Seeking Advice on Infant's Rash

Updated on November 03, 2009
J.P. asks from Miami, FL
22 answers

My 9 month old son developed a rash about a month ago around his neck and it has spread to his torso and diaper area. His pediatrician prescribed hydrocortisone cream, which helps but returns as soon as I stop using it. The rash consists of flesh colored bumps and some red bumps and itches like crazy. I'm concerned that about using hydrocortisone on such a large surface area and for such a long time. I have no idea what it could be since I haven't changed detergents, shampoos, cleansers, etc. but it is localized only where he's covered. Would appreciate any advice.

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So What Happened?

Hi Moms,

Thanks to all of you who took the time to write suggestions -- I appreciate all of them. I placed a call to my DS's pediatrician's office because last night the poor thing didn't sleep a wink and just cried while scatching. They suggested benadryl for the itching, which I have no intention on giving since it just masks the problem. I'm changing pediatricians and plan to take my DS to a homeopathic pediatrician. In the meantime, I'm using California Baby Calendula Cream and will try the lavender. Thanks again.

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S.S.

answers from Miami on

He has food allergies. Eliminate all dairy for 2-3 weeks. See what happens. Then eliminate all grains for 2-3 weeks and see what happens. The biggest culprits are corn, egg, dairy (casein), wheat (gluten). Find a NAET specialist who can help eliminate whatever he is allergic to. Covering it up with cream only hides it from plain sight but the problems if left there will cause behavioral, and sensory issues. Also reduce his toxic load by stopping all vaccines at this time, using only organic baby products on his body and organic cleansers in the home. Get him on probiotics immediately.

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C.M.

answers from Miami on

Kids can develop allergies at any time. Try switching to all hypoallergenic and fragrance free lotions, soaps, detergents, shampoos - anything that comes into contact with their skin. It made a huge difference with my daughter. Cetaphil (or it's generic equivalent) is a great lotion. Get the cream in the tub vs. the lotion because it seems to work better.

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C.M.

answers from San Juan on

Sounds like molluscum contagiosum. My 4 kida had it. It affects babies ans toddlers with immature immune systems. It is itchy, but otherwise will not hurt your child. Once their immune system matures, it goes away on its own just as randomly as it appeared. There are sveral antiviral creams they may prescribe but none really took care of the problem for my kids. Wait about 6 months and they will disappear like magic. Hard to believe, bc they look disgusting, but they resolve. I would make sure yout dermatologist looks at the rash to make sure you know what it is. Would not go to a homeopathic doctor if % were you.

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C.V.

answers from Miami on

My son gets this too. For him it's detergent and perfumes. I use Aquafor and it goes away very quickly. I used to give him prescriptions and was worried too. One time I tried Aquafor before bed time and it was significantly less by morning. Hope this helps.

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H.B.

answers from Tampa on

Has something been introduced into his diet? Lots off foods can cause sensitivities and reactions that at first seem unrelated. Common culprits are egg, cows milk, gluten, soy, wheat.... A rash anywhere can result and may be more prevalent in areas that are covered because the skin there remains warmer and/or moist. Try completely eliminating one item for at least 2 weeks and see if there us improvement.... You may easily solve this question on your own! If he does currently have a sensitivity reaction, he will likely grow out of it by school age.

You are right to be concerned about using a steroid cream for any length of time. Try other natural remedies to get results that keep your baby comfortable, but the best plan would be to determine the reason and cause for his body to be reacting this way. I would use a nightly all natural bath....non-soap and chemical free. Look up the safety and effectiveness of the ingrediants on www.skindeep.org. Also the same for any lotions or healing products. So many common everyday commercial items contain toxins, chemicals and irritants....this site will tell you the truth about what it's made of.

Best wishes in making your little one comfy and getting to the bottom of this!

