Why Does My Baby Have Red Cheeks?

Last updated February 8th, 2021

Babies with rosy red cheeks look adorable. Baby skin is very light and delicate, unlike adults, and it’s more prone to damage. Most babies have naturally rosy cheeks looking like two cute apples. Red tint in the cheeks is caused by more blood flowing within the cheeks than the rest of the body. It could also happen when a baby cries or laughs because of increased blood flow.

However, if your baby has unusually reddish cheeks for a prolonged period of time, it can be an indication of some dermatological or pathological cause.

There may well be several causes of red cheeks, let’s take at a few.

Tooth buds have started appearing

Tooth buds have started appearing

The process of teething begins as early as 4 months of age. It is a hard milestone for both parents and baby. Not only they have achy gums and excess drooling, and teething comes with a whole other list of other side effects such as teething rash!

A teething rash appears when the baby has an excess amount of drool, it can appear around the mouth, chin, lips, and even all the way down to the neck and chest. The drool runs down the front of their mouth and begins to dry. This causes their skin to become dry and irritated, and it breaks out into a rash.

You can soothe a genuine teething rash

There are several remedies you can provide for your baby when they do have teething rash;

  • Keep baby bib on or close by; this will help reduce rash from neck and chest.
  • Wipe the drool away often.
  • Use lanolin cream on the teething rash to prevent it from getting worse. Lanolin cream is made from the wax in a sheep’s wool; it is organic and creates a good barrier between baby’s saliva and their skin. Put ointment on their face every morning and before they go to sleep for the night.
  • Another great natural rash teething remedy. Vaseline! It is not only good for the teething rash but is also for other mild rashes and dry skin. This natural organic product will help protect and smooth your little one’s skin.
  • Angel baby bottom balm is another great product to treat a teething rash. Although marketed as a diaper rash cream, it can also be used for teething rash and protect a baby’s skin from flare-ups. It is a great blend of antibacterial and antifungal organic herbs, shea butter, and essential oils.

Is it the Fifth disease syndrome?

Fifth disease syndrome is also named slapped cheek syndrome and erythema infectiosum. It is a common viral infection that gives rise to bright red rashes on cheeks along with fever. It is one of the five rash conditions including scarlet fever, measles, rubella, and roseola, hence the name fifth disease.

Fifth disease is a viral infection caused by the parvo B19 virus. Although parents are concerned about the abnormal redness on the cheeks, It is completely harmless and resolves within one to three weeks.

  • If an infected child coughs or sneezes near a healthy baby.
  • Someone touches his nose or mouth after touching unhygienic surfaces or material.
  • Spread from mother to baby during pregnancy via the placenta.

A week before, cheek rash symptoms may show as fever above 100.4° F with a sore throat and runny nose, bright reddish rash on cheeks and other parts of the body, including hands, arms, trunk buttocks, thighs, and feet. It would look like your little one has been slapped, but it is not as bad as it may look. Once the rash appears, the baby is no longer contagious to other children.

Although it clears up on its own, fifth disease can be a worrisome condition for babies with a weak immune system. While the cheek rash fades away within 2 weeks, the body rash may take up to a month to completely disappear. Lacy rash could appear if the baby is exposed to sunlight or when he is crying.

Chapped cheeks

Many babies have redness on both cheeks, usually in the middle of winter. These are the red circular marks on cheeks. There is no cure to it and leave without any scarring. Time is the only cure, and by the end of the winter, it usually goes away.

Sometimes it is associated with eczema, and it’s usually for kids between the ages of 1 to 3 years of age when they have those chubby cute cheeks. Moisturizers may help reduce it a little bit, but it is not going to cure it.

Remember that YOU! Parents are more bothered than babies. It looks painful to you, but it doesn’t bother your baby at all. It takes patience once winter is over; this will resolve on its own.

Baby acne

Baby acne could possibly cause red cheeks

Neonatal acne is a common observation in babies in the first two months of life. You may notice white reddish bumps all over the face, cheeks, chin, forehead, and even their back.

