If your baby frequently develops minor rashes or is suffering from a persistent rash that will not go away, you should take him or her to a dermatologist. A dermatologist should be able to prescribe proper medication that will offer your baby immediate relief from their rash and may also be able to determine the root cause of the rash to prevent future outbreaks. However, to make a proper diagnosis, your dermatologist will need thorough information regarding your baby's habits and exposure to various items. Here are five questions you should write the answers to before you arrive at your baby's dermatologist to help make an accurate diagnosis.
What does your baby's diet consist of?
If you are beginning to introduce solids into your baby's diet, one of the foods your baby is eating may cause their rash. If they are on a formula diet, the formula could be the source of the allergy. You should make a list of all of the foods your baby is consuming. You should especially note if he or she develops small welts around their mouth when they eat. While this could simply be your baby's sensitive skin being irritated by the constant wetness of purees, it could also point towards a food allergy.
If you are breastfeeding, what does your diet consist of?
If your baby is breastfeeding, even if they are partially eating solids and breastfeeding less, what you eat could cause an allergic reaction in them. This usually happens when you consume a large amount of dairy products and your baby has an allergy to dairy, but other allergens could also cause a rash. These rashes are usually around the back of the neck and on the chest. If you breastfeed at all, list the types of food you eat most often and try to note if your baby breaks out in a rash when you have certain treats, such as chocolate or caffeine.
What chemicals touch your baby's skin?
You may be tempted to fill a bag with all of the shampoos, wipes, and creams you use on your baby. While it is necessary to note what you are using, you do not need to bring samples into the office. Instead, simply write down the names and brands of what you use on your baby. To be even more thorough, you can take pictures of the labels.
When noting what touches your baby, you should include your baby's soap and shampoo, your soap and shampoo, your baby's laundry detergent, your laundry detergent, your wipes, diaper brand, and any creams or lotions you use. You should also note whether you do baby massage and which oils you use.
Does your baby have a history of cradle cap or baby acne?
Bacteria from a case of cradle cap can fall onto your baby's skin and create rashes along their neckline and in the folds of their arms and legs. Unfortunately, this can be difficult to diagnose if you have already cleared up the cradle cap. You should make a note of any skin conditions your baby develops in order to help diagnose future problems.
What does the rash look like over time?
Rashes grow and change over time. When your baby begins to develop a rash, you should take a picture every time you notice it growing or changing. If the rash clears up before you go to the dermatologist, great, but if it does not, your baby's doctor will be able to see how the rash progressed and make a more informed diagnosis.
Although rashes are highly visible, it can be difficult to make a proper diagnosis just by looking at them. Your dermatologist may be able to suppress the rash, but a thorough history will be needed to make sure it does not come back.