Infant Rash on Scalp, Face and on the Tummy

Updated on July 08, 2009
J.K. asks from Savage, MN
11 answers

Hello! my 2 1/2 month old son has been having some rash on his scalp, cheeks and on the tummy. when he was a month old, he had lot of rash on his cheeks, tummy and back. he used to cry a lot when I apply the Johnson's baby lotion after he has his bath. my husband told me that he could be allergic to the Johnson's product. we then switched to Cetaphil and that worked very well on his rash...The rash on his body went off. After few days, he had cradle cap,some rash on the scalp just above the forehead,on the tummy and in the diaper area. We took him took the doctor and she looked at his tummy and said that it is Ring worm and prescribed an over the counter ointment, Lotrimin AF. The rash on his tummy was in circles with redness along the border. The rash on the scalp wasn't bad when we took him to the doctor and she said that could be because of the heat. she asked us not to use cap and to comb the scalp light and gentle (as excessive combing may aggravate the scaling on the scalp), wash the scalp with plain water for the cradle cap.
The rash on the scalp now seemed to have spread to the forehead. Lotrimin AF seemed to be working on the areas but I see a new rash every day on his face.
My sister-in-law is a doctor who doesn't live United states. My husband sent her the pictures of the rash .she says it is ECZEMA and prescribed some medicines.
Now I am not sure whether I should take him to the doctor again or use the medicines that my sister-in-law prescribed. Also I have a 20 month old son born in Nov 2007 and he never had any kind of rash. I heard the infant rash is more with the babies born in winter compared to the ones born in spring/summer. so I am wondering if we are doing anything wrong with the cleaniness that caused this rash with our second son. do any one in the group had experience handling this kind of rash?

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your advice. my son has been exclusively breast fed since he is born. i use cloth diapers unless we go out which is very rare. I am reusing the cloth diapers that I used for my first son.( I dont know if I shouldn't do this) I use Dreft to wash the cloth diapers and his clothing, sheets etc. I put my both sons clothing in one load of laundry. Is it okay to do so? we use TIDE for rest of us. I take lot of dairy in my diet.

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answers from Minneapolis on

My son is also exclusively breastfed and also had bad rashes when he was younger. I stopped eating dairy and his rashes cleared up. I would watch his reactions to certain foods that you are eating and passing through to him. It sounds like he may have an allergy. Good luck

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answers from Milwaukee on

Hi Jaya,

Our daughter was born with excema on the back of her scalp, on her eye lids, all over her legs and of course the insides of her knees and elbows. She also wound up with ringworm after walking on a beach when she was about 8 years old.

It doesn't surprise me that Johnson & Johnson would give any child a reaction. It has chemicals in it that shouldn't be in any kind of baby product!

Anyways, we found a store that we shop at every month, we get safer products for the family, we know they aren't going to harm our kids, we know that they work, we know they are tested, we know they use the Best quality of ingredients, and we get the things we need shipped directly to our door!

My kids are now 19 & 22. The doctor's had our daughter try the elidel, the excema creams, the medications but they just didn't seem to help. Excema can be caused by allergies to (eggs, dairy products, wheats) foods and chemicals in the environment and products. The excema is completely gone from her body from switching the cleaning products in our home. If you think about's skin is the most porous and things are readily absorbed into their skin. They are more susceptible to chemicals. Try switching laundry detergents, cleaning products. You will be shocked and amazed at the difference!

We have another product that we use for the ringworm, I took her to the doctor anyways, just to be safe. And they told us to continue with what we were doing because it was the ringworm was almost gone.

The products really do work! We have been happy customers for over 8 years! My son, 22, actually set up his account and shops there every month too now.

If you want to find out more about safer products for your home feel free to call or e-mail me.