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J.A.

answers from Jacksonville on

Dear J.,

The fact that it's localized only where he is covered is a huge clue to start with. Allergies can develop, so even though you haven't changed detergents, cleansers, etc... your child could have developed a reaction to them. Since he is also affected in the diaper area, I would start with soaps, lotions, wipes, etc... you use on him. I know with my last daughter I could only use Pampers Sensative Skin wipes or she broke out in a rash after just one use.

I would begin by double rinsing all clothes he wears, bathing him in just plain water, and using paper towels and water to wipe him at diaper changes until the rash clears up. Buy a large bottle of vinegar. Clean and rinse your tub as usual, then rinse the tub with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water, followed by a clear water rinse. This will help eliminate residue left by cleaners you may use.

Once you get the rash cleared up you can begin introducing things back to his body, such as diaper wipes. Wait three or four days between introductions, it can take a couple of days of exposure to trigger a reaction, before introducing the next thing.

Good luck.

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L.S.

answers from Grand Forks on

My son has the same thing. His rash showed up when he was about a month old. The doctor said it was dermatitus. I used hydrocortizone cream on his whole body. He also had to use selsun blue shampoo. Hes now 18 months and has little patches that come and go. When they show up i put a little cream on them after his bath and hes fine. I wouldnt worry about it too much. They think my son will grow out of it. He just got my sensitive skin.

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K.M.

answers from Tampa on

You are correct to be concerned- long term can have an effect on the adrenals, I have a friend who used this w/ her son, whoat 7 in now having difficulties in school, believed to be connected.
The question is WHY the rash, not hiding it- what are you eating if you are nursing. Heaven forbid if you are using formula- then go to WestonPrice and fix his food.
Lack of GOOD calcuim(not pasterized milk for sure!), lack of essential fatty acids are 2 of the things that can cause a rash- which is after all the body trying to send a message- and that is why it is so important NOT to cover up the message- but to find out what the message- the symptom means and handling the underlying cause.
best, k

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K.D.

answers from Tampa on

try a different detergent or try to stopp using fabric softner if you are. your body changes, you may not be allergic to someting on day, but the next you are.

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C.D.

answers from Houston on

My daughter had a similar problem when she was a baby. Her doctor also perscribed hydrocortisone cream and he recommended me to give her Aveeno Baby Soothing Bath Treatments and told me to change her soaps, shampoos, lotions to Aveno. It helped alot. He told me to give her a tad bit of Benadryl for children (don't remember the actual measurement but it was just the tip of the dropper) for about 3-5 days. During that time I saw that her rash would start up again when she wore certain fabrics. So I avoided them and kept using Aveno products and she was fine.

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M.B.

answers from Tampa on

Get an aloe vera plant, and break open the fresh leaves. Apply even after the rash starts subsiding. Avoid eyes and mouth. Aloe is so much more than for sunburns. It kills bacterial and fungal infections.

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S.W.

answers from Miami on

The rash is only where he's covered? Perhaps he is allergic to the detergent, or bath soap, even though you have not changed it, it could be that he's developed an allergy to either.
I'd be concerned with using any medication for an extended period. Why can't our doctor's refer us to the health food store, check for allergies, whether environmental, food, pets, etc...
Make a list and check off items that affect/don't affect your son's situation.
And know that you are doing a great job as a MOM!!!

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K.B.

answers from Sarasota on

Try asking doctor for nyestin cream ,it helps with rashes

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B.K.

answers from Tallahassee on

Hydrocortisone does weaken the skins own response to rashes over time, so I also would be concerned about prolonged use. Try just plain extra virgin olive oil on it. Or perhaps olive oil with a drop of lavender angustofolia essential oil in it (it has anti bacterial, anti viral, anti fungal properties. I bet this is a fungus, specifically yeast. If that is the case, fresh air on the area will help too. go diaperless as much as possible and shirtless (maybe alternate). Good luck! also, if it is yeast, decrease sugary stuff in his diet. Ease off the cheerios and the fruit, go for avocado, zucchini, etc.

