24 answers

Question for Moms About Bright Red Cheeks at Night

About one week ago we noticed that every night in the evening. my five year old's cheeks were bright red. He has not been eating anything different, and they are only red in the evening. Has this happened to anyone else?? What do you think it could be? THanks!
K.

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Thanks for all the info! I think it is just some dry skin and it is not bothering him at all! I have been putting lotion on his cheeks when he falls asleep, hopefully this will help. Unfortunatly, he hates any type of lotion/chapstick on his body!!

Featured Answers

K., I heard that red cheeks may be a type of yeast infection. Diaper creams, such as the brand Palliden, really help. This has also worked for chapped skin under the nose with a cold or runny nose.

Hi K..

It might just be dry skin. My 17 month old had the same problem, she didn't feel warm, but every time she would wake up in the morning or after a nap, her cheeks would be bright red. I just put some lotion on it and the redness got better. Maybe try a humdifier also. This winter has been cold and dry. I wish it was over already.

Hi K.,
Do the red cheeks kind of look like "slapped cheeks"?
If so, it might be Fifths Disease ( Don't worry it sounds worse than it is).
Read the following, I copied from a web site. Google Fifths Disease for more info.
My kids had this, and it started with bright red cheeks at night.

Fifth disease (erythema infectiosum) is another common viral infection of childhood that causes a distinctive rash.

Symptoms
Fifth disease begins with mild symptoms, including a fever, muscle aches, headache and decreased activity for a few days. About 7 to 10 days later, affected children will develop a red rash on their cheeks, which takes on the typical 'slapped cheeks' appearance of Fifth Disease.

Next, kids get a pink or red lacelike rash on their arms. This rash comes and goes and may spread to their legs, trunk and buttocks.

Children usually develop symptoms 2-3 weeks after being exposed to someone with Fifth Disease.

Good Luck!

S.

More Answers

I too was going to suggest fifth's disease! But with my son, he gets VERY irritable when he contracts it. He use to get bright red cheeks when he was a baby and a tooth would be pushing through. Since we haven't experienced adult teeth yet, could this be it? What I do know for sure is that when ever his cheeks got apple red, an illness shortly followed! Good luck.

Try Aquafor--it is a light cream that will help right away--you could also try 1% Cortizone cream.

It can really be anything...

Teething - when they teeth they can get flushed. Also, they can sleep in their drool (espec so when they teeth) and that chaps their cheeks.

Cold - colds/fevers can leave a little one flushed. Sometimes they don't even need the fever to have the flushed, red cheeks.

Sensitive skin - my youngest daughter has red cheeks a lot simply b/c she has sensitive skin and the cold, dry weather recently has made her cheeks red and dry.

Hot baths/showers actually dry OUT skin, so what I do is run the shower w/ the curtain partiallly closed and the bathroom door closed for about 5 or 10 mins to steam up the room. Then I draw the girls a warm bath. Then I lotion the girls and put them in their pjs in the steamed bathroom when they get out. I have found chapstick actually works GREAT on cheeks (NOT the medicated kind, of course!)

That's another tip I've recently learned.... put chapstick on their faces just like you would put sunblock on their faces in the summertime. This will keep the moisture in their skin and prevent the wind/cold from chapping/irritating their skin. I do this ANYtime we got out...even if it's just to the store. It's really helped my little one especially (she's the one w/ the more sensitive skin).

Hope this helps!

And, if you just want a doc's opinion, call or go ahead and take your child in. It's always nice to get a doc's opinion if you're really worried.

have you changed laundry dtergent or fabric softner lately? One of my sons had a reaction like that to different dtergent. Also, is this childs room close to a garage and do you have a carbon monoxide detector? Young children can be more sensitive to lower levels of carbon monoxide than older children and adults. Good luck

Both of my daughters got red cheeks at night when I use fabric softener in the wash. Once I stopped using fabric softener in the wash and used a fragrance free soap(we use All in the white bottle)the red cheeks went away

Both of my girls get it, with my older one with lighter skin being more noticeable. For them, it usually means they're tired or thirsty. If they deny being thirsty, then it's time for bed! Seriously, since it's usually happening at night, I think it's just tiredness.

I am 29 years old and to this day, if I get tired, my cheeks get red. There's nothing wrong and there's nothing I can do to fix it. It's actually a running joke in the family where they'll say, "Oh look, M.'s getting tired," like they used to do when I was little. Turns out, my 3.5 year old daughter has the same thing. So cute!

My Daughter gets this when tired. (I still do at times as well....) Ever since she was a baby, this is how I knew it was time for a nap or bed. But, if you're real concerned about it, I would say consult a dermatologist or your Dr. just to be sure.

This happens to me. My mom said it was how she knew I was really tired even when I tried to deny it. Sometimes they aren't red, just really really soft and slightly puffy, and it may be seasonal, but I haven't really paid enough attention to it to tell you. I don't think she ever checked with the doctor, and neither have I so I couldn't tell you what it is. I guess we both just figured that it is what it is and as long as IM not uncomfortable who cares. Sorry I can't be more helpful, but I just wanted to give a less scary prespective than some rash or disease.

