Friday, March 09, 2007

Rashy Baby

Our first night at the hospital I noticed that Jonah had a rash emerge, first I saw it on his legs but then changing him I saw it was all over his body but not his face. The pediatrician at the hospital said it was some sort of infant dermatitis and that we should consider double rinsing his clothing at home (at that point we were just using the baby undershirts and receiving blankets at the hospital). When we changed Jonah into his own clothes, washed in Ivory Snow detergent the rash went away in a matter of hours. I think it was due to the hospitals using harsh detergents on everything.

Jonah would then get during the first two weeks the occassional red bumps on his cheeks, like little pimples but not white heads. They would clear up overnight and didn't need to be bothered at all. Starting this week though he broke out in a rash all over his face, ears and some on his neck. It seems to be mostly where he gets milk or spit-up on his skin. I looked it up online and in the Sears Baby Book and it said that it was Baby Acne. Treatment is to just wash his face with water and keep his hands clean and nails trimmed. Evidently it will clear up on a few weeks, its just his skin getting used to the outside world.

He also has a little crusty stuff up by the corners of where his eyebrows meet. The books and web say that is Seborrheic Dermatitis, the same as what it commonly referred to as cradle cap. I had noticed earlier in the week that he was smelling a bit on the top of his head like body oil, again it just another step in his skin getting accustomed to life outside the womb. We've just used warm water on cotton and occasionally on a baby washcloth to clean it up and his skin seems to be responding. Jonah doesn't have cradle cap but he does have a little dandruff so I'm making sure to wash his hair every other day to help keep the oil production in check.

At the other end I've been paying mind to Jonah's rear to help make sure that any diaper rash is treated quickly and early. We are using A+D Ointment at one changing station and Desitin Creamy at the other station. I also have Butt Paste if things should get desperate. In looking it up prior to Jonah's arrival I learned that it isn't the wet diapers that causes diaper rash but rather its when the baby's feces mix with the urine that the rash develops. Evidently there are some enzymes in the poo that react with the urine and that causes the problem. Infant poos are pretty loud though so most of the time all you have to do is listen and you know when it's time to change baby. It's also important to wash baby's backside at changing to remove all poo residue -- we're just using water on cotton and not baby wipes for the time being. Then reapply the barrier cream after patting his tushy dry. It seems to be working and it definately helps keep him comfortable.

Here are some links to reference

Newborn Rash -- Is It Baby Acne?

What is Baby Acne?

Back to basics: Caring for the newborn's skin

Diaper Rash — What It Is

Diaper Rash

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