What does teething rash look like? Pictures and treatments (2022)

Teething can cause babies to drool. The excess saliva this creates can irritate the skin around a baby’s mouth, as well as their cheeks, chin, neck, or chest. This causes a teething rash.

A teething rash may come and go during the months that a baby is teething. The condition is not contagious and is rarely cause for concern. By taking some simple steps, parents and caregivers can treat the teething rash at home.

In this article, we look at what causes teething rash, how to treat and prevent it, and what it looks like compared to other types of rash.

Teething is the process of a baby’s first teeth pushing through their gums. This process typically starts around the age of 6 months to 1 year and finishes around the age of 3. Teething can hurt, causing babies to become fussy or difficult to calm.

Drooling is a common symptom of teething. A 2015 study in BMC Oral Health found that 92% of 254 infants drooled due to teething. When this drool or saliva coat’s a baby’s skin, such as the area around their mouth, it can cause a rash.

According to one article, saliva creates ideal conditions for bacteria to grow on the skin. Saliva also contains digestive enzymes and may contain pieces of food, both of which may cause irritation.

Other signs a baby is teething include:

Learn more about fever in a baby here.

(Video) Teething Rash (Drool Rash) in Babies - Causes, Remedies & Prevention

A teething rash may occur in any place where a baby’s saliva accumulates. This could include the:

  • mouth area
  • chin
  • cheeks
  • neck
  • chest

The rash itself may look:

  • blotchy, red, or discolored
  • bumpy or raised
  • chapped and dry

The rash may also have a slight smell due to food or milk in the saliva.

Treatment for teething rash focuses on keeping the baby’s skin clean and dry. In many cases, parents and caregivers can do this at home by:

  • gently wiping saliva from the skin with damp cotton wool or a damp cloth whenever it accumulates
  • patting dry with a clean towel
  • applying a barrier cream or jelly, such as Eucerin or Vaseline, to protect the irritated skin

It is also advisable to promptly change any bedding or clothes that are wet.

Preventing teething rash involves many of the same steps. Parents and caregivers can reduce the amount of saliva accumulating on the baby’s skin by:

  • using fresh, clean bibs to catch drool
  • limiting pacifier use, as these can allow more saliva to pool on the skin
  • give the baby a cool teething ring or cold washcloth to chew on to soothe their gums

Do not over-rub the baby’s skin, as this can add to the irritation.

It is important to note that the symptoms of teething, including teething rashes, can closely resemble other skin conditions that affect babies.

This section looks at other conditions that may cause a rash in infants.

Baby acne

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, around 20% of newborns get acne. Some babies are born with acne, while others develop acne in the first few weeks of life. Typically, it goes away on its own within a few weeks or months.

Neonatal acne often occurs on the cheeks or nose but can also appear on the:

  • scalp
  • neck
  • back
  • chest

According to the AAD, acne in babies younger than 6 weeks is usually not a cause for concern. If acne appears after 6 weeks, a caregiver should speak to a doctor or dermatologist to determine the cause.

Learn more about baby acne here.

Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema, according to the National Eczema Association. In the United States, it affects around 13% of all children.

In infants and toddlers, atopic dermatitis usually appears first on the knees, elbows, or face. The symptoms include:

  • dry, scaly skin
  • itching
  • crusty or weeping sores

The rash may then spread to other areas of the body. In babies with paler skin, the rash will be red, while in darker skin, it can be brown or grey.

The drool from teething may further irritate patches of eczema, so it is important to keep the skin clean and dry and use a protective emollient for moisture. A doctor can advise on how to treat atopic dermatitis in young babies.

Learn about the differences between baby acne and eczema here.

(Video) Drool Rash (Teething Rash) in Babies: Prevention & Treatment

Fifth disease

Fifth disease, or erythema infectiosum, is a viral illness caused by parvovirus B19. Its hallmark symptom is a rash on the cheeks, with paleness around the mouth (circumoral pallor).

