Most facial rashes in babies are harmless and tend to clear up without treatment. Causes can include eczema, acne, and infection. Sometimes, however, a rash on a baby’s face can indicate a more serious condition and being able to distinguish between different rashes can help a parent or caregiver known when to seek professional advice.

In babies, the rash mainly appears on the scalp, and people commonly refer to it as cradle cap. However, cradle cap can also affect the cheeks, particularly around the eyes and nose.

Treatment Cradle cap is generally harmless and usually disappears between 6 and 12 months of age. If the child is not experiencing any discomfort, treatment may not be necessary. For mild symptoms, OTC medications, such as antifungal creams and medicated shampoos, may help to relieve discomfort and speed healing. However, talk to a doctor before using these products on an infant.

If the rash is scaly, applying mineral oil or petroleum jelly to the baby’s scalp 1 hour before using an anti-dandruff shampoo can help loosen and remove the scales.

For babies with more severe symptoms, a doctor may prescribe topical steroids to reduce inflammation. Particularly severe cradle cap can increase the risk of infection. See a doctor immediately, if the baby’s skin: Feels hot, oozes fluid gives off an unpleasant odor When to see a doctor Most rashes on babies’ faces are harmless.

They usually clear up on their own. However, a rash in this area can indicate an infection or an underlying health condition. See a doctor if the rash is severe, or if the baby has: Fluid-filled blisters, a fever a loss of appetite, red streaks extending from the rash, tiny red or purple spots that do not fade when someone applies pressure, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy, a cough.

Takeaway Facial rashes are common in babies and young children. The many possible causes include eczema, acne, and infection. Most rashes clear up without treatment. However, see a doctor if a rash is severe or persistent, or if it accompanies other