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L.N.

answers from Boca Raton on

You must be so worried! It is strange that it's localized to his covered areas. I would definitely alter what you use to launder his clothes. Also, if none of this advice works I would take him to a dermatologist. I had a rash similiar to that and visited 3 or 4 doctors and wasn't diagnosed until I went to the dermatologist. Good luck.

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A.T.

answers from Lakeland on

Hi J., if you haven't already try switching to all dye free detergents and fabric softner. And absolutely no bleach unless it's Oxy free. Sometimes for no reason children develop allergies or contact dermatitis to things they haven't been allergic to in the past. It happened to my son and we had to go dye free on everything.
Hope this helps and try oatmeal baths for the itching.
Good Luck,
A.

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E.P.

answers from Boca Raton on

Hi J., I would definately recommend something called Silver Shield Gel. It is completely non-toxic, safe and extremely effective against a wide range of pathogens. And can be used on infants. If you would more information on it you can email me directly at [email protected]____.com or visit my website, www.mynsp.com/healthykidshappymommy

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R.W.

answers from Tampa on

Try leaving him in just a diaper for a few days and see if that makes a difference. It could be something he's wearing but it sounds like it could also be a food allergy. Take him to a different doctor and get a second opinion.

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J.P.

answers from Tampa on

You might have to use all cotton clothing. I have had to buy it for my younger son his whole life.
My son's skin was/is very sensitive. (He is now 35 years old.) We used only Safeguard soap; for a diaper rash, we used a prescription formula from the pediatrician; for washing clothes, we used a particular Amway detergent. Now I use All Free and Clear, with no fragrance added. When he was in junior high, I tried regular detergent, and he got a rash where his stomach touched his desktop and pressed his shirt against his body, so we had to go back to Amway. When that became hard to find in my area, I tried the All with good results.
He can use Desitin now to keep from getting heat rash when he is working outside on a very hot day, so you might could use that on your little one.
Good luck.

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M.H.

answers from Fort Walton Beach on

Hi J.,

DITTO Heather B about the food. Nine months is usually when more table food is introduced and with the processing and the preservatives in table foods, you don't know exactly what you are introducing in his system. Also, just because you haven't introduced anything new in the home doesn't mean something you have already been using has not built up in his system and just now causing a reaction. Synthetic chemicals do not LEAVE the body. They accumulate and cause problems down the road. This can be anything from his detergent to your perfume to a McDonald's french fry.

I also agree with Heather about www.skindeep.org. I refer people to it often as well as my own site www.go2harmony.healthyhometour.com. I agree with YOU about the hydrocortisone! Steroids, even topically, can do as much damage in ONE week to bone density as the damage caused by menopause. Only use them in life threatening situations.

You asked for advice and I always advise people to detox their homes and their bodies and then they have a fighting chance of diagnosing what is wrong. If the symptoms still exist after a detox then at least you have a more accurate diagnosis. Detoxing will not only save your health but can save you money as well. If you'd like more info, just let me know.

God bless,

M.

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T.O.

answers from Jacksonville on

That happens in my family too. I had to use less detergent and an do a extra rinse when doing the baby's clothes. Also, the itchnes and rash happens to me if I use too much detergent and or if using any detergents with strong dyes. I use All free, gain, and etc as long as its dye free.

Another thought is where you are folding the clothes at. Make sure its really clean. Sometimes i put a clean baby blanket down to fold on.

Finally, like the other post say maybe the baby has built up an allergy to the detergent due to repetitive exposure. Working in a resturant i becam allergic to any soap with pink dye in it. Of course most public places uses pink soap in there baths so every now and then i have to take benadryl at night for a few days to stop the itching. YOur baby is too probably too young for the benadryl so just try a different detergent and a bit less. Note dreft has perfume dyes in it so maybe not try it

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S.C.

answers from Tampa on

Sounds like it is time to see an allergist and/or dermatologist. Children/infants can acutally come into an allergy even if you have been using the same thing since birth. I would definitely see an allergist and be careful with any of the steroid creams!

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