44 answers

Rash in Baby's Skin Creases

My 5 month old has a recurring irritation, possibly a rash in the crease of his neck. I'm very aware of his cute chunkiness when bathing him and always very gentle and thorough to get these creases clean, but the fold in his neck is always red. We have air conditioning, so I think I'm doing the best I can in reducing his sweating, but I was just wondering if anyone had any other suggestions on how to help it. He also has very sensitive skin and ezcema, so I'm apprehensive to use many lotions on him.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions! Before I run to the DR. or use something chemical, I'm going to try the more natural approaches first. My son is breastfed and I've concluded over the past few months that he has a dairy sensitivity (I've stopped consuming it), so the one comment made about that really sparked my attention. I'm hesitant to use any cream or anything to hold moisture in b/c the area is always sticky and wet - and it isn't from eating or drool - so I will probably use something to soak up the moisture. I think that may be all he needs b/c he also has the same thing behind his knees, leading me to believe it's just a problem with lack of airflow and perspiration build up. Thank you all again, I'm reassured with all the great insight!

Featured Answers

i used to use NEO SPORIN on my kids, it is like vaseline with a bit of anitseptic, so it heals while protecting hte infected or open sore. Usually, it would clear up quickly.

My daughter was also very chunky and had the same problem. My pediatrician recommended using baby powder, just being careful to shake it onto my hand first away from her head so that she didn't inhale any of it. Worked really well.

Neck folds are notorious for yeast growth. I'd probably have it looked at. If it is yeast he'd just need a prescribed powder to help!

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The best thing would be just to keep it dry. My guess is that at 5 months, he's also teething and drooling alot? Maybe just using a tiny bit of baby powder to help with moisture. I'm sure you're aware that he will simply grow out of it, but it can look painful. Poor babe.

NO LOTION!!! Lotion only keeps the rash WET... you don't want it wet, hence the rash. Powder, try Gold Bond Medicaided powder. Put some in your hand and then on his little neck. Powder soaks up the wetness, dries it out.
Good Luck :)

Hi K.. My little guy has the same problem and my doctor said it's a case of ezcema in the crease of his neck. It got really bad and looked like someone had put something around his neck and it rubbed it really bad to where it was bright red...doc said it was the ezcema. I got a prescription cream that I put on the area and it clears it right up. I just always try to keep that area clean, but know the heat can cause it to flare up sometimes. Good luck and you aren't alone!

That rash is caused from moisture usually do to drooling not sweating so the air-conditioning really wont help much although i have found a product by aveeno baby for chapped cheeks thats works wonders under the neck (my son gets that too no matter what i did) or even a little diaper rash cream clears i tup well...hope this helps

Hi K.,
My daughter had the same issue as a baby. A lot of times it was caused by her formula that she would drool out of her mouth and settle in her neck creases. So I made sure to wipe her neck really well. And her drool from teething settled there as well. So I made sure that she had a bib on all of the time. It seemed to help absorb things and kept her neck drier. When is got really red and sore for her I would use Aquafore on her. It's like a really thick vaseline. It is made for babies It kept the moisture from irritating her neck. I would be really careful if you decide to use powder. Remember that they can inhale that into their lungs.
Best of luck.

I completely agree with Linda H: Aquaphor! It's a "wonder" fix for everything. My little Kaitlin got a rash on her neck from formula drool and sweat creases in her legs - and it fixed it in 8 hrs.! My husband used it when sand created some "chafing" in a VERY sensitive area :) If Kaitlin's little behind even hints of diaper rash, a little on the behind, and she's normal the next time I change her diaper! It's expensive, but a little goes a long way - and I would never be without it! Good luck to your little man.

My baby had that same problem when he was younger. He had it on his neck creases and his underarms. He was a chunky boy, too. I asked my pediatrician about it at one of his check-ups, and he said it was a yeast infection. It was very red, and looked like it could bleed in a couple of places. I would try and dry it very well after his baths, and I would put baby powder on it every day, sometimes several times a day. Nothing was working, so that is why I asked my ped. He said to use lotrimin (spelled wrong!) cream on it, so I did, and it cleared up after a week or less. So, it couldn't hurt to try it. I should also tell you that my son has sensitive skin and eczema, too, so the cream didn't cause him to have an eczema outbreak. I think I had to use the medication on him twice because it came back after a few weeks, but now that he is older (9 months), he is sitting up and moving more, so he is a little slimmer and his creases are opened up and dry all the time. So, your little guy should outgrow the problem when he gets older, too.

A. M

I recommend that you use Arbonne baby care products for your son. They are hypoallergenic, contain no nut oils or mineral oil, contain no artificial colors or fragrances, and are dermatologist tested. Many babies (and adults) have also been cured of their ezcema by using the baby products and the conditioning oil. If you are interested in learning more about the products or trying them, you can call me at ###-###-####. I use them for my own 2 children. Good luck!

When my daughter was a baby, she used to get a rash in the folds/ creases of her neck as well. No matter how hard I tried, I just could not keep the area dry. Even the natural oils from her skin were enough to aggravate it.

Air was not able to get into the creases and the constant skin on skin contact was enough to cause the rash to develop.

Her pediatrican diagnosed it as a fungul infection like "athletes foot". She said that the warm moist environment of her cute little folds were a breading ground for bacteria and fungus. After a two week treatment of an anti-fungul (I beleive it was Tinactin)on the affected area, she was rash free. As she grew and lost her "baby fat", the creases and folds dissapeared. Now she is almost 8 and no longer has a problem with the rash.

I hope this helps,

i used to use NEO SPORIN on my kids, it is like vaseline with a bit of anitseptic, so it heals while protecting hte infected or open sore. Usually, it would clear up quickly.

Try cornstarch right out of the box! :) It's completely natural! D. R.

i use baby powder on my sons and it always worked

When our girls were little they had the same problem. We used baby powder (dr said to use the cornstarch powder to sop up the dampness) in the creases. It helped with the rash and made the area dry for hours. Just put it in your hands and rub into the creases.

Have you tried baking soda? Sounds to me like a heat rash. I could be wrong but a little baking soda may do the trick.

Hi K.,

Sometimes babies get a yeast rash in those places that stay warm and moist. My daughter is a "roundy" and gets it in the creases or her legs. You can wash it gently twice a day and dry it well, then put a little nyastatin or monistat cream on it. If it is yeast that will help clear it up and if it isn't it won't do any kind of harm.

Chances are the rash is more related to yeast in the system than sweat. Ask your doctor for an ointment or something oral for a yeast infection.

My daughter was also very chunky and had the same problem. My pediatrician recommended using baby powder, just being careful to shake it onto my hand first away from her head so that she didn't inhale any of it. Worked really well.

I have identical twin daughters who are 5 months old. They have had the same issue for months. They have really sensative skin (as do I). Their necks would get so pink and sore. Sometimes it looked as though it would almost blister. I was told that it is a reaction to milk/saliva that runs down their faces while eating. Even if you use a burp cloth under your little guy's face, it might have some moisture on it. The best thing to do is wipe under his chin and around his neck when he is done eating. Be sure to get in all the folds. You can also repeat this a couple more times a day. You don't want to use powder as he may aspirate it. you also want to avoid creams and ointments as it will just trap and hold more moisture in the area and make the problem worse.

Since we have been doing this, we have seen a huge improvement and normally don't notice any iritation. Other people's comments are correct with the fact that yeast can grow in the folds of baby's skin too, but I feel pretty confident that what you're describing is the exact problem we had. good luck!!

Now my girls did also have ezcema issues which we used cortizone cream on, but keep in mind that is a totally different issue.


Hi, K. --

My daughter's skin was also very sensitive. We started using Aquaphor healing ointment when she was very tiny and just kept using it in the non-healing formulation with every diapering until she was out of diapers. I swear by that stuff - it was incredible, by far the best product we ever got. We continue to use it, when needed, for any skin area that is irritated or needs protection. I'd highly recommend it for your son's neck.

We usually got our Aquaphor at Target, though I believe you can purchase the non-healing version at Costco in a larger quantity.

I hope that helps!

You can try aquaphor. I have been using this on my dtr since birth & she has had no form of rashes. THis thing really works.

Maybe baby powder? I don't really know for sure but that's what we use it for on their tushies... keep down the moisture & irritation.

Good luck K.!

**editing response:

Was reading what the other mom's said. If it is a fungal, baby powder won't do the trick. Only if it's nonfungal. Anyhow... if it is fungal, my doctor recommended we use the athelete's foot cream. As long as it's not somewhere close to his eyes. That should clear up anything fungal pretty quick.

Good luck again! Sorry for adding to the e-mail

Whatever you do, DON'T use ANY creams, OTC or otherwise. This is part of your son's over all constitution. A good homeopath can fix this VERY inexpensively. If you want to try calendula cream before seeing a homeopath, it won't hurt, but that is all I would use.

My son had the same problem and you just do the best you can. I think it bothered me more than it bothered him. This too will pass!

I used a Calendula cream with my children by Weleda. I've looked for it at Walgreens here in Miamisburg, but they don't carry it. Weleda's web page has it in stock, it's under the mother and baby care section. THis cream is very gentle, it's made with pure calendula(marigolds) and I have used it on many rashes and skin issues always having success. My 2nd child also has eczema, and it didn't irritate her skin. The 2.6oz tube is $10, well worth it.
Hope that helps. Smiles!

My pediatrician told us to use a hydrocortisone cream on our son when he had excema. He had it on his head and patchy areas on his legs and arms. I bathed him with a dandruff shampoo and then used the cream. It helped alot. Just don't get the shampoo in his eyes.

Hi K.,
I am a single mom of a very active,soon to be 2 year old son. He use to get alot of diaper rashes when he was little and the doctor said it was because he was eating citrus and tomatos. You might want to cut that out of diet if it is happening. I found a great cream that is called Renew, it is made by a Health&Wellness company and it has no harmful chemicals in it like the ones on the market we buy at stores. I have tried butt paste, A&D ointment, desitine, even the cream my doctor had made for us with malox, nothing would work and seeing my sons face in pain and hearing him scream was too much for me. I tried this and it takes any weird rash he gets away in days. It instantly took that pain face away and he stopped screaming, it has one ingredient which is tea tree oil and it somehow numbs it slightly and naturally & at the same time it is healing it.
I gave it to my sister to try because her son and daughter both have excema really bad and have had all their lives, 20 and 18 year olds. She had them try it and within a couple of months they both had no more excema. They use after shower or bath and before bed. I have tried almost all of this companys products and I have NOT found ONE item I didnt like. I would love to tell you more please check out my profile.

Try using a strong moisturizer and then putting a powder on his neck to soak up sweat. Perhaps try putting a shirt with a colar on it on him so soak up any perspiration.

Neck folds are notorious for yeast growth. I'd probably have it looked at. If it is yeast he'd just need a prescribed powder to help!

at the hospital where i used to work we used to put johnons' zinc diaper rash cream on it first then baby powder with zinc & cornstarch on top of the cream(just make sure you put the powder in your hand & rub it on so the baby doesn't breath it in). you can also use bibs as much as pssoible so they draw the moisture away from the neck area & just change them when they become wet. when it's bath time you can use AVEENO OATMEAL BATH, it comes in packets of 3 and is excellent at helping with eczema,poison ivy/oak/sumak, and other skin irritations. good luck & God bless.

Hi! My son had reflux and spit up profusely which always got in his neck rolls and irritated his eczema :( I found that the best thing that worked was using the purlan I was using on my nipples. If you aren't breastfeeding, you can get a tube at Babies R Us or Target or wherever they have breastfeeding supplies. PurLan is made by Medela, Lasinoh also has a 100% lanolin ointment. It also works well for eczema - especially on hands, feet, and face since it's ingestible, you don't have to worry about slathering it on and then your son sticking his hands in his mouth.

Good Luck:)

I called my doctor with this same situation - and she had me bring my child in to rule out a possible yeast infection. It ended up not being one and I just put some Aveeno lotion (cream) on after his bath at night time. It took a couple days - but it worked like a charm. Good luck!


My daughter has a rash in the same area. My pediatrician has me putting lotrimin on it because he says it can become fungal. Hers comes and goes (depending on drool and such, no matter how much we clean it), and the lotrimin has really been helping. But, I would probably make sure it's the same thing before you start using medicine he doesn't need. Good luck!!

ECZEMA can be caused by low levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, candidiasis, food allergies and in general, & possibly a weakness (shortage) in the enzymes delta-6-desaturase (essential fatty acids).

Change the DIET FIRST! THEN.....go to topical things if necessary. WORK FROM THE INSIDE OUT! IT WILL TAKE CARE OF THE PROBLEM WITHOUT having to rely on meds & creams for the rest of your life. Ever wonder why sometimes it might be worse or better than others??......DIET. The diet changes and either makes things worse or better. IF a child/adult eats the same things all the time, it won't change one way or another. VARIETY VARIETY!


Hey K.! There's nothing cuter than baby chunkiness! Here's what I would do... try putting some Gold Bond powder where he's red. Make sure the area is clean and dry first. He may have a bit of a yeast infection there that is irritated by sweating. As a nurse, that's what I use for my kids. Also, Arbonne (www.arbonne.com) has a wonderful baby line that is heard to be great for baby excema. Give it a shot and see what happens!! Good luck!

ooooh ooooh i actually just took my son to the dr for this, it's basically a small yeast inf. (he only looked at it, said when food collects under there it'll make bacteria) anywho they give him a rx for nystatin cream, i used it two times and it went away. they told me not to use any powder since they can easily inhale it.

Hi K.,

Whenever my kids had that problem I used a little cornstarch to get rid of it. It absorbs the sweat and it really worked for my kids. It is also inexpensive.

Good Luck,

Ditto with my daughter. Already at 6.5 mos it's getting better because she spends more time sitting up and looking around. Our doc said to just keep it as dry as possible without putting anything on it. She suggested running a hairdrier on the "cool" setting, which we did after baths even though the sound scared our little one. Tummy time and trying to get her to look up at interesting things helped. Before our doc appt I tried calendula cream and it didn't help.

My daughter has the same problem where her ear attaches to her head. I had her to her peds doc last week for her two year appointment and he told me that it was eczema in a crease. It is cracked and yucky. He told me to put neosporin on it for several days and then once it is healed switch to hydrocortisone cream when it looks like it is flaring up.

It was not healing well so I called again yesterday and found out that I made the mistake of cleaning it first with peroxide. That was irritating it. It does seem better this morning now that I skipped cleaning it first so thoroughly. They said clean it with soap and water and then follow with neosporin.

Try that and see if it works. It sounds like that could be the problem if you already know that he has the condition.

Hi K., I know people getting great results with Mona Vie for eczema. It's fruit so it's not harmful in any way. N. L.

After verifying that it is not a yeast/fungal rash, try Aquaphor or Lanolin (like what is marketed for breastfeeding) - - I love both these products and use them often as skin protectants. They work!

I would suggest checking the ingredients on things you do use on his skin, making sure they do not contain mineral oil or animal by-products. I used Arbonne's ABC Baby products on my daughter & continue to use the baby wash. The Rejuvenating Cream may also be great to use. These are botanically based products & great for very sensitive skin. Let me know if you need a contact or a sample.

L. L.

Hi K.,
When my oldest daughter was 6months old, she was one of the most chunkiest babies and she had triple chins..lol..anyhow, we lived in a very hot and humid state and it was always hot in our house. She was teething and saliva would run under her chin and into her neck. So I'd be constantly wiping her neck. She was always getting the heat rashes. So finally I put some desitine under her chin to help waterproof her neck. But you can also try vaseline. But I'd try to keep it clean as possible. :)

It could be heat rash. Depending on where you live, it has been very hot and HUMID this year. Since he has allergies, you could try to use powder in the creases. Use a powder with cornstarch in it. They have baby powder now with cornstarch. My Mother always said that cornstarch was good for most everything. Hope this helps. The only other things I know, if this doesn't work, is to check with your DR or a dermatologist.

I used to take care of infants in a day care center before having my own and have seen children get yeast infections there. I would ask your doctor, especially if you notice any white substance there. The two children I saw with this were not overly chunky but had a very deep fold in their necks, my son also had that and I think that if I hadn't seen it in other children his would have ended up that way too. Maybe sprinkle some baby corn starch powder on your hand and wipe it on there whenever you change his diaper (don't sprinkle it right on him as he could aspirate some into his lungs), but I would mention it to your doctor, maybe call the nurse's line at the pediatrician's office.

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