Possible cause of rash on the face in a baby?

In babies, most facial rashes are harmless and tend to clear up without treatment. Causes can include eczema, acne, and infection.

Sometimes, however, a rash on a baby’s face can indicate a more serious condition.

Being able to distinguish between different rashes can help a parent or caregiver know when to seek professional advice.

Baby eczema

Eczema refers to a group of conditions that cause the skin to become rough, irritated, itchy, and inflamed.

These conditions are common in young children, often appearing between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. Many children grow out of their eczema.

According to the National Eczema Association in the United States, if eczema develops within the first 6 months of life, it tends to appear on the cheeks, chin, forehead, or scalp. The rash will be dry, red, and itchy.

Between the ages of 6 and 12 months, eczema may develop in other parts of the body. The elbows and knees are particularly susceptible when babies start to crawl.


Although the exact cause of eczema is unknown, experts believe that both genetic and environmental factors can play a role.

Certain environmental triggers may over-activate the immune system, causing inflammation and skin irritation.

When trying to establish the cause of a child’s eczema, it may help to keep a diary of symptoms and potential triggers. By avoiding these triggers, it may be possible to prevent flare-ups of symptoms.

Below are some common triggers of eczema in babies:

  • heat and sweating
  • dry skin
  • irritants, such as soaps, washing detergents, and cigarette smoke
  • allergens, such as dust mites, pollen, and pet dander
  • certain fabrics, such as wool and nylon

Treatments for eczema include:

  • over-the-counter (OTC) moisturizers
  • prescription creams and ointments, such as steroid creams
  • immunosuppressant drugs
  • phototherapy

A doctor can consult with a pediatric dermatologist and recommend a course of treatment. They can also advise about triggers and how to avoid them.

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