Here’s What You Need to Know About Drool Rash

Is your little one entering his teething phase? Well, there are chances that he might be drooling more than ever! There’s no need to be alarmed as it’s quite normal for babies to drool. But sometimes excessive drooling can cause irritation and lead to a harmless rash around the mouth, known as drool rash.

Keep on reading to know more about what drool rash is, what treatment is recommended for drool rash, and how you can help prevent it.

What Is Drool Rash?

Drool rash is a type of contact dermatitis caused by saliva. The skin around your baby’s mouth and/or chin may become inflamed and irritated when her own saliva dribbles down and stays on the skin for prolonged periods. Sometimes the rash is referred to as a teething rash, a lip licker’s dermatitis, or a spit-up rash.

Can Drooling Cause a Rash?

Yes, drooling may irritate your baby’s skin, leading to a rash.

What Does Drool Rash Look Like?

A drool rash may appear as a red, inflamed, bumpy rash. It can be itchy and sore.

At What Age Does Drool Rash Typically Develop?

Drool rash typically develops from the time your baby’s a newborn into toddlerhood. Excess drooling is common between the ages of 3 and 6 months, which is around the time when teething may start for some babies. You may even see your baby start blowing bubbles with her saliva during this time. As teething continues, excess saliva may cause a drool rash if it stays on your baby’s skin for prolonged periods and irritates your baby’s skin.

How Can You Prevent Drool Rash?

You can help prevent drool rash by using an absorbent bib to soak up any drool so that saliva doesn’t stay on your baby’s skin for long.

How Do You Get Rid of a Drool Rash

You can help your baby’s drool rash clear up by applying a barrier cream like petroleum jelly to the affected areas of the skin. Continue to wipe off saliva with a bib or clean tissue.

What Is the Treatment for Drool Rash?

Keeping the skin free of saliva as much as possible is the most effective home treatment strategy for drool rash. You can do this by using an absorbent bib and changing it often, and by coating the skin with a barrier cream such as petroleum jelly. If your baby’s drool rash doesn’t respond to at-home treatment, your little one’s healthcare provider may prescribe some form of medication, such as a prescription-strength cream or ointment.

Does a Drool Rash Hurt?

A drool rash can be uncomfortable for your baby, causing itching, but it’s not contagious or life-threatening.

What’s the Difference Between Drool Rash and Eczema?

Eczema is a catchall term used for both atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis.

  • Contact dermatitis:

It is caused by an allergic reaction to an irritant when it comes into contact with your baby’s skin. In the case of drool rash, the irritant is drool—your baby's saliva.

  • Atopic dermatitis:

It is caused due to a genetic predisposition to something like a food allergy, asthma, hay fever, and other conditions that are not necessarily related to skin contact.

In essence, drool rash is a form of eczema.

When Should You See Your Baby’s Healthcare Provider?

Contact your baby’s healthcare provider if the drool rash is

  • severe and not responding to treatment

  • seems extremely itchy or painful for your baby

  • starts to ooze, blister, or crust (which may point to infection) or your baby has a fever

The Bottom Line

The good news is that drool rash is a harmless rash. Even if it becomes red and itchy, it can be treated easily. Likewise, you can prevent drool rash by using a bib that absorbs the saliva. You can also apply petroleum jelly around the skin to protect it. At first, drool rash can be a little uncomfortable for your little one but it’s usually not anything to be worried about. In no time, it will clear up and your baby will be back at ease.

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