Parenting Tip Ep 1: Facial Care

BabynHome - Treating Baby Facial Rash

Into the third month, our baby began to suck her fingers. At first, it was just her thumb and then she upgraded to fingers. In fact, all 4 of them! 

Needless to say, we weren’t exactly excited but we saw this coming as we too were ‘warned’ by friends whose babies had been there, done that. On a scientific note, babies’ salivary glands begin to work from 2 to 3 months of age, so get ready!

Now it wasn’t just the sight of saliva that puts us on red alert. As a doctor specialising in child health, I have seen my fair share of babies with drool rashes on their small pretty faces, as a result of saliva. Babies can’t help it. They suck their fingers and smear the saliva all over their faces. In addition, once they can roll over, it gets worse as they rub their saliva-smeared faces against the mattress aggressively. Talk about adding oil to fire. 

The Problem

Our baby was no exception. From her fourth month, she began to develop rashes. One patch was on her right cheek and mini rashes also appear on her chin where saliva usually gathers. 

Baby loves to suck fingers
Fingers ‘delight’ Time

The Solution

Depending on the severity of the rashes, you may want to bring your baby to the clinic or hospital for an examination. Most likely, the doctor will suggest that it is nothing to worry about, and prescribe some cream for you to apply finely over the affected areas. 

Note: The prescription could be a steroid cream, with hydrocortisone cream being a very common choice because it does help to reduce inflammation of eczema. It is usually prescribed for a short duration of treatment, after which if it doesn’t get better, you should stop using and consult your paediatrician again. 

My recommendation is to avoid using steroid cream as much as you can. The skin rash / irritation is likely to be caused by the saliva. To recover from that state, be diligent in cleaning your baby’s face and fingers. You can use a wet cloth to do it. Alcohol wipes are not recommended. After cleaning, you can also put on pure moisturising cream for baby to prevent the rash from being irritated by dryness. Within 1-2 day, if you do this consistently, your baby’s skin condition will improve. Continue for a week, and things should resume back to normal. This is my preferred natural treatment, and you have no concern over steroid cream causing your baby’s skin to develop other side effects. 

You can also use a bib if your baby drools quite extensively onto his/her clothes. Just remember to keep a stack of those bibs ready or alternatively, get one that is waterproof

Conclusion

Don’t be too worried if your baby skin develop rashes. It is very normal for babies to go through some form of skin irritation. As parents, we can alleviate part of the problem by keeping the baby clean. This includes maintaining the cleanliness of the surroundings such as the mattress they sleep on, the play mat, their clothing etc. For cleaning, we usually use water that has been purified. This ensures water is not too hard, and free of bacteria.

4 thoughts on “Parenting Tip Ep 1: Facial Care”

  1. Seeing babies sucking their fingers and thumbs can be really cute but when they do start developing rashes it can be a bit alarming.
    Thankfully, when my son was a baby he didn’t suck any thumbs or fingers but he was constantly drooling – his nickname was ‘drool-face’ for a while!
    Using alcohol-free wipes are a good option and definitely steer clear of the steroids where possible.

    1. Drool-face?? Hah, that’s a cute nickname. 🙂 We named ours “Lotus” because she is shaped like Michelin. But yeah, we definitely agree that development of rash is alarming. It starts small but spreads quickly. Originally we were really panicky about the situation but in the end, it all boils down to keeping those areas clean from further contamination. Steroids are a no-no in our opinion, unless the condition is quite serious. Then, perhaps applying thinly is fine and definitely not over prolonged periods of time.

  2. My son is about 2 and a half months and has recently started sucking on his hand. He has always used a pacifier but now he likes to spit his pacifier out and shove his fist in his mouth instead. Of course he thinks it’s the funniest thing in the world.
    Luckily he only does it when he’s awake so we’ve been able to stay on top of it and keep him cleaned up as he slobbers. So far we haven’t dealt with any rashes, but I know many parents aren’t as lucky.
    I think this information that you shared is important because any type of rash on a baby can be alarming, especially for first time parents.

    1. Wow, shove his fist into his mouth! Our baby put 4 chubby fingers into her mouth and tried to do the same concurrently with the other hand. Seeing that sight, we couldn’t help smiling because it’s so cute but yeah, when the rash came on, we weren’t that excited… 🙁

      Eventually we got her back to normal by ensuring her fingers and face stay clean of saliva. We did it with a damp cloth specifically catered for cleaning. That works!

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