This just might be dry skin.(rubbing his face because he is tired and so forth.) I would just put some baby lotion or something on it. Good luck

Maybe it is an allergic reaction. Have you changed laundry detergents lately?

Teething? Possibly laudry detergent.
You might think you are using one for Children, but I'm here to tell you that the"standard" detergents were giving my child asthma. Things are not always as they appear. I was shocked. Think about it, he was in the laudry detergent residue 24/7. His blanket, his sheets, clothes.....everything.

It could be an allergy.

It could be a food allergy. He does not have to eat anything different to be allergic. My daughter drank soy formula and then soy milk her whole life and at 19 months suddenly developed a soy allergy. The first sign was red cheeks at night- we eventually connected it to her nightly bottle of soymilk.

It could also be your laundry detergent or fabric softener. Children can be allergic to dye free, scent free detergents and detergents marketed towards babies, because those detergents still have toxins and chemicals in them. My other daughter is allergic to laundry detergent. We found Shaklee, which is non-toxic and doesn't cause her to react. www.shaklee.net/cleansafe

I have always found that experimenting myself to try to pin down what is causing a reaction and then reporting it to the Dr. is the most effective way to a) help the Dr. with the diagnosis and b) ensure that my children are getting the right treatment. Hope this helps.

A note on Fifth's Disease. My children have had that as well. Their cheeks were definitely red, but it lasted all day, not just at night.

My almost 5 tear old daughter gets very red cheeks at night when she is extremely tired. I always know that she's ready for bed when I see those cheeks! The other time any of my kids get red cheeks is when they are out in the cold and get wind burned, but that can happen any time of the day.

Hey, I have a 5 year old son who has the same red cheeks and even ears when tired. I have never figured out what it is but my ears turn red if I am exhausted. We laugh because sometimes he will be covering a ear so we don't notice it is turning red. Red means go to bed! I say take advantage of it!

Julianne

It sounds like it might be fifth disease, which sounds terrible but it isn't a big deal. It was discovered after measles and mumps, etc, so it was the fifth disease, blah blah blah. It starts with a fever, but it may have come and gone by now. The characteristic red cheeks show up afterward, and they look like the face has been slapped on both sides. Heat aggravates this symptom, so maybe it's hot in his room? There is nothing to do for fifth disease, you just have to wait it out, and the red cheeks can come and go for weeks. Just keep and eye on him and see if he acts lethargic or displays other signs that things aren't right. Hope this helps!

Hi K., my name is C.. I notice that my daughter gets red checks at night, mostly after bathtime. The doctor says that it is dry skin and told me to put a little bit (A little goes a long way) of aquaphor on her cheecks before she goes to bed. (I do it after she is asleep) it seems to be working.Good luck!

Hi K..

It might just be dry skin. My 17 month old had the same problem, she didn't feel warm, but every time she would wake up in the morning or after a nap, her cheeks would be bright red. I just put some lotion on it and the redness got better. Maybe try a humdifier also. This winter has been cold and dry. I wish it was over already.

I've noticed that with my 5 yr old too--mostly the past week too. I think he is getting a slight wind/cold burn or slightly dry/chapped cheeks from playing outside at preschool-- he does not have a fever etc. I think I am going to try a light mositurizer on his cheeks at night and see if it is better the next night. Know they are not going out tomorrow because it is under 20 degrees! He even had it today and we did not spend any real time outside but I think he has senstive skin and this extreme weather did it.

K., I heard that red cheeks may be a type of yeast infection. Diaper creams, such as the brand Palliden, really help. This has also worked for chapped skin under the nose with a cold or runny nose.

Hi there-

My daughter gets this as did my son. It happens on two occasions. One, they have a fever. Have you checked his temp? The other time my children get this is when they have wind burn from being outside, even for a minute. This weather is very cold and drying to their sensitive skin. Another possibility could be an allergy to his pillow or blankets.

Hope this helps. Good luck.
N.

My three y/o cheeks turn red when he is tired.
Camille V

My son had that happen when he was little (he's now 15) and it was a food allergy.

Not sure that helps!

J.

Hi K.,
Do the red cheeks kind of look like "slapped cheeks"?
If so, it might be Fifths Disease ( Don't worry it sounds worse than it is).
Read the following, I copied from a web site. Google Fifths Disease for more info.
My kids had this, and it started with bright red cheeks at night.

Fifth disease (erythema infectiosum) is another common viral infection of childhood that causes a distinctive rash.

Symptoms
Fifth disease begins with mild symptoms, including a fever, muscle aches, headache and decreased activity for a few days. About 7 to 10 days later, affected children will develop a red rash on their cheeks, which takes on the typical 'slapped cheeks' appearance of Fifth Disease.

Next, kids get a pink or red lacelike rash on their arms. This rash comes and goes and may spread to their legs, trunk and buttocks.

Children usually develop symptoms 2-3 weeks after being exposed to someone with Fifth Disease.

Good Luck!

S.

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