was a yeast infection. Funny to say but it was cleared up relatively easily with Monistat 7. He told her to put it on around his mouth and under his nose area before a nap and before bedtime at night and it was almost completely gone in 3 days. Doctor did tell her it was very important not to use the same wash cloth, towel etc on him as it can be contagious.

Have you boiled her pacifiers? It could be thrush or something to do with the pacifier - Latex?. It might be a good time to ween anyway. My dentist says after two, pacifiers can begin to affect the dental bite and speech.

Try using plain chapstick-the kind with the black label. I have used it on my kids faces when they get chapped. It really works!

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Good Morning J., My son is teething and is a drooling machine. As a result his face has a rash and is very chapped all the time. I have just recently started putting Aquaphor (you can buy it at Snyder's or Walmart or Target or any place like that). Completely safe to use around the mouth, lips, face area and it is thicker so it doesn't rub off as easy and really soaks in. I would use it 3 times a day or whenever she goes lies down. It has worked wonders for our little 9 month old! Let me know if that helps and good luck.


Is the tip of the paci latex? She may have a mild latex allergy. you might try using the silicone tipped pacifiers.

try the vasilene only at night before laying her down and lettin her sleep with it. It sounds like it's due to slobber that staying around her mouth when sucking on the paci. the dr's told me to use the same stuff you put on your nipples when you breast feed to help protect them from cracking. you can put it around her mouth too it's safe. its like patrolim jelly

We are fighting the same thing. If your daughter is anything like mine, she has taken the same type of pacifier forever. Allergy just doesn't seem the cause to me unless you have changed to a new pacifier. I suppose she could develop an allergy. My first thought is chapped skin from the constant moisture and the cold. It has been cold here too. I use Aquaphor by Eucerine. It is like petroleum jelly, but I think better. I have seen other people suggesting hydrocortisone, but I would check with your pediatrician first. It probably is mild enough, but to be on the safe side. Good luck! ~S.

might be a yeast infection. I would take her in to the doctors just to be sure. Even if the doctor says it is the pacifier dosen't mean you have to take it away. But at least you would know for sure.

i agree, it is probably from the pacifer....we had the same issues...get rid of them. make a big deal of it and get her some special big-girl toy. do you have another baby in the family, neighborhood etc?? we tell our 2 yr old that we gave her bottles, nuks etc to that baby. she likes being praised as a big girl and does not want the baby things anymore.

Have you boiled her pacifiers? It could be thrush or something to do with the pacifier - Latex?. It might be a good time to ween anyway. My dentist says after two, pacifiers can begin to affect the dental bite and speech.

You might want to take her just in case it is a bacterial infection and she may need an antibiotic ointment to get rid of it.

My son had the same symptoms and it turned out to Impentigo. We got the cream ointment and have used it a couple of times since his first outbreak. It cleared up right away. Might not be a bad idea to have the doc check it out. Good Luck!

Hi J.,
I am the mother of a 3 year old, and I can remember when she was still on the "nuk" too! She was about the same age as your little one when she started to break out around the mouth area. It was a rash, some days better than others. I took her in to her pediatrician and he said that it was because her bottom teeth had come in and when she would suck on the pacifier it would irritate the skin. She also was really moist below her lip every time and that added to the irritation. Against my better judgment, I had to wean her off the "nuk" I would give it to her for nap time, and not when I put her down for the night. She actually adjusted really well. It was not the nightmare that I was expecting it to be.
I hope this helps! ~S.

My (2yo) daughter also gets this periodically from her bink. If it is like hers (a bright red line where the edge of her bink would be on her chin) I told her that she couldn't have her binky outside in the cold because it will give her owies and then I put the eucerin aquaphor for babies on her chin periodically throughout the day. It cleared it up, and it only came back because we got lax on not letting her have it outside (from the walk from the car to inside and vice versa). I just read today that binks don't really cause any serious issues with teeth until four, so I think we're fine about letting them have them. If the rash looks different than what I described, or has a funky smell to it it could be a yeast infection like the other mom's described. It can't hurt to have your ped have a look at it if you can.

