When most parents think about babies and rashes, it is usually diaper rashes that come to mind. However, there is another skin problem that you will often have to deal with: the drool rash.  While this problem can be distressing for you and uncomfortable for your baby, there are some quick and easy ways you can deal with this problem and get your baby’s skin back to normal.

What is a Drool Rash?

If you have never seen a drool rash before, when you first see the small red marks appearing around your baby’s mouth and chin (and also possibly on the chin and chest), your first reaction might be to panic! But don’t worry.  Particularly when your baby begins to teethe, you will notice that the amount that he drools will greatly increase – and that sometimes he will drool in his sleep and lie on this during the night.  However, the constant moisture that this causes can irritate the skin and cause a raised, red rash to develop. It can also surprise you by how quickly it develops – your baby can be fine one day, then wake up the next morning with this rash.  The good news?  There are some simple steps you can take to make this go away.

Keep the Skin Clean and Dry

One of the most important things you can do when your baby comes down with a drool rash is to keep the area dry and clean.  This might sound like it is impossible, but it can be done: just make sure to use a clean, soft cloth for this purpose and dab your baby’s chin, neck and chest as needed to keep it dry.  You can also wash it gently with warm water as needed and pat that dry as well in order to keep it clean. Avoid rubbing the cloth on the skin, however, as this can only irritate the skin further.  Also, it is best to not use any soap or other cleansers, even if they are baby-friendly, because this can further irritate your baby’s skin.

Apply a Protective Cream

Apart from keeping your baby’s chin, neck and chest clean and dry, using a protective barrier cream on the affected area is also a great way to help treat this problem.  Make sure to use a product that is hypoallergenic and baby-friendly – and does not contain any dyes, fragrances or other ingredients that might irritate your baby’s skin.  Products which contain lanolin are a good bet and just plain Vaseline is often popular, too.  Be sure, however, to apply it in a very thin layer on the affected area so that your baby will not ingest it. This creams will form a protective barrier on your baby’s skin that will keep the drool from causing any problems.

Understand Prevention

If you are worried about the problem of baby drool rash, the good news is that there are a few simple tricks to help prevent the issue from happening to begin with. One easy way to help prevent your baby from sleeping in drool overnight is to put a towel or other absorbent material under your baby’s blanket in order to help absorb the drool when they sleep so it will not pool against the skin and cause irritation.  Also, if you notice that your baby is drooling more than normal, it is also ok to apply a thin layer of protective cream on the chin, neck and chest.  This will help to protect the skin from the excess moisture before it even has a chance to develop in the first place.

Know When to Call the Doctor

In most cases, a baby drool rash can be taken care of at home with the measures mentioned above and it does not require any further treatment. However, it is also important to know that there are cases when the doctor should be notified.  If the rash does not appear to be getting any better even if you are keeping it clean and dry and using a protective ointment or if the rash appears to be itchy or painful for your baby, a doctor’s visit will likely be needed. Something these problems can indicate another issue such as a bacterial or fungal infection of the skin or another, more chronic issue like eczema  — and this can require a higher degree of medical treatment.

In short, a baby drool rash can look pretty bad at first – and be particularly disturbing for first-time patients if they have never seen this phenomenon before. The good news is, though, that keeping the area clean and dry and using protective ointments will help in most cases – and after the baby’s teething finally ends and a baby’s amount of drool goes down, the underlying cause of the problem will resolve itself.  In the meantime, these simple home measures should keep your baby comfortable – and you less anxious – as you get through this next parenting challenge.