This is very normal. If you find acne on your baby, don’t worry; it may look scary, but it’s not dangerous.

Baby acne is fairly easy to identify. It looks like your typical acne and can come from whiteheads, blackheads, little red bumps, or small pustules.

Generally, baby acne is nothing to worry about, a lot of people that baby acne is related to hormones passed from mother to baby during pregnancy. It could also be because they are developing oils in their skin and just getting used to a new environment.

The bottom line is you don’t need to be concerned like a teenager and don’t put acne medications on their face or scrub their face. Just wash your baby’s face with Lukewarm water daily and maybe with a little bit of mild baby soap. That’s it!

Baby skincare tips

You may notice that your baby has flare-ups if they have a lot of milk on their face or their face is rubbing a lot on blanket or clothing that they are wearing and so do what you can do to reduce their irritants as well. It usually goes away by the time your baby is 2 to 3 months old.

  • Apply coconut oil 15 to 20 minutes before bathing your baby to protect natural moisturizing factors and oils in their skin.
  • Avoid massage. It causes friction between the delicate baby skin and your hand, leading to further irritation.
  • Always use lukewarm water as it will help the oil to stay longer on the baby’s skin.
  • Use sulfate-free soaps with a pH of 5.5 because it protects your baby’s skin and minimizes irritation.
  • Use good moisturizing lotion as recommended by your doctor. It will make your baby’s skin softer and smoother.
  • The woolen fabrics are extremely rough, and they keep irritating and rubbing against the baby’s soft skin. To avoid irritation caused by woolen fabrics, make your child wear a thin cotton garment underneath.

FAQs

Is this rash baby acne or eczema?

Baby acne is common in newborns typically develops 2 to 4 weeks after birth and resolves after 2 months.

On the other hand, if your baby has a rash with inflamed patches and develops after 6 months of age, this could be a sign of eczema.

Could my child’s “chapped cheeks” actually be a common childhood infection?

Chapped cheeks is a common skin condition that develops in winters. It is associated with eczema if the skin is dry, pruritic, scaly, crusty and inflamed.

Which children are at risk for fifth disease?

Fifth disease is more serious in babies with weak immune systems, anaemic babies or those babies who are suffering from other medical condition.

How is fifth disease treated in a child?

Fifth disease is a viral infection, and it cures on its own within 2 weeks. The only medical treatment given is to treat symptoms like fever and keeping your baby well hydrated. Practice hygienic routine, clean face daily with unscented soap. If medications do not manage the fever, bring your baby to the hospital.

Can babies get slapped cheek?

Yes. Babies can get slapped cheek syndrome if someone touches the baby after using unhygienic items or if their mother is exposed to the virus during pregnancy and the virus is transmitted through the placenta.

What are red cheeks a sign of?

Abnormal red cheeks could be a sign of teething, baby acne, chapped cheeks, slapped cheeks syndrome, or eczema. It can be managed with proper hygiene and timely treatment.

Are red cheeks a sign of allergy?

If you notice unusually red cheeks refer to your doctor to get proper diagnosis and treatment

Do babies get a teething rash on cheeks?

The teething process starts as soon as 4 months, with excessive drooling causing skin to become dry and irritated, breaking out rash on cheeks, neck and chest.

Take away

Your baby’s skin is 5 times more fragile and delicate than adults, and it needs special care. Often chubby rosy red cheeks are seen in the cute angelic face of your baby. It could be due to increased blood circulation in the cheeks or because your baby is teething. Chapped cheeks in winters also produce a similar kind of redness in cheeks, but it is characterized by dryness. You shouldn’t be concerned unless it is coming with several other serious symptoms.

If the rash persists or looks different type of rash and it is spreading to other parts of the body, accompanied by various other concerning symptoms, talk with your pediatrician. After looking at it, they’ll decide what it is and if any necessary treatment is required.

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