It sounds like what my grandson had a few months ago. Doctors said it was a yeast infection. Funny to say but it was cleared up relatively easily with Monistat 7. He told her to put it on around his mouth and under his nose area before a nap and before bedtime at night and it was almost completely gone in 3 days. Doctor did tell her it was very important not to use the same wash cloth, towel etc on him as it can be contagious.

Try using plain chapstick-the kind with the black label. I have used it on my kids faces when they get chapped. It really works!

Does she have sensitive skin?

My daughter wasn't on a pacifier but at age 2 her mouth and chin were always red and rashy too because she has eczema and she was teething. I would use vaseline before bedtime which helped but it was mostly due to weather and teething. I think it's just wait til the weather is better kinda thing because everyone is so dry right now.

Hi, I am a gramma to 7, and I have a grandson, that gets a rash around his mouth. It was Infitigo, Cant spell it corectly, but I think you should take her to your pedetrition, and see what it is. It could be contagagious, and you need a prescription, for the medication. Hope she gets better. G. F

Might be that she is allergic to latex or plastic. My sister has weird allergies including both of these. You might want to take her to a pediatric allergist. Hope this helps!

My son has the same problem. I put lanolin around his mouth & this works good. It is sticky enough that it does not wipe off easily. The Lansinoh brand works really well & it does not have the smell that regular lanolin has. You can get it in the baby isle at most stores, where the breast pumps, pads etc are.

Try the Arbonne Baby Care (ABC) Body Oil. It restores baby's skin with its natural oils while it reduces redness and irritation. I am an Arbonne Independent Consultant and please feel free to contact me. Good luck.

A good product to clear the rash is Arbonne baby oil. It's all natural.No smell. It's what I use on my boys rash from eczema and it clears right up and keeps it under control. If you would like a free sample I have it at my salon C. Image salon 2428 Easton Blvd Des Moines. ###-###-####. I have twin 7yr old boys and have used product for 2yrs. It's great!

I think this is a real good time to take her pacifier away.
The pacifier fairy came and took all my granddaughters pacifiers away and it worked great, the fairy left her a gift.

It's probably caused by the cold/dry house/and saliva from the nuk.


My suggestion is to take your daughter to her ped and ask about eczema. When my son was little, he'd get what looked like a rash around his mouth - which looked like it could've been caused by his pacifier and it turned out to be eczema. It just sounds so familiar. If they say she does have eczema, they'll have some suggestions on how to help with it.

Good luck!

Hi J.

I don't know if you are familiar with Lanolin or not. I use it on my 5 month old, he has started teething and is drooling a lot. With all of the drool he gets some irritated spots on his cheeks and chin. I use Lansinoh brand lanolin (it is in a purple tube usually with the breast feeding supplies), it is sort of sticky and a little goes a long way but it really helps sooth the skin. It also creates a barrier to help protect from additional irritation. Another product that I use on my 5 year olds dry skin is Aquaphor from Eucerin it also really helps heal and protect.
Good luck.

I would try an anti-fungal. It's probably a bacterial type problem due to the constant moisture of the pacifier. Hate to say it, but it's mostly the same as jock itch, athlete's foot and thrush. The cream doesn't smell.

It sounds like a yeast based mouth rash called Thrush. If the sores look white, that means it is. Take her to a doctor and get her antibiotics for it, odds are if it is yeast based thrush(white spots on the inside of her lips and mouth), the doctor will give you a liquid yeast infection medicine for kids. My daughter used to get this all the time with pacifiers. What happens is that the sucking on the pacifier causes abrasions in the mouth and then the yeast infects them and turns them into sores.

If it doesn't look like white spots it could be she's chewing on her mouth. And it still might be a good idea to take her to a doctor just to make sure.

I would go to the doctor. It sounds like hand foot and mouth disease. Google it. 6 weeks is too long for any syptom.

My daughter had a rash around her mouth at 12 months. When we went into the doc for her checkup I mentioned the rash and was told to toss the paci. The doc said she was old enough to do without it. We waited another month since we was teething at the time and the next month we tossed them all while she was asleep. Sure she asked for it a couple of times but I told her to look for it, and once she realized it was gone, she didn't ask again.