[email protected]



answers from Minneapolis on

It sounds like your little guy might be prone to allergies. It might be worth a trip back to the doctor to talk about that and his diet/formula or your diet if you are breastfeeding. Not to worry you, but just be aware that infants prone to eczema can be prone to ear infections, allergies and asthma. I've been there with my older son. I used laundry detergent without any dyes or fragrances and avoided dryer sheets or other fabric softeners. My son wore 100% cotton clothing. Eucerin cream, Cetaphil cleanser and Aveeno products worked well for us, but I know there are other products available now that weren't available when I was going through this. Try to avoid anything with fragrances, etc. If it were me I probably wouldn't use medications that were advised based on a diagnosis without an examination in a baby so young. I would check with his own doctor first. I hope your little guy is feeling better soon.



answers from Minneapolis on


My daughter had severe red rashes on her cheeks and in the folds of her arms and legs behind knees.My pediatrician told me its eczema and I was asked to use Aquaphor or Aveeno and to use hydrocortizone 0.5% oinment on the severe rash. I used Hydrocortizone oinment sparingly on the rash the first time and the rash disappeared fast.I did not want to use Hydrocortizone much.But Aquaphor and regular Aveeno lotion did not work for her as the rash kept coming back slightly.Eczema causes severe dry skin.So I started using Aveeno concentrated anti itch cream from walgreens and it worked superbly.It moisturises her without irritating and her skin has been baby smooth ever since. I use it instead of the normal baby lotion.

Also doctor asked me to make sure to wash her clothes in dreft and then use double rinse so that no soap or fragrance remains in her clothing. My daughter is 18 months old now and I started using Aveeno for her from when she was 4 months old. I would reccomend you give Aveeno concentrated lotion a try.Its available over the counter.



answers from Minneapolis on

What is he eating? It does sound like he's reacting to something he's in contact with. Usually rashes like eczema are from an allergy. It lives in the colon, so to cure it you need to get it from the inside out. I'm interested to hear waht your sister in law prescribed, typically doctors outside the US are more in tune with natural medicine.

Get some acidophilus, the refridgerated kind you can break open. Give him the powder right onto his tongue twice a day. This will replace the bad bacteria in his body with good bacteria is acidophilus is a probiotic. Stop using baby products like Johnsons bath and lotion.. they contain tons of chemicals. SKip baby clothing detergents like Dreft too, they contain tons of perfumes and dyes that are harmful for sensitive skin. My son can use regular detergent now (we use ALL), but for years we used Charlies Soap ( because we used it on our cloth diapers and it worked great for sensitive skin too, rinses clean with no scent, and its cheap!

ANYWAY, without knowing what your sister in law prescribed, and what your current routine is with what he's eating and what you are using, its harder. Ringworm does need to be treated, so if he's not getting better from that, then get another doctor to look at it.



answers from Minneapolis on

It sounds like you have a lot of different things going on! That is so frustrating.

Our daughter had an instance with hives and something "cradle-cap-like" on her scalp and forehead as well when she was about that age. We found out when she was older that she was lactose intolerant. The body hives were actually from Burt's Bees lotion(which is so gentle..), but contains milk as a major ingredient. The yuck on her scalp eventually went away - but only with a steroid (which I really didn't want - but it was so bad). When she was much older, it reoccurred. The second time she had it coincided with us discovering the lactose intolerance. When we took her off milk, the scalp condition went away within days. If you've tried everything else, it may be worthwhile to try either removing dairy from your diet if your nursing, or finding a formula with no cow's milk ingredients in it. Good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

Upon reading your note, I noticed some similarities that I saw in my now 4 month old. He never had "cadle cap" when he was born, but at 2 months of age, he got a rash on his face. I took him to his DR. (a very matter of fact, straight forward lady that I really respect) and she told me that it was just a combination of baby acne and Seborrhea (aka Cradle Cap). I had no idea that babies could get it on their faces, but a friend of mine confirmed that one of her kids had it too. The Dr. told me that this is the reason you never see a 2 month old on TV or in commercials because most of them go through this and it will go away regardless of what treatment you do. Thankfully mine did with time and Vanicreme.

Then about a month ago a strange rash showed up on the back, left side of his scalp. I watched it for a few days and soon there appeared to be about 4 round, rash spots in a row. Because of their perfect "ring" shape, I was concerned that it was ring worm and took him to the weekend walk in. The Dr. looked at it very intently and took a sample to be analized. Upon review he didn't think that it was ring worm or any fungus as it scraped easily from the scalp and did not cause the hair to fall out in that area. Apparently fungus will cause a bald spot until it's treated. He also told me they have an initial test to determine if it's fungus, but to say 100% it takes a month for the culture to grow. In the interim he told me to put hydrocortizone (1% - I use Cortizone 10 plus) on the spot twice a day. I followed his instructions and the rash was gone within 2 days. The initial and final results of the testing also proved that it was not a fungus, just dry skin. Although it did clear up initially, it does occassionally come back and is again gone with a few days of "treatment".

