A skin rash occurs when a portion of the surface of the skin becomes swollen, irritated or inflamed. Rashes manifest in many ways. A maculopapular rash is a marker for many diseases, allergic reactions and infections. Most of the time, an erythematous rash is caused by a viral infection.
Skin rashes often occur as reactions to certain allergens. A forehead rash is typical in newborns and may accompany other symptoms such as redness, burning, itching, swelling, dry or flaking skin and weeping sores.
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Rash On Forehead Causes
A rash on the forehead is one of a few common conditions experienced by infants. For first-time parents, seeing red bumps on a little one’s skin can be a cause for concern. It is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different causes in order to narrow down what triggered the skin rash on your baby’s forehead . Here are a few possible culprits:
Some forehead rashes may be triggered by an infectious disease (both bacterial or viral) such as impetigo, chicken pox, ringworm or measles. Impetigo is a type of Group A streptococcus infection. Symptoms include itchy, small red bumps on the face. These spots can pop open and ooze which can make them contagious. Chickenpox is a condition where liquid-filled blisters may be accompanied by fever, headache and fatigue. As the name suggests, ringworm appears as a ringed or circular rash on the skin, not necessarily on the forehead. The arms and legs are susceptible as well. Measles begins with a rash followed by other symptoms that include a high fever, runny nose and watery eyes. Scarlet fever manifests as a maculopapular rash. Sometimes a rash will appear in conjunction with swollen lymph nodes. The doctor will check for large tonsils as these are symptoms of tonsillitis.
Atopic dermatitis is a common cause of a forehead rash. Rashes may develop when the skin is exposed to allergens. These rashes are called contact dermatitis or seborrhoeic dermatitis. Redness, irritation and itching can result. Eczema is another example of atopic dermatitis. This rash manifests as patches of red, dry and itchy scales on the skin. Eczema is an example of a chronic skin condition.
Autoimmune disorders, like psoriasis, may produce a forehead rash. As the name suggests, autoimmune conditions occur when the immune system overreacts. This can manifest in various forms, but it usually appears as a red, scaly rash on the skin.
These tiny red bumps can appear on the forehead, cheeks and nose two to four weeks after a baby is born. These bumps tend to disappear after three to four months without leaving any blemishes on the skin. Baby acne is due to overactive leftover maternal hormones.
Cradle cap appears as yellow, scaly patches on a baby’s head and may spread to the forehead, ears, neck or armpits. This usually appears around two to three months. Doctors are not sure of the cause. Although parents may feel alarmed when an infant develops cradle cap, the rash is not itchy and does not cause discomfort. It tends to disappear after a few weeks or months without any treatment. Wash the areas with gentle baby shampoo to loosen the patches.
Another one of the common skin conditions on babies is milia. This appears as tiny white bumps on forehead, chin, nose and cheeks on newborns. Milia can look very similar to acne. This rash occurs when dead skin cells get trapped under a little one’s skin. There is no treatment needed for milia as it typically goes away on its own.
Blocked pores on a baby’s skin can trigger a heat rash. Heat rash can develop on the forehead and the rest of the skin. It usually appears when the weather is too hot or humid. Typically, a heat rash manifests as tiny, red blisters filled with fluids.
Erythema toxicum produces tiny bumps on the skin that may contain pus. These blotchy lesions on the skin may come and go on the forehead and various parts of the body.
This is a common condition that may be present at birth and is relatively harmless. These superficial lesions are filled with pus and pigmented macules. They do not usually need any treatment since the rashes disappear on their own.
Bleeding blood vessels
Sometimes blood vessels break under the skin and result in flat, red spots that do not pale when pressed. These skin lesions are not the result of trauma. They can be a sign of a minor or more serious condition.
The signs and symptoms of this skin infection include benign raised bumps or lesions which are usually painless. The bumps disappear on their own and typically do not leave scars. However, the bumps may remain for two to four months. The lesions are caused by the virus, molluscum contagiosum. It is spread through direct contact with someone who has the virus or by touching an object contaminated with the virus.
T-cells help fight infections within the body. Sometimes, they turn cancerous. When they do, a type of blood cancer called T-cell lymphoma develops. Often, a red, scaly rash on the skin develops. The skin may peel, itch and cause discomfort. This condition requires immediate medical care.
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Rash On Forehead Treatment
Parents can help alleviate common childhood rashes whether a forehead rash, diaper rash or other minor conditions. Although skin rashes on babies tend to disappear on their own, sometimes rashes do make it difficult to fall asleep . Here are some ways parents can help their babies.
Dress the baby in loose clothing
If rashes appear below a baby’s neck, keep the little one cool by choosing loose clothing especially during the summer. This prevents the clothes from rubbing against the skin which can exacerbate skin inflammation. If your baby wears a heat, make sure it is loose-fitting.
Run a warm bath
Newborn babies may develop certain rashes after a few weeks. Opt for warm baths to soothe the hot, dry skin. Use a gentle, organic baby wash that does not contain irritants.
Use cold cream
Dry and peeling skin on a baby’s forehead or other parts of the body can be treated with the help of cold cream or hydrating cream. Look for these cream products that are formulated for a baby’s skin, or talk to a dermatologist on how to stop dryness. Opt for an organic baby lotion that does not contain harmful ingredients.
Use a medicated shampoo
For cradle cap issues, use an organic shampoo specifically made for babies. Be gentle while rubbing a baby’s scalp to avoid exacerbating the problem.
Employ a cool cloth
Sometimes, the simplest of treatments can be highly effective in alleviating a baby’s discomfort when the rashes are itchy. One remedy applying a cool cloth to the affected area. There will be less fussing once the itchy rash is alleviated. This is a temporary solution, but it does work wonders.
Avoid direct sunlight
Babies have sensitive skin, which means that they should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Constant exposure to sunlight will cause skin dryness, can produce a painful sunburn and worsen any rash.
Opt for gentle cleansers
Sometimes, a rash on the forehead can be triggered because of the chemicals that are present in soap, lotion or shampoos. The best solution is to look for gentle or mild cleansers that remove the accumulation of dirt on the hair and scalp without causing skin irritation. It is important to know what you are putting on your baby.
Use emollient balms or creams
For a baby rash on the forehead caused by eczema, emollient creams or balms create a protective layer on the skin. This helps prevent any possible triggers from causing redness and irritation.
If you have determined what triggers your baby’s rashes, avoid them at all costs. This includes limiting exposure to sunlight, switching to organic shampoo and moisturizing the skin after bath time.
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Rash On Forehead: When To Call Your Doctor?
Most of the time, a rash on the forehead is not indicative of trouble. However, there are a few symptoms that warrant contacting a doctor as soon as possible .
- Red streaks extending from the area
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Pus-filled blisters
- Fussy baby
- Increased swelling, pain or warmth in the affected area
If a little one’s diaper rash does not begin healing after two to three days, it may be a yeast nappy rash that requires medical treatment. If a baby’s rashes are accompanied by blisters, call a medical professional.
Skin problems in babies often appear during the first few weeks. They usually disappear within a few days depending on the severity of the condition. If a rash is accompanied by other symptoms, does not heal, or the baby is fussy, call the doctor.
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Rash On Forehead Treatment Resources:
 British Columbia Health Link; Newborn Rashes and Skin Conditions, May 04, 2017.
 Family Health Service, Department of Health; Common Skin Infant Problems, March 2018.
 US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; Skincare for your baby, March 12, 2007.
 Medline Plus; Rash – child under 2 years, Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, February 16, 2017.
 Healthy Children; Baby Birthmarks & Rashes, Nick Nguyen, MD, FAAP, December 24, 2018.