She is maybe allergic to latex,,,contact a doctor...pacifers are not good for the reflex etc expectly teeth...ask the rich youth dental docs.

Try a bit of Blistex (NOT the ointment - the stick). I also use it on tissue-raw noses. It'll burn a little for just a few seconds. It doesn't have much of a smell.

We called this drool rash in our house! 2 out of our 4 had this. We would try to keep on top of the area under the Nuk to keep it dry and using plain old chap stick on the skin around the mouth. Another good product is Gentle Naturals Baby Eczema Cream (even though it wasn't eczema) helped too. Some pharmacists recommend Aquaphor but I didn't think that it helped.

If it's chafing, try the Mary Kay Extra Emollient Night Cream - my group of chiquitas swears by it. It should clear up overnight, if not it may be a food allergy or a yeast style infection.

I'm a MK consultant if you need product asap.

My 2yr had a problem like that, it came from her "spit", all that moister caused her to have a chapped lips, chin, ect. I used chapped stick for it. My daughter had it bad for a while after she gave up her paci. She drooled so much I though that I could use her to water my plants. See if that will work, doesn't cost much and it doesn't taste that bad either.

my son had a similar problem. his doctor said that it was from the enzymes and stuff in his drool. he suggested that we buy the eucerin ointment and put that on the red area to protect it. it really helped, and it kept his cheeks from getting chapped from the cold. the stuff is a little pricey but it only takes a little bit so the tub will last forever. it doesn't smell or sting. i hope this helps

Hi J.,

I also have a 2 yo who is working on giving up his pacifier and has the same type of rash you describe. My sons looks like red, chapped skin and it is actually from his licking his lips and putting his top lip over the bottom lip during the day. Ours has nothing to do with the paci. We use Aquaphor cream at night and it usually gets better overnight and then gets worse during the day. We try to tell him not to lick his lips, but he doesn't listen! If you think yours is more than just chafing, I would take her to the Dr. to have it looked at.

Now, I just have to comment on one of the comments you received from the other mommies. You didn't ask for advice on paci use, and this mommy simply chastised you for allowing your 2yo to use a paci and she provided no concrete advice to you. This isn't fair. I agree that you eventually need to ween your child off the paci, but it is tough and you need to do it when you feel comfortable. Good luck!

My 2yr old boy had the same problem. His Dr said to go to pharmacy and get hydrocortisone lotion usp 1%. Its over the counter it cost aroun $7 but it worked within a few days his rash around mouth was clear. We aslo took his pacifier away whe we started using this lotion on his face. Good Luck!

Try Lansinoh (lanolin ointment) for breastfeeding moms. It may sound strange for this application, but I love it. I always have at least 2 tubes in the house - one for bottoms, and one for lips or irritated patches of skin and dryness. The Lansinoh ointment is all natural and safe for using on lips and the face (for you or baby). It's a little sticky, so use just a little during the day so your baby doesn't look greasy. Putting a little around her mouth should help heal the rash and protect the skin from the saliva (wetness) that may be irritating her skin (same as it does for breastfeeding moms). I have used it for my 3 yr old and 9 month old. I hope it works for you too!

maybe it's from what ever soap you use to wash them. Try just washing them in hot water and vingar (natural safe disinfectant). See if it helps? you also could try the bourdouxes butt paste... i found it works great on chapped faces and rashes. kids don't seem to mind it either

Hey J.-
My oldest son used to get the same sort of thing, and he too only used his pacifier at naps and bedtime. We tried all sorts of things from washing the paci's, sticking them in the dishwasher, switching paci's, etc. Then, I started putting the AVEENO hydrocortisone cream on his face a couple of times a day (morning and night). The cream comes in a small tube with a maroon top and can usually be found in the pharmacy section of most stores. I'm sure the other similar creams would probably work just as well, but I liked the AVEENO because it actually had a smaller dose of hydrocortisone and I've found the other AVEENO products to be trustworthy :) It's also great for those other little dry, rough, eczema type patches they get elsewhere. We also tried to just keep his face moisturized in general cuz he seemed to have more sensitive skin - especially in the winter! Hope this helps!

