Baby teething rash on face – Drool rash

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Teething rash is drool rash. Teething in babies is quite often followed by drool rash. Understanding the teething process can make us realize the basic cause of the associated drool rash. Tooth buds appear on both the arches (jaws) when the fetus is about eight weeks old. They keep on growing inside the gum.

A newborn baby already has primary teeth growing inside the gums. As the teeth grow, the gums swell and become sensitive and painful. Due to the gum irritation the baby may start drooling a lot.

The baby may develop rash around the mouth and other areas like chin, cheeks, neck and chest, which are constantly wet with saliva. Generally when the baby is about six months old, the teething commences and usually the lower central incisors start emerging out of the gums.

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The drool inflammation should not be confused with eczema or diaper inflammation. Diaper rash typically appears on the diaper area as prickly red spots. The inflammation may become severe and may spread to baby’s buttocks, tummy and thighs. It is usually triggered by moisture and wetness in the diaper area.

Bacterial growth on the remnants of urine or stool leads to the skin inflammation. Frequent changing of diapers and keeping the diaper area dry will help. Eczema (atopic dermatitis) causes red, swollen and itchy inflammation of the skin. Eczema may flare-up in affected baby when during teething.

Causes of teething rash

The cause of the inflammation is excessive drooling. As there is excessive salivation, the area around the mouth becomes constantly moist. Babies may drool even while sleeping. The saliva soaked skin becomes chapped and gives rise to inflammation.

baby drooling
Teething baby drooling
Author Daniel Schwen / (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Opportunistic bacteria and fungi may start growing on the inflamed skin and worsen the drool rash. The saliva may get spread on to the baby’s cheeks. The saliva may also drip on to the chin, neck and chest and cause rash in all these areas.

Treatment for drool rash

To control and stop the rash from spreading the first effort by the parents is to keep the baby’s mouth area dry by frequent dabbing with a soft cloth. Care should be taken not to wipe the tender skin as it may get further inflamed.

To reduce the salivation the baby may given some cool soother, ring or cloth to chew on. A bib can be placed and changed regularly to keep the neck and chest dry and clean from saliva. Petroleum jelly may be applied on areas of baby’s skin likely to get wet in order to keep out the drool and teething rash.

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