For this reason, some people refer to the rash as a “slapped cheek rash.” However, some also develop a second rash on the arms, legs, chest, back, or buttocks.

The rash may itch but will usually improve on its own within 7–10 days along with the other symptoms of fifth disease, which include:

  • fever
  • a headache
  • runny nose

These symptoms are usually mild. Parvovirus B19 is contagious, but once someone develops a rash, they can no longer transmit the virus.

Learn more about erythema infectiosum here.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease

Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is a viral illness common in children younger than 5 years old, though it can affect anyone. The most common cause is coxsackievirus. HFMD is usually not serious and tends to improve within 7–10 days.

People sometimes confuse HFMD with foot-and-mouth disease. However, these are different conditions, and the latter only affects pigs, sheep, and cows.

The symptoms of HFMD include:

  • a rash of flat red spots – most commonly on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet
  • mouth sores
  • a sore throat
  • fever
  • appetite loss

Meningitis

A rash can be one of the symptoms of meningitis. Meningitis occurs when the protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord become inflamed, often resulting from a viral or bacterial infection. Viral meningitis can often improve on its own, but bacterial meningitis can be fatal.

As a result, it is important to know the symptoms of meningitis and seek emergency help if a child has them. Dial 911 or call the nearest emergency department if a child has:

(Video) Can Teething Cause Rash in Babies? - Natural Teething Rash Remedies

  • a rash that does not disappear when pressed against a glass (“non-blanching”)
  • a stiff neck
  • sensitivity to light
  • headache
  • confusion
  • high temperature
  • cold hands and feet
  • extreme sleepiness

A baby with meningitis may also have a stiff or floppy body or a soft bulge on the top of their head. Babies with darker skin may not have a visible rash. Check lighter areas, such as the palms of the hands, or the soles of the feet, for spots.

Learn more about meningitis in babies here.

(Video) What Do Hives Look Like

A mild teething rash will often improve with home care. However, it is a good idea to check with a doctor that drool is the cause of a baby’s rash. This will help rule out other conditions.

Parents and caregivers should also speak to a doctor if a baby’s rash looks infected. Signs a rash may be infected include:

  • bleeding
  • cracking
  • pus

If a baby has any worrisome symptoms or a fever of 101°F (38°C) or higher, call a doctor immediately.

Learn more about other types of baby rashes here.

A teething rash is caused by babies drooling. Parents and caregivers can prevent and treat a teething rash by protecting the skin from drool and keeping the baby clean and dry.

(Video) Rash-Teething Rash | Red Patch or dots on face of baby around 6months of age .

A doctor can advise on ways to do this and assess whether there could be another cause for the rash.

FAQs

What cream is best for teething rash? ›

Apply a thin coat of a healing ointment like Aquaphor or petroleum jelly, which will act as a barrier between your baby's skin and the drool. These ointments can be soothing to your baby's irritated skin.

What do teething rashes look like? ›

Teething symptoms and solutions for your babyTeething rash is typically described as a “red, raised rash with small bumps,” says Jones. “There can also be chapped or chafed skin.” The rash can be kind of smelly because saliva can carry odours.

Where do babies get teething rash? ›

You might see your baby's cheeks and chin go red during teething. Here we explain what to look out for, what's harmless and when to worry. There is a rash associated with teething – all that excess drool irritates their skin (Lyttle et al, 2015).

Does teething rash come and go? ›

When a baby's drool dries on their cheeks, neck, or chest it can irritate the skin and cause a rash that consists of red splotches and bumps and can also be foul-smelling. It is common for a teething rash to reappear more than once. In fact, they can occur at any time during teething and may continue into toddlerhood.

What does baby allergy rash look like? ›

So what does an allergy rash look like on a baby? A baby allergy rash can manifest in different ways, but the two most common signs are hives and eczema. As mentioned above, hives usually show up as pink blotchy welts, while eczema appears as red, dry, flaky patches. Both rashes are itchy.

When should I worry about a rash on my baby? ›

If your child has a rash of small, bright-red or purple spots or bruises that do not turn white (blanch) when you push on them, along with a fever, headache, stiff neck or back pain, seek medical advice immediately from your GP or nearest hospital emergency department.

Why do babies get rashes when teething? ›

Some babies will produce more drool than others during the teething stage. However, some babies may just make more saliva in general. In either of these cases, a digestive enzyme found in saliva can cause irritating rashes to occur on the face and different parts of the body, especially the neck and chest areas.

How long does a heat rash last? ›

On average, heat rashes last two to three days. More severe heat rashes can last up to a couple of weeks without treatment. If you have a severe heat rash that isn't going away with at-home treatment and staying cool and dry, contact your healthcare provider.

Does Vaseline help drool rash? ›

You can help your baby's drool rash clear up by applying a barrier cream like petroleum jelly to the affected areas of skin. Continue to wipe off saliva with a bib or a clean tissue.

Can a teething rash be all over the body? ›

Teething rashes can develop on the cheeks, chin, neck and chest, and look like chapped skin or small red bumps. Teething should not cause a rash on the baby's arms, legs or back, however, so any full-body irritations should be looked at by a paediatrician.

What food allergy causes rash around mouth? ›

This is called perioral contact dermatitis. It is seen after eating acidic fruits and vegetables like orange, tomato and strawberries and is one of the most common food reactions. If a food does this, it can be avoided. Allergy testing is not necessary.

Is teething rash itchy? ›

What Does Teething Rash Look Like? A drool rash may appear as a red, inflamed rash. It can be itchy and sore. The skin may also appear cracked and dry in places, especially at the corners of the mouth.

How long does it take for a drool rash to go away? ›

On average, drool rash takes about a week to clear up. But a drool rash can last up until about 18 months, or until your little one stops teething. You should find reprieve during months when your baby's drooling has ceased.

Will teething affect sleep? ›

Teething signs and symptoms

As you see the first signs of a tooth, your baby may seem to experience discomfort and pain. This might make sleep and eating difficult for a short time, and your baby might cry more often.

What is a viral rash in babies? ›

What's a viral rash? Viral rashes in young children are common. A viral rash, also called a viral exanthem, is a rash that's caused by an infection with a virus. Nonviral rashes may be caused by other germs, including bacteria or a fungus like mold or yeast, which can also produce diaper rash or an allergic reaction.

Can teething flare up eczema? ›

Eczema often gets worse during teething. Food products may also aggravate the skin around the mouth.

What do I do if my baby has an allergy rash? ›

Contact a doctor if your child has an allergic reaction that is more than mild or concerns you. If the symptoms are mild, give an antihistamine by mouth such as diphenhydramine (such as Benadryl).

What are the five types of rashes? ›

Rash 101: The 5 Most Common Types of Skin Rashes
  • Contact Dermatitis.
  • Shingles.
  • Swimmers Itch.
  • Pityriasis Rosea.

What home remedy is good for baby rash? ›

Dab a small amount of aloe vera gel onto the affected areas with your fingers. Aloe vera is antimicrobial, nourishing, and moisturizing — and the antioxidants it contains promote super-fast healing. Baking soda: The highly alkaline salts in baking soda help neutralize the acidity and bacteria caused by diaper rash.

What is the medicine for baby rashes? ›

A mild (0.5% to 1%) hydrocortisone (steroid) cream twice a day for 3 to 5 days. An antifungal cream, if your baby has a fungal infection. Antibiotic medicine taken by mouth, if your baby has a bacterial infection.

When should I worry about a rash on my baby? ›

If your child has a rash of small, bright-red or purple spots or bruises that do not turn white (blanch) when you push on them, along with a fever, headache, stiff neck or back pain, seek medical advice immediately from your GP or nearest hospital emergency department.

What's the best home remedy for diaper rash? ›

Baking soda: The highly alkaline salts in baking soda help neutralize the acidity and bacteria caused by diaper rash. Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with lukewarm water, and apply to your baby's bottom with a soft cloth for instant relief.

How long does it take for a drool rash to go away? ›

On average, drool rash takes about a week to clear up. But a drool rash can last up until about 18 months, or until your little one stops teething. You should find reprieve during months when your baby's drooling has ceased.

How many days do teething symptoms last? ›

Teething only causes irritation around the time your baby's tooth is about to break through the gum. The teething period generally lasts for about around 8 days, so longer periods of discomfort (commonly associated with teething) may be caused by something else.

How can you tell if a rash is serious? ›

Serious Rash Symptoms
  1. You have a rash that covers the body. This indicates something concerning, such as an infection or allergic reaction.
  2. You have a fever with the rash. If this is the case, go to the emergency room. ...
  3. The rash is sudden and spreads rapidly. ...
  4. The rash is painful. ...
  5. The rash is infected.
15 Jun 2021

What are the five types of rashes? ›

Rash 101: The 5 Most Common Types of Skin Rashes
  • Contact Dermatitis.
  • Shingles.
  • Swimmers Itch.
  • Pityriasis Rosea.

What does a meningitis rash look like in babies? ›

Look out for tiny red or brown pin-prick marks which can change into larger red or purple blotches and blood blisters. The darker the skin the harder it is to see a septicaemic rash so check lighter areas like the palms of hands and soles of feet or look inside the eyelids and the roof of the mouth.

How do I know if my diaper rash is bacterial? ›

Bacterial dermatitis

The most common culprits are group A Streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. With strep, the rash may be bright red and focused around the anus, though it can spread to the genitals. You may even notice blood in your baby's poop. With staph, you might see pus-filled bumps with a red base.

How do I know if my diaper rash is fungal? ›

Symptoms of a yeast diaper rash include:
  1. Deep red or purple raised patch of skin.
  2. Bumps or tiny fluid-filled pimples.
  3. Rash that appears shiny.
  4. Cracked or very dry skin.
  5. Itchiness, mild pain and discomfort.
21 Jan 2022

Can I put Vaseline on drool rash? ›

You can help your baby's drool rash clear up by applying a barrier cream like petroleum jelly to the affected areas of skin. Continue to wipe off saliva with a bib or a clean tissue.

How do you get rid of a rash on a baby's face? ›

In general, treatment consists of:
  1. Using a very gentle soap.
  2. Using a gentle detergent and no fabric softener in baby's laundry.
  3. Using skin moisturizers.
  4. Applying a steroid cream (like hydrocortisone or even a stronger one) if the eczema won't go away.
23 Jul 2021

How do I stop a drool rash? ›

Preventing a Drool Rash

Keep a dry, soft burp cloth on hand to continually absorb drool. Change your baby's clothes if they become soaked with saliva. Apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly to potential problem areas (face, cheeks, neck, chest, etc.).

What stage of teething hurts the most? ›

Stage 5: (25-33 months) Revenge of the molars! These are the largest teeth, and some children will find this to be the most painful time of teething.

How long does it take for tooth to break through gums? ›

There is no exact amount of time that has been identified for how long it takes for a tooth to cut through, but most professionals have estimated that it can emerge anytime between 1-7 days per tooth.

Can teething last for weeks? ›

Don't be alarmed, teething isn't constant from five to 33 months. In fact, each tooth or pair of teeth should only cause your little one pain for just over a week. In other words, for five days ahead of an appearance – 'eruption day' – and three days afterwards (Macknin et al, 2000).

Videos

1. When Babies Start Teething, Teething Symptoms, Toys, Relief | Pediatric Nursing
(RegisteredNurseRN)
2. Roseola: Cause of high fever and rash in babies | Dr. Kristine Kiat
(Dr. Kristine Alba Kiat - Pediatrician)
3. How to treat Drooling Rash
(Baby Care 101)
4. Natural Teething Rash Remedies
(MamaRoo TV)
5. Heat Rash in Babies
(FirstCry Parenting)
6. GREAT LOOKING RASH! (Full Body) | Dr. Paul
(paulthomasmd - Dr. Paul)

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