I also wanted to comment on the other Mommies who are suggesting you get rid of the paci. I don't think it's fair to force opinions when you're only asking for advice about a rash. My son didn't get rid of his paci until just before his 3rd birthday and developmentally he's doing just fine! Even the top experts say that it's okay to have a paci at night until 3-4, as long as it's not interfering with their speech development. You and your daughter will decide when it's right to toss out the thing all together! Happy parenting!

I'm not a dealer so it has nothing to do with sales. Mary Kay Cosmetics has the most magic pink ointment ever made. It is so concentrated, a barely perceptible amount is all that's needed. It clears anything and everything except, of course, symptomatic etc.

Are the pacifiers latex? My daughter was sensitive to latex when she was small.

I had sensitive skin as a child, and it mainly consisted of rashes around my mouth (I did sometimes have them on my legs and arms too). They were from moisture, BUT I did develop a Yeast Infection in the rash from the yeast in my saliva. It couldn't hurt to have a doctor check to make sure that it is not something more. I would recomend a dermatologist though. Our MD misdiagnosed me a few times when I was young and had rash issues. Dermatologists know what to check for. My mother didn't have health insurance and she waited a few years before bringing me to the dermatologist. She could have saved me a LOT of pain if we had just gone right away.

We put moisturizer or chapstick on our daughter. It's just chapped skin - not a rash so I'm not sure if it's the same thing as what you have. And we also think it's from the dry air and the skin being in contact with drool and whatnot from the pacifier. With all the washing just be sure it's not still wet when you give it back to her.

Perhaps she is allergic to latex.


Can you describe what the rash looks like? Does it have pimple like spots or spots that look crusty or are crusty?
The rash could be Impetigo. My son used to get it all the time. You would need to take her to the Dr. and he could tell you and then get you an antibiotic topical cream and or an oral med. The topical cream that works best for my son is Bactriban(sp?. It seems like once they get Impetigo it likes to come back fairly easily, so with the topical you could put it on at the first site of it coming back and not have to go back to the Dr.


I would take her to see the pediatrician. The rash is persistant, meaning it goes away and comes back, so it could be more than just irritation of the skin. Possibly a yeast infection.

My children have very sensitive skin and get chapped skin around their mouths in the winter time or if they are excessively licking their lips. I use Arbonne's skin conditioning oil on it and it works wonders. They don't mind using it either because it soothes them and it does not smell bad. For more info on it you can visit www.saraoleson.myarbonne.com. I hope that helps!

J., My son is 15 months and has had the same problem only his seems more like chapped he loves his nuk's way to much and is way to attached to them but since hes also getting teeth and the nuks dont dry out under them they keep moisture under there and the cold weather our little guy has chapped skin also. I use aquaphor before bed and it works well I also have been giving him the soothie binky like you get from the hospital during this time cause it doesnt touch the skin around the mouth so if he drools it wont matter. He doesnt seems to care what kind of binky he uses really he just loves to suck on them. You have some good choices of what to try to use to help clear it up so something should help. Just try using a different binky that wont touch her mouth and use whatever you choose to use more often throughout the day.
Also like another mom said the choice is yours when you and your little one decide to get rid of the binky's, your the mommie! Good luck. L.

Try Eucerin cream for the rash and seriously consider eliminating the pacifier completely!
Try taking it away at naps first and then move onto bedtime.

The answer is simple and I think you know it. Get rid of the pacifier, if you feel like that's not an option for you the switch the soap you use to wash the pacifier with or even the the soap you wash her with. You should keep track of the flare ups if your not going to go to the doctor. It could be the food she eats, the wipes you use to clean her face after a snack, her sheets, or your fabric softner. You just have to pay close attention to the things you do before and after the rash gets worse. It could also be eczema my 4 year old son had it and he's just now growing out of it. So good luck and let us know how things turn out!

P.S. I've weened my toddler off her pacifier and she will be 2 this weekend, so trust me when I say you will live through it and be glad that you did!

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