As far as daily dry skin treatment, both of my boys have had very dry skin and for regular use I recommend using Vanicreme on it. Makes them soft and eliminates scaley skin. Plus no fragrance or additives that might stir up allergies.

Good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

I would have to say it's some kind of allergy. Look at everything that touches your son: your body soap, any lotion you use, laundry detergent, facial tissue, how old is the carpet or furniture apholstery. I would suggest to go find a naturopath in your area, because a rash/ eczema on such a young one is born from an allergen. Heartland Healing is in Hastings, and Ms. Jody has treated a few friends of mine (one's daughter had extreme eczema) with positive results. I know the initial fee seems kind of steep, but she can help.

Please pm me if you have further questions.
Good luck!



answers from La Crosse on

From your request for advice, I cannot tell whether or not you've actually taken your little one in to see a Dermatologist...if you haven't already, I would strongly suggest it. Cetaphil was a great choice by the way. It doesn't have all that junk that Johnson's has in it. Also, Dreft may have irritants in it that something such as Tide Free wouldn't have in it. Then again you can get some laundry soap from a food co-op (health food store) and it would probably be pricey but the best.



answers from Iowa City on

Hi Jaya! I am a licensed Ethetician, have been for 6 years now. I've worked with alot of products to help with skin issues and one thing I have found is you have to be VERY careful with all he additives in them these days. There are so many harsh chemicals out there that will do more damage in the long run. I also don't want to bash dermatologists or doctors but everyone is so quick to prescribe an RX. With babies sensitive skin, thats so scary! I have found one line that I am so passionate about. Its called Arbonne International. I have put all my focus on this line as an Esthetician and started my own home based business with it because I am a true believer! I also have a 8 month old and am 13 wks pregnant! ( you can work from home also!!! ) All their products are botanically based, pH correct, all essential oils, Certified Vegan, and hypoallergenic. There is a babyline that is amazing. We have a before and after picture of a baby that it cleared up her Eczema! I really think this is what youre looking for! Arbonne is actually proven to prevent cancer! They have found in studies that the harsh chemicals that are in other personal products cause cancer because they are so harsh. Let me know if you want to know more. I know this will work for you instead of using harsh RX on your babies skin! ###-###-####



answers from Minneapolis on

Here the Mayo Clinic's info on eczema:

My oldest was allergic to some kinds of polyester and would break out in a rash immediately when he came in contact with it in clothes and stuffed animals.

My second son has eczema, and has since he was a baby. It was the worst on his face and chest. We started with over-the-counter hydro-cortizone and later had to get a prescription for a stronger solution. We use Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Moisture Cream which keeps is at bay most of the time. Some foods will make it worse, but it can be different for everyone; my son has a terrible reaction to strawberries.

My third baby had terrible cradle cap and, I suspect eczema, on his head and face. To get rid of it, I rubbed olive oil on his scalp and forehead a few minutes before his bath, gently scraped the dead skin off with a comb, washed his hair with Head & Shoulders Dry Scalp shampoo (the pediatrician's recommendation), and then applied the Aveeno Cream to his head and face. It worked like a charm! Every few weeks, I use the Head & Shoulders when his scalp seems dry, but he hasn't had any cradle cap since. I use the Aveeno after every bath. The dr. also recommended using over-the-counter hydro-cortisone on the rash-like areas.

It is a good idea to avoid bathing him too often, as that will dry out his skin and make the eczema worse. My babies get bathed 3x/week. You can use a wash cloth in between regular baths to keep him clean. Use gentle fragrance- and dye-free cleansers and moisturize often, especially after you wash him.

Laundry detergents can make a HUGE difference. All of my boys have sensitive skin and break out when my Mom holds them while they are babies. I'm positive it is because of her laundry detergent. She is diligent about washing all the towels and bedding they come in contact with in the detergent I chose, but forgets about using in on her own clothes (I think she uses Tide). I use ALL Free&Clear on all of our laundry and they have never had a problem.